It’s an urban legend we all know well: the maniac who takes advantage of trick or treaters by sliding razor blades into their apples and needles into their chocolate bars. While there has never been a credible report of any stranger murdering a child this way, the basis of the alleged phenomenon actually does come from a true story. However, it wasn’t a stranger murdering a child — it was a father who murdered his son.
In Deer Park, TX, on Halloween night of 1974, Ronald O’Bryan, an optician and church deacon, was chaperoning his 8-year-old son Timothy and 5-year-old daughter Elizabeth as they trick or treated throughout the neighborhood. They stopped at a darkened house and rang the bell but when nobody came to the door, the children moved ahead impatiently, catching up to three other neighborhood children. O’Bryan lingered behind. When he caught up to the kids he had good news: someone had come to door after all and given him candy for the group. He produced five 21 inch Pixy Stix. He gave one each to Timothy, Elizabeth, two of his neighbor’s children, and a 10-year-old boy he recognized from church.
Later that evening, …read more