The Man Who Ruined Halloween

The Man Who Ruined Halloween

There are 38 comments on the Markgribben.com story from Sep 30, 2009, titled The Man Who Ruined Halloween. In it, Markgribben.com reports that:

From a purely statistical perspective, we should not be shocked when a parent kills a child.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Markgribben.com.

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Publius Publico

United States

#1 Oct 5, 2009
Partial,from the link (above): http://markgribben.com/...

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Halloween night 1974 was cool and rainy in Deer Park but though the drizzle may have required the witches and fairies and pirates prowling the suburban streets to wear raincoats, it did not diminish the excitement of the evening.
Jim Bates, a close friend of O’Bryan’s arranged the night’s festivities. The Bateses and O’Bryans started off with a dinner of pork roast and lima beans and then the two fathers gathered flashlights and raincoats to take the children — Timothy and his younger sister, and Bates’s 9- and 11-year-old kids — trick or treating.
Pixy Stix Candy“The children were very excited,” Bates recalled later.“They were running from door to door. They would shout ‘trick or treat!’ There wasn’t really any tricking…They were enjoying it so much.”
Toward the end of the adventure the children went up to a dark house but received no response. Bates said he watched them run from the porch to the next house. After a brief pause, O’Bryan stepped down from the porch, holding purple and white plastic tubes.
“You must have rich neighbors,” he said to Bates.“Look what they gave out.”
O’Bryan showed the giant Pixy Stix to the children, but kept them in his hand until the troop reached the Bates home. He put the candy on a coffee table — there were five of them, Bates recalled.
“He handed one to me, one to my brother, and one to each of his children and there was one left,” Bates’s daughter testified at O’Bryan’s trial.“The doorbell rang and there were some trick or treaters.”
O’Bryan handed out the extra Pixy Stix to one of them.
“I came within just a whisker of losing both of my children,” Bates testified.
After the evening’s adventure was over, Bates’s son took a bath and then told his mother that he was going to enjoy the Pixy Stix.
“No you’re not,” his mother replied.“I don’t want it all over the house. That’s an outside candy.”
The random child who was given the fifth Pixy Stix also dodged death by twist of fate.
The boy’s father related how his son had come downstairs at ten minutes before nine and went into the kitchen in search of a knife to open the Pixy Stix.
“His bedtime was 9 o’clock that night because of school the following day,” his father said.“I told him that he couldn’t have it because it was too late. He went back upstairs and set it with the rest of his candy.”
Over at the duplex where the O’Bryans lived, the children were allowed to choose one candy to eat before going to bed. Timothy chose the Pixy Stix.
O’Bryan helped Timothy open the Pixy Stix and watched as the boy poured some of the cyanide-laced candy into his mouth.
Cyanide MoleculeTimothy then complained that the candy had “hardened” and that no more would come out. O’Bryan took the plastic tube and rolled it between his hands, loosening the candy. Then, according to his first statement to police, he “poured it down the child.”
Timothy quickly complained about the bitter taste of the candy and was given some Kool Aid. Shortly after, he vomited and then went into convulsions. An ambulance was called and Timothy was taken to the hospital where he died.

“Candor for the few”

Since: Nov 08

Deer Park

#2 Oct 5, 2009
This is also a lesson of how mass hysteria can play upon the populace, as a large majority of parents stopped allowing their children to go out trick or treating for many years, following the horrific actions of this man upon his own children.

Of course, such things, sometimes bring out the copy-cat endeavors of other miscreants in society, but such actions are not as common as some might believe, although these things have always existed.

As I also remember, as a child, our parents taught us to always examine our goodies, candy and apples, very carefully. We heard the stories of razor blades being inserted into apples and straight pins into candy bars, therefore my siblings and I would pour out our loot upon the floor and sit there looking at each piece for any evidence of tampering... but, never did we find any problem with our treasures, lest it be a stomach ache from over-indulgence.

So, as we hear of such things, in addition to child molestation, etc., we should keep in mind, that while it sometimes seems that things may have been different in the past, it's unlikely that it's more prevalent today than it ever has been... we are just more likely to hear about it, as the technology of mass media has made it easier to report these incidents, which brings forth more alarm than may be necessary for the majority.

As we might also keep in mind, as the article pointed out, most such actions are likely committed by someone close to the child, rather than a stranger.

By the same token, there is no way that you can protect yourself or your children from all of the potential problems in the world, but you should not live in a cocoon, as you will only miss out in the many things that life has to offer.

So, don't be afraid to let your kids go out and have fun... of course, trick or treating is one of those memories that they will always enjoy reflecting upon, as they look back on their own life.
DP Cassie

Houston, TX

#3 Oct 5, 2009
I remember all of the TV stations televised Timothy's funeral. OBryan gave the eulogy. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye anywhere. What a shock it was when he was charged with his son's murder two days later.
mkesk

United States

#4 Oct 6, 2009
I did some research on this last Halloween and everywhere I saw said he was from Pasadena. Does anyone have the actual address that this happened at?

