We live in a climate of such fear, but we may have less to fear than any previous generation. Why is that?
We rarely send kids to trick or treat for candy from strangers anymore. The widespread belief being that the candy we’d come home with wouldn’t be fit for consumption. Is this true?
In a case from Detroit, Michigan in 1970, 5-year-old Kevin Toston died four days into a coma that was later found to be caused by an overdose of heroin. Subsequently, heroin was found in his Halloween candy. A thorough investigation revealed that the heroin had not come from a stranger – it had come from his uncle’s obviously poorly hidden stash of heroin. When his family realized that they might be found guilty of neglect, they put some of the heroin in his candy in the hopes of covering up their part in his death. In 1974, 8-year-old Timothy Mark O’Bryan died as a result of consuming Pixie Stix® poisoned with cyanide after Halloween, a crime for which his father was subsequently convicted and executed. His father made use of the myth of Halloween poisonings to cover up his own actions. While these deaths are undeniably tragic, the real danger to the children involved came from their own homes, not faceless strangers.