On a chilling Halloween night in Pasadena, Texas, back in 1974, Ronald O’Bryan took his two children, Timothy and Elizabeth, for a night of trick-or-treating. Little did anyone know that this seemingly innocent evening would spiral into a horrifying tragedy that would grip the community in fear.
The Poisoned Pixy Stix
The night took a dark turn when Timothy O’Bryan consumed a Pixy Stix laced with a fatal dose of potassium cyanide. The aftermath sent shockwaves through the neighborhood, as parents turned in Halloween candy to the police, fearing it might be poisoned. The investigation revealed a sinister plot, uncovering cyanide-laced Pixy Stix intended not only for Timothy but also for other unsuspecting children.
A Father’s Dark Secrets
As the police delved deeper, Ronald O’Bryan’s troubled life came to light. Struggling with substantial debt and a history of job instability, O’Bryan had taken out hefty life insurance policies on his children, raising suspicions of a motive for murder. The revelation of his visit to a chemical supply store for cyanide before Halloween intensified the belief that O’Bryan orchestrated the poisoning to cash in on insurance policies.
The Trial of “The Candyman”
O’Bryan’s trial, beginning on May 5, 1975, garnered national attention, earning him the infamous nickname “The Candyman” from the press. The prosecution presented damning evidence, including O’Bryan’s peculiar interest in cyanide and discussions about its lethal dosage. The jury swiftly found him guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to death.
A Desolate End on Death Row
Confined to the Ellis I Unit near Huntsville, Texas, O’Bryan faced isolation and hatred from fellow inmates for his heinous crime. Multiple execution dates were set, with delays and legal battles prolonging his fate. On March 31, 1984, O’Bryan met his end through lethal injection, leaving behind a chilling legacy.
O’Bryan’s Final Words
In his last moments, O’Bryan expressed remorse, acknowledging the wrongs committed. Outside the prison, a crowd of demonstrators cheered ironically, yelling “Trick or treat!” as the chapter of “The Candyman” closed.