Who Was The Candy Man?

Who Was The Candy Man?

Susan Fleshman

The Background:
When someone says “The candy man” we automatically think of the movie starring Tony Todd, and Virginia Madsen. But what if I told you that there was a real killer candy man back in 1974. His name was Ronald Clark O’Brian, and he certainly took the name “Killer Candy Man.”

Ronald Clark O’Brian, was born on October 19, 1944. He lived in Deer Park Texas, with his at the time wife Daynene, and his children Timothy, and Elizabeth. He had a job at the time working as an optician at Texas State Optical in Sharpstown, Houston. Along with working as a Deacon at the Second Baptist Church, he sang in the choir and also ran a local bus program for the church.

The Tragedy:
On the night of Halloween October 31, 1974, Ronald took his 8 year old son Timothy Marc O’Brian, his 5 year old daughter Elizabeth O’Brian, and 3 other kids trick or treating. T the end of the night Ronald had given all 5 kids a pixie stick which he claimed was at a house they knocked at. After getting home late that night, Ronald said Timothy was over the moon about all his candy and was begging to have a piece before bed. Ronald agreed and Timothy picked a pixie stick and Elizabeth picked a different type of candy. Ronald said that Timothy had a difficult time getting the powder out of the packet and Ronald said he helped Timothy loosen the powder up. After Timothy ate the candy he stated that it tasted bitter and Ronald gave him kool aid to wash it down. Not even a minute later Timothy said his stomach was hurting and he ran to the bathroom and started vomiting and convulsing. Ronald said that a few minutes later Timothy went limp in his arms. Ambulance was called, but Timothy died on route to the hospital not even an hour after eating the candy.

After Timothy’s death parents in the community began going frantic and checking candy religiously. Police Investigators told everyone to turn in their candy to them, which the parents did. The police checked every piece and found that the only candy that had been tampered with was the pixie sticks. Authorities found that all of the pixie sticks contained potassium cyanide.

According to google, potassium cyanide is “A very poisonous crystalline salt KCN used especially in gold and silver extraction from ore.”

This is what digested Timothy’s esophagus and killed him. But thankfully none of the other kids including Elizabeth O’Brian consumed the poison, and they were okay. But when parents of one of the five children heard this they panicked when they could not locate the candy. They rushed upstairs to find their son sleeping and holding the unconsumed pixie stick; he couldn’t open it due to the stable that reclosed it. According to authorities all of the pixie sticks were opened at the top 2 inches (51mm) and refilled with potassium cyanide powder, then resealed with a staple. A pathologist who tested the candy said that the pixie stick consumed by Timothy, had enough potassium cyanide to kill 2 adults. While the other 4 had enough to kill 3 to 4 adults.

Motive And Trial:
After Timothy’s death Ronald was one of the first ones questioned. When authorities asked him about the pixie sticks, Ronald said that they went to a house that did not have its porch light on, and when they knocked no one answered so the kids ran off to the next house. Ronald said he waited a few minutes and then the door cracked open and someone who Ronald described as a “Very hairy man’s arm”, reached out and handed him the pixie sticks. The house was owned by a man named Courtney Melvin, Melvin worked as an air traffic controller at William P. Hobby Airport. He didn’t not get off of work till 11 p.m. Halloween night with the proof of a check in and out ticket. Ronald ended up raising on the suspect list as not even a few days after Timothy’s death Ronald went and took insurance out on Timothy. Ronald was 100,000$ in debt, and had taken out 10,000$ life insurance on both of his children, one month before Timothy’s death, Ronald removed another 20,000$ policy on both of his kids. Even though his insurance agent objected to it. Days preceding Timothy’s death, Ronald took out another 20,000 dollars on each child again. After looking closer the authorities realized what Ronald was doing. He was taking life insurance out on both of his kids with the plan to kill them both with the candy.

On November 5th, 1974 Ronald was arrested on murdering his son Timothy and murder attempt on 4 counts. The jury took 71 minutes to convict Ronald to death, not long after his conviction his wife filed for divorce. March 32, 1984, little after midnight Ronald was executed by lethal injection.