Halloween is a day famed for the festivity and celebration of the otherworldly beings of our dreams and nightmares. Children are dressed up in costumes and parade their neighborhood streets for candy in the company of their friends and family. Halloween, from a child’s perspective, is a day of good whimsy and fun that will lead to a probably sugar crash in the early hours of the night.

Though to many, Halloween is a time of fun and games, crime rates on October 31 of every year crime rates sore by at least 17% according to CBS news. Every crime from break-in to murder seems to have a spooky correlation to this day of deviance.
In 1957, the famous ‘Trick-or-Treat’ murder took place in Los Angeles. Peter Fabiano opened the door to what he assumed would be a trick-or-treater but instead was greeted with an adult dressed in a Halloween costume clutching a paper bag. The masked assailant promptly shot Fabiano and ran leaving Fabiano’s wife to find her husband’s dying body. After weeks of trying to figure out who would take issue with a quiet marine and upstanding citizen, the police figured out that the culprit was the female lover that Mrs. Fabiano had grown intimate with during a difficult time in their marriage. Joan Rebal, a divorced free-lance photographer that worked at the Fabianos’ Salons devised a plan to murder Peter Fabiano months after her relationship was terminated with Mrs. Fabiano per the reconciliation of her marriage. Rebal seduced a woman named Goldyne Pizer and coaxed her to commit the crime so that Rebal could keep her fingers clean. The whimsical use of Halloween to carry out a lover’s revenge illuminates the spooky and twisted air that Halloween creates.

Another chilling Murder took place in 2002, Chris Jenkins a 21-year-old college student in Minneapolis was kicked out of a bar Halloween night with no phone, jacket, or wallet in sub 20-degree weather wearing only a native American costume. No one knows what happened to Chris that night, his body was discovered four months later in the Mississippi river floating on his back with his arms crossed against his chest and his costume still tucked in. Chris also had a fist full of hair in his left hand and GHP in his system. It has been theorized that his murder may be tied to the smiley face murder in which the assailant drowned college-aged men in bodies of water and left smiley faces near some of the crimes. However, no smiley face was found near Chris’s body and his case remains unsolved and open to this day.

One of the most famous and twisted murders of all the creepy Halloween murders was the ‘Candy Man’ murders of Houston Texas. Ronald Clark O’Bryan, a father of two was out supervising his children and some of their friends while trick-or-treating on Halloween. O’Bryan gave both of his children and a few other children from the neighborhood pixy sticks and told them he had received the candy from one of the houses down the street That night O’Bryan encouraged his, Timothy, to eat the pixy stick before bed. Timothy stopped after one taste saying it tasted gross and proceeded to wash his mouth out and then go to sleep. Timothy woke up in screaming agony and violently vomiting before going limp and in his fathers’ arms. An autopsy showed enough cyanide in Timothy’s system to kill three grown men and that it originated from the pixy stick. After much investigation, the house which O’Bryan claimed he had received the pixy sticks from was the residence of a man who had a solid alibi as to where he was Halloween night. As that avenue closed, investigators began to take a closer look at O’Bryan himself and discovered that he had lost his house, his job, he was on the verge of losing his car, he was $100,000 in debt, and he had just taken out two $60,000 life insurance policies on his children. Ronald Clark O’Bryan was arrested and found guilty for the murder of his son and was eventually executed for his crimes.

The artistic whimsy of Halloween and the dark but playful undertones of festivities and costumes seem to provide the perfect mask for deviance and horrors that extend beyond witches and ghouls. Crime rates sore as many Americans remain unsuspecting and unalarmed. Many people are so focused on the festivities and the entertainment of the parties and bright clothes and candies, that darkness can slip right past each person and no one is suspects any issue to take place

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Taylor York

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