There are numerous crimes that take place on Halloween and whether or not there’s a spike in crime on 31st October is debatable. But some crimes are so brutal that it leaves a horrific memory of the past and for some families, Halloween really became horrifying. Forget all the urban legends and ghost stories that you find scary, these cases are real, and they all happened on Halloween.

1. The Man Who Killed Halloween — Poisoned son with a candy

Ronald Clark O’Bryan. (Harris County Police Department)

While poisoned candy or razor blades in apples are either urban legends or moral panics, unfortunately, one incident on Halloween 1974 is completely true. Ronal Clark O’Brayn who later nicknamed Candy Man and The Man Who Killed Halloween, killed his own 8-year-old son with a cyanide-laced Pixy Stix that was ostensibly collected during a trick or treat outing.

O’Brayn was in a huge debt of around $100,000 ($523,559 of now) for which he thought of this cruel plan of killing his own son, to collect the insurance money and save himself from the debt. He bought some potassium cyanide, sprinkled it inside five Pixy Stix Straws, and stapled each one of it, before handing over it to his own son, his daughter, and 3 other neighborhood kids. As it was not enough, he tried killing 3 other kids, to avoid any suspicion on himself, and so neighbors could be blamed.


Although other kids including his own daughter didn’t eat the poisoned candy, O’Bryan’s son, Timothy, wasn’t that lucky. After trick-or-treating, Timothy, on his father’s urging ate the candy and soon started vomiting uncontrollably. Timothy O’Bryan died in less than an hour after eating the poisoned candy, while on the route to the hospital.

2. Gruesome Egg Throwing prank

Karl Jackson with his mother on his 21st birthday, a month prior to his death

Karl Jackson, a Bronx resident didn’t know that an argument with pranksters could cost him his life. Jackson was a 21-year-old data entry clerk at Morgan Stanley, who just turned 21 a month before his death. On Halloween night 1998, Jackson and his girlfriend went out to pick up her 9-year-old son from a children’s party. After reaching there, some teenagers from around started egging the car, Jackson stepped out of the car and had an argument with the teenaged pranksters and got back on the passenger seat. Soon, one of the teenagers pulled out a sidearm on Jackson, and shot him on the head, killing Jackson instantly.

3. Man killed girlfriend over missing bag of Halloween candy

Ledell Peoples. (Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

55-year-old Ledell Peoples blamed his girlfriend for stealing the bag of his Halloween treats. A heated argument broke out between the two, and 49-year-old Maria Adams threw a plate, which hit People’s head, near the eye causing a gash. This made People furious, and he eventually stabbed his girlfriend multiple times to death with a kitchen knife.


4. Killed him because he was ‘Scary’

Yoshihiro Hattori
Yoshihiro Hattori (Left). Rodney Peairs (Right)

A Japanese exchange student lost his life just because he knocked on the wrong door.

Yoshihiro Hattori was a Japanese exchange student living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On the night of Halloween 1992, Hattori suited in a white tuxedo in imitation of John Travolta’s character in the film Saturday Night Fever, along with the son of his host family, the two went to attend a party they were invited in for Japanese exchange students.

Unfortunately, they rang the wrong house’s bell. After waiting for a while when no one answered, they turned around and started walking towards their car. Rodney Peairs, the owner of the house then opened the door, armed with a .44 Magnum, Hattori turned around and said “We’re here for the party” before he could say anything further, Peairs shot Hattori in the chest, Hattori died in the ambulance while on route to the hospital. Peairs claimed that the exchange student was ‘Scary’ and he feared his life from him.

Moreover, Peairs claimed that he told the young guys to ‘Freeze’, and that Hattori was holding a camera which ‘looked like’ a firearm.

The news caught media attention, and only after the governor of Lousiana and the Japanese consulate got involved, Peairs was arrested and was accused of manslaughter.

5. The East Coast Rapist

Photo: Woodbridge Police Department/Fair Use

Aaron H. Thomas, who is also known as East Coast Rapist, committed at least 54 crimes. His last crimes before being sentenced for life imprisonment was abduction of three teenage girls, of which 2 were sexually assulted.

Thomas forced three teenage trick-or-treaters on gunpoint and took them to a secluded place, where he tried sexual assault on the two. One of the girls was able to call 911, but Thomas fled before police arrived on the scene.


Thomas was arrested in March 2011, and was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of numerous rapes, sexual assaults, and other crimes he committed.

6. 7 Year Old killed while Trick-or-treating

Who murdered the 7-year-old Tony Bagley is still a mystery and the case remains open till day.

On Halloween of 1994, Tony Bagley, along with his elder sister, mother and aunt headed out for trick-or-treating. Little Tony was dressed up as a skeleton, when a mysterious gunman leaped out of nowhere and opened fire at the family, shooting tony in the head killing him instantly. His holder sister was shot around the liver, mother in the chest, and aunt in the leg, but all three survived. Several years later of Tony’s death, his biological father was arrested and convicted in an unrelated street shooting, he never commented anything about who has killed Tony at that night.

