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Ronald Clark O'Bryan (nicknamed The Candyman) (October 19, 1944 – March 31, 1984) was a murderer from Deer Park in the U.S. state of Texas who killed his eight-year-old son Timothy on Halloween, 1974 with cyanide-laced candy in order to claim life insurance money. He had also distributed poisoned candy to other children (none of whom ate it) in an attempt to cover up his crime. O'Bryan had recently taken out a life insurance policy on each of his children, Timothy and Elizabeth. Elizabeth did not eat any of the tainted candy.

He was executed on March 31, 1984, by lethal injection. His last statement was:

"What is about to transpire in a few moments is wrong! However, we as human beings do make mistakes and errors. This execution is one of those wrongs yet doesn’t mean our whole system of justice is wrong.
Therefore, I would forgive all who have taken part in any way in my death. Also, to anyone I have offended in any way during my 39 years, I pray and ask your forgiveness, just as I forgive anyone who offended me in any way. And I pray and ask God’s forgiveness for all of us respectively as human beings.
To my loved ones, I extend my undying love.To those close to me, know in your hearts I love you one and all. God bless you all and may God’s best blessings be always yours.
Ronald C. O’Bryan
P.S. During my time here, I have been treated well by all T.D.C. personnel."

After O'Bryan's crimes became public, Halloween safety programs were implemented in Deer Park, teaching parents methods for evaluating the safety of door-to-door treats by visual inspection.

During the execution, a crowd of college students wearing Halloween masks showed up to cheer. [1]

The musical group Siouxsie & the Banshees recorded a song about O'Bryan called "Candyman," the first track on their album Tinderbox.

See also


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