Also, I was born the year before all of this and remember going to the hospital to x-ray my candy and also not trick or treating for years. I'm glad that trick or treating is back in abundance in Deer Park and that one man didn't ruin it for all.
Publius Publico

Houston, TX

#5 Oct 6, 2009
mkesk wrote:
I did some research on this last Halloween and everywhere I saw said he was from Pasadena. Does anyone have the actual address that this happened at?
Also, I was born the year before all of this and remember going to the hospital to x-ray my candy and also not trick or treating for years. I'm glad that trick or treating is back in abundance in Deer Park and that one man didn't ruin it for all.
It was at the Parktown Townhouses.
DPSince75

United States

#6 Oct 6, 2009
Publius Publico wrote:
<quoted text>
It was at the Parktown Townhouses.
The victim/incident happened there, but Mr. O'Brien lived off of Alabama St., next to the new Diamond Shamrock across the street from Hobby Lobby.
Otto

United States

#7 Oct 6, 2009
try Donerail in Pasadena
mkesk

United States

#8 Oct 6, 2009
so the kid got the candy in Parktown and he lived off Donerail?
Otto

United States

#9 Oct 6, 2009
mkesk wrote:
so the kid got the candy in Parktown and he lived off Donerail?
No it was at a friends home on Donerail.
The O'Bryan family had spent Halloween 1974 at a friend's home in Pasadena, where Ronald O'Bryan volunteered to escort the children on their candy-collecting rounds.

“Candor for the few”

Since: Nov 08

Deer Park

#10 Oct 6, 2009
mkesk wrote:
so the kid got the candy in Parktown and he lived off Donerail?
YES. Keep in mind, this area is also part of DPISD and as the article also indicated, the two men were friends. O'Bryan took his kids to his friends house for dinner, before the men took them out trick or treating, in his friend's neighborhood. In addition, the kid did NOT get the candy from ANYONE in Parktown... they got it from O'Bryan.
mkesk

United States

#11 Oct 6, 2009
DPTX is making it even more confusing....

He got the candy, via his dad, at the friend's house on Donerail. They went back home to Parktown and the kid ate the Pixy Stix. Got sick, and then died at either Bayshore or Southmore Hospital. Or Pasadena General since it was back in the 70's.
weegi

United States

#12 Oct 6, 2009
Publius Publico wrote:
<quoted text>
It was at the Parktown Townhouses.
I thought it was Parktown also. The side with the swimming pool.
mkesk

United States

#13 Oct 6, 2009
found this on the net from a few years ago...

Ronald Clark's son, Timothy O'Bryan, was my friend when he was murdered. We played together everyday...

We lived in Parktown Townhomes, in Deer Park. Our house number was 762, and his was whatever was across the courtyard. I never really trusted adults again after that. Never Trick-or-Treated again either. Ronald always gave me the creeps, even as a yound kid.

Ronald Clark was (I believe) the third execution in Texas after the death penalty was reinstated, and always denied killing Timothy.

“Candor for the few”

Since: Nov 08

Deer Park

#14 Oct 6, 2009
mkesk wrote:
DPTX is making it even more confusing....
He got the candy, via his dad, at the friend's house on Donerail. They went back home to Parktown and the kid ate the Pixy Stix. Got sick, and then died at either Bayshore or Southmore Hospital. Or Pasadena General since it was back in the 70's.
Are you kidding me? Are you really having trouble understanding what happened? Did you read the article in the post or even the post itself?

1. O'Bryan lived on Donerail
2. His friend, Bates, lived in Deer Park.
3. O'Bryan took his kids to Bates house (in DP) for dinner and trick or treating.
4. O'Bryan had the cyanide lace candy on him.
5. As the kids left a house (no one answered the door), O'Bryan went to the porch and then "CLAIMED" to have gotten the candy at that house.
6. He didn't even give it to the kids until they got back to Bates' house.

O'Bryan poisoned his OWN SON with candy the HE gave to the kids! That's why O'Bryan was found guilty and put to death!

It's NOT that hard to understand... well, for most people.
Publius Publico

Katy, TX

#15 Oct 6, 2009
weegi wrote:
<quoted text>
I thought it was Parktown also. The side with the swimming pool.
That's right, Parktown West. I was a teenager and did some work painting apartments for Parktown to earn some spending $. I knew the managers, one of them lived just across from me,that night she knocked on my window and yelled that we had to notify everyone in the complex not to eat candy, so a group of us ( I confiscated my six year old brother's candy first) went knocking on doors.
weegi

United States

#16 Oct 6, 2009
Publius Publico wrote:
<quoted text>
That's right, Parktown West. I was a teenager and did some work painting apartments for Parktown to earn some spending $. I knew the managers, one of them lived just across from me,that night she knocked on my window and yelled that we had to notify everyone in the complex not to eat candy, so a group of us ( I confiscated my six year old brother's candy first) went knocking on doors.
I too lived in Parktown when this happened. I was in junior high and a bunch of us junior high kids that lived in Parktown went out and about the apartments that night.
DP Cassie

United States

#17 Oct 6, 2009
I have a friend that attended the 2nd Baptist Church in Pasadena during the 70's. O"Bryan was his yourh advisor.
mkesk

United States

#18 Oct 7, 2009
DPTX wrote:
<quoted text>blah, blah, blah
I still think you got the addresses wrong. According to everywhere the O'Bryan's lived in Parktown and the friend lived in Pasadena off Donerail. But I'm not going to sit and argue with you about it.
just curious

Spring, TX

#19 Oct 7, 2009
does it really matter who lived where? bottom line, a boy died that night. at his father's "hand"
ConcernedMommio

Kountze, TX

#20 Oct 8, 2009
I just read this story...how sad. I didn't live here then.

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