We don’t put much stock in Halloween anymore. It’s fun for kids and a fine time to snuggle up for a scary movie, but the truly scary aspects climbed on a ship with our silliest superstitions and sailed for Valinor long ago. But witches and ghouls aren’t the only haunts of a hallowed eve. Some nights will make monsters of men, and whether by chance or design, these monsters chose the Halloween season to bring their evil to light.
Number 13. Poisoned Halloween candy.
People purposely poisoning strangers’ Halloween candy is mostly the stuff of urban legend, but this 1974 case in Deer Park, Texas involves a father who laced his son’s Pixy Stix with cyanide with the intent to kill him so he could collect on an insurance policy. The father, Ronald Clark O’Bryan, had fallen deeply into debt, so he decided to claw his way out of his self-inflicted money hole by murdering his son. He purchased potassium cyanide, sprinkled it inside five Pixy Stix straws, crudely stapled them all shut, and handed them out to his son, daughter, and three other neighbourhood kids. To avoid suspicion, his plot was to kill them all and blame a neighbour.
After trick-or-treating, O’Bryan’s 11-year-old son Timothy, apparently at his father’s urging, swallowed the Pixy Stix powder and complained that it tasted bitter. He soon began vomiting uncontrollably and was dead before reaching the hospital. O’Bryan was found guilty of murder and died via lethal injection. He subsequently earned the sobriquets “The Candy Man” and “The Man Who Killed Halloween.”
Number 12. Roommate Murders.
Late on Halloween night 2004, roommates Leslie Mazzara, Adriane Insogna, and Lauren Meanza went to bed after handing out candy. Meanza was woken up at 1 AM by the sounds of a scuffle. Not knowing what was happening, she ran in terror from the house and hid in the backyard, watching an assailant climb out of a window. When the coast was clear, she ran back upstairs and found both of her roommates butchered.
In the course of the investigation, FBI agents found cigarette butts near the scene of the crime that matched blood evidence inside the house but found no known matches in any DNA databases. Officers and FBI agents spoke to nearly 1500 persons of interest during the investigation of the double murder including one of Insogna’s friends, Lily Prudhome. Her husband, Eric Copple, became a person of extreme interest during the investigation when he refused to give a DNA sample to exclude him from the suspect pool. Nearly a year after the commission of the crime, Copple turned himself in and confessed to the deaths of his wife’s friends while giving no motive for the execution of his crime.
If the nature of the murders wasn’t heinous enough, consider the fact that Copple was, at the time of the murders, only engaged to the friend of one of his victims and carried on with the wedding thinking his crimes would not be tied to him.
Number 11. Liske Family Murders.
Like any given Sunday, Devon Griffin woke up early to go to church on October 31, 2010. He was staying the weekend at his father’s house, and before church, he stopped by his mother’s to grab a shirt to change into. It was about 9:30 AM and the only person he saw around was his stepbrother, BJ Liske. BJ greeted Devon cheerfully and asked how long he’d be gone. A question that struck Devon as odd, since he and BJ didn’t get along and never talked much.
After church, Devon went back home and played video games for a while. BJ seemed to have disappeared, and the house was uncharacteristically quiet. Figuring he ought to go wake everyone up. Devon went to the master bedroom and saw that his mother was still in bed with her husband, William Liske. The blanket was over their heads as if they were trying to shut out the afternoon light. Devon started talking, hoping to rouse her, and when he got no response, he pulled the cover down.
Police were all over the house within hours. Devon had inadvertently uncovered a murder scene. Sometime early that morning, 24-year-old William Liske Jr., whom the family called BJ, had shot his father in the head five times. Then he turned the gun on his stepmom before beating his stepbrother to death with a claw hammer.
BJ was picked up by police at the family cabin and taken into custody. He was found guilty of the three murders and sentenced to life in prison.
Number 10. The Hanging Woman.
For hours, motorists simply drove past the woman hanging from the tree. She was hard to miss, dangling 4.5 meters almost directly over the road but considering the season, they just assumed it was another morbid decoration. It was four days before Halloween, and Frederica, Delaware, was littered with glowing jack-o-lantern, stuffed witches, and plastic skeletons.
This body, however, was real. The Police were called to the scene hours after the woman was first seen, and it’s likely that she had been hanging there all night. Police only revealed that the woman was 42 years old, and it looked like she’d hanged herself.
This isn’t the last time a Halloween hanging has been disregarded as decor. In 2015, a woman in Ohio was hanging from a fence for hours before anyone mustered up the curiosity to see whether or not she was actually a real person.
Number 9. The East Coast Rapist.
On the night of October 31, 2009, three teenage girls were hauling bags of candy through a quiet suburb in Woodbridge, Virginia. Just north of them, in Arlington County, a man named Aaron Thomas was climbing into a yellow