Everybody is entitled to a good fright at Halloween, but imagine that turning into a real-life, full-blown nightmare. Such was the case for one Texas family. Their personal heartbreak sent a shockwave through the state as well as the nation.

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According to an article from Investigation Discovery, the tragic event took place on Halloween night in 1974.


Photo: Dark Case Documentaries/Youtube
Photo: Dark Case Documentaries/Youtube

As the story goes, eight-year-old Timothy O'Bryan went trick-or-treating with family and friends in his Houston area neighborhood. As he collected candy, little did he know that one of his treats would cost him his life.

Timothy's father, Ronald Clark O'Bryan, who was struggling financially, had taken out large life insurance policies on his kids. In a twisted effort to cash in on these policies, Ronald poisoned some of the candy that Timothy had collected. After they returned home from trick-or-treating, Timothy ate a cyanide-laced Pixy Stix and died soon after.

Timothy's death hit the community hard. Parents everywhere (including mine) were scared their children could also wind up with poisoned Halloween candy. The case became known as the "Candyman" or "The Man Who Killed Halloween."

Photo: Dark Case Documentaries/Youtube
Photo: Dark Case Documentaries/Youtube

Ronald O'Bryan was arrested and charged with murder. During the trial, it was uncovered that he had given poisoned candy to other children, including his daughter. Fortunately, none of them consumed it. In 1984, Ronald O'Bryan was convicted of murder and executed by lethal injection.

This case remains one of the most notorious crimes in Texas history, and it still has an impact on Halloween. Today, parents are more cautious than ever about checking their children's candy before they consume it. Many organizations now have safer trick-or-treating events (trunk-or-treats) to ensure children can enjoy Halloween without fear.

Check out the video below from Dark Case Documentaries for even more on this horrific Halloween murder in Texas.

13 Safety Tips For Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters

While out trick-or-treating this Halloween it's important to keep safety in mind. Here are some safety tips for those going trick-or-treating or for anyone who might be traveling in neighborhoods this Halloween.

Gallery Credit: Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

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