7. The Lesbian Murder Scandal

On Halloween 1957, Los Angeles resident Peter Fabiano had to wake up from the bed, when his wife asked him to turn off the lights, at the same time the doorbell rang. Fabiano thinking it to be someone for trick-or-treating went to open the door and said: “It’s a little late for this isn’t it?”. “No”, the adult at the door replied, rising a brown paper bag, and pulled the trigger from the gun hiding underneath it, shooting Peter near the chest.


The adult was Goldyne Pizer, who appeared at Peter’s home that day, wearing red gloves, face painted along with a mask, and a khaki jacket. As it later turned out, Pizer had no direct connection with Peter. The messed up murder case of Peter Fabiano was conspired by Joan Rabel and Goldyn Pizer. Peter’s wife, Betty earlier shacked up with Rabel, but later reconciled with Peter and moved back in with him. Rabel consumed with jealousy, convinced Pizer to kill Fabiano.

Police arrested Rabel first on suspicion but she was released in lack of evidence, later the murder weapon was discovered from a locker at a departmental store, which led to arrest of the lesbian couple, the two pleaded guilty and served long prison terms.

8. Cigarette brand revealing the killer

Photo: Napa Police Department/Fair Use

It was Halloween 2004, roommates Leslie Mazzara and Adriane Insogna decided to call it a night before handing out candies. Their third roommate, Lauren Meanza was woken up by the noises coming from upstairs. She crept out of her room, quietly. Then came what she described as a “blood curdling, terrified scream” and breaking glass, along with thundering of footsteps overhead coming down the stairs.

Lauren, scared for her life, bolting through the back door and hid in the backyard. After a while when she thought it was safe to come out, rushed back into the house, only to find out Leslie Mazzara facedown, in a pool of her own blood, and Ariane, crouched behind Lesli’s bed, alive but bleeding profusely.

Lauren called 911, but it was too late for Ariane, she died while paramedics tried to stabilize her. Both the victims of an unknown killer were pronounced dead.

The investigation started, FBI agents found cigarette butts near the crime scene that batched blood evidence inside the house, but there were no known DNA matches in any of the databases. Officials spoke to around 1300 people of interest, including one of Insogna’s friend, Lily Prudhomme. But no further leads made in the case.

Around a year later on September 22, 2005, police released a statement saying they had a match on blood DNA evidence from the scene to cigarette butts found outside, and that the cigarette brand was very unusual – Camel Turkish Gold. The statement was released in hopes that it would prompt someone to make a link between the person in their lofe who smoked that particular brand.


To their surprise, just within a week of releasing the statement, Eric Copple, the now-husband of Adriane’s friend Lily Prudhomme, turned himself in for the murders of Leslie Mazzara and Adriane Insogna.

No motive has officially been released by Eric Copple, but he stated that he could barely remember of what happened that night.

9. The Tool Box Killers

tool box killers
Tool Box Killers via Bettmann/Contributor/Bettmann/Getty Images

Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris were two serial killers who are known by the name Tool Box Killers, because of the various instruments used by them to torture and murder their victims such as pliers, ice picks, screwdrivers, items that are stored inside a household toolbox.

Their last victim was a 16-year-old girl, Shirley Ledford, who was hitchhiking home from a Halloween party. She was picked up by two the two in their van, and over the course of hours, they gagged her, smashed her elbow repeatedly with a hammer, sodomized her with pliers, and finally strangling her to death with a wire coat hanger. They dumped her body in a random front lawn and ran. It was later found out that they even tapped recorded Ledford’s torture and murder. Norris was later quoted saying:

We’ve all heard women scream in horror films … still, we know that no one is really screaming. Why? Simply because an actress can’t produce some sounds that convince us that something vile and heinous is happening. If you ever heard that tape, there is just no possible way that you’d not begin crying and trembling. I doubt you could listen to more than a full sixty seconds of it.

10. Serial killer cuts teen into three pieces

Richard Biegenwald
Richard Biegenwald. (New Jersey Department of Corrections)

Richard Biegenwald was an American Serial killers, who, like many others had a troubled childhood. Born in Staten Island, New York, Biegenwald was beaten as a kid by his alcoholic father. At age five, he set their home on fire, and at the age of eight, he started drinking and was involved in gambling. At nine, he received electroshock therapy and at eleven, he attempted to set himself on fire.

On the Halloween night of 1981, 17-year-old Maria Ciallella of Brick, had been out trick-or-treating. She was last sighted by a patrolman, walking alone on Route 88 in the direction of her house. After around 10 minutes later he turned around back to offer her a ride, but she was already gone. Ciallella’s body was later discovered, chopped into three pieces, buried in the yard of Biegenwald’s mother’s house.

Now that you have read about these Gruesome Crimes on a Halloween, you might like reading about these “10 Chilling Messages sent Moments Before Death“. You might also like reading about these “11 Famous People Who Mysteriously Disappeared, never to be found


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