National: The Low-Down On Candy Tampering

It’s not exactly restaurant-related, but we were still fascinated by the howstuffworks article linked on Cold Mud today, detailing the history of why we’re so terrified of strangers poisoning our children’s Halloween candy. Did you know most such cases turned out to be frauds, perpetrated by the parents themselves? Disturbing:

There have been at least two confirmed deaths linked to tainted Halloween candy, but strangers didn’t cause them. In a 1970 case, family members sprinkled a 5-year-old child’s candy with heroin to hide the fact that he’d gotten into his uncle’s drug stash. In the other case, which occurred in 1974, a man named Ronald Clark O’Bryan of Houston, Texas, laced his son’s candy with cyanide and the child died. The motive was a big insurance policy that O’Bryan had taken out on his son. To make the poisoning appear random, O’Bryan also poisoned his daughter’s candy and the candy of three other children. None of them ate it, however. He was eventually convicted of murder and died by lethal injection.

So if you want your child to stay safe while trick-or-treating this year, you should definitely inspect his or her haul, just for good measure, but above all, Don’t poison the candy yourself. We cannot stress this enough. If you do both those things, chances are almost certain your child will have a safe Halloween, free of tainted candy. Note, we said almost certain. This whole thing still involves taking candy from strangers, so, you know, be careful.

How often does Halloween candy tampering really happen?

[Photo: Via rochelle et. al./flickr]

National: The Low-Down On Candy Tampering