The Scarecast Files #4: The Man Who Ruined Trick-Or-Treating (Ronald Clark O'Bryan)

Season 8
20m | Nov 1, 2023

On Halloween night in 1974, in Deer Park, Texas, seemed like any other Halloween night... Ronald Clark O'Bryan, along with his children and several neighbors, embarked on a trick-or-treating adventure. They encountered a darkened house, its porch lights extinguished, but Ronald insisted they knocked on the door for treats. Impatient, the group left after no one answered, but Ronald stayed behind, claiming to have received some expensive Pixy Stix candies. That evening, he allowed his eight-year-old son, Timothy, to have one, which tragically led to the child's vomiting and convulsions. Rushing Timothy to the hospital proved futile, as the young boy passed away within an hour after consuming the candy.

Investigators suspected foul play and discovered that the Pixy Stix candy was laced with enough cyanide to end two adult males. Suspicion fell on Ronald, as the homeowner of the house he claimed to get the candy from had a solid alibi, as he worked at the airport. Further investigation revealed Ronald's financial troubles and the multiple life insurance policies he took out on his children that same year. It became evident that he had plotted to poison the candies, framing an innocent stranger to secure a hefty insurance payout. Ronald was ultimately sentenced to death, receiving a lethal injection on March 31, 1984. For the complete story, listen to The Scarecast podcast.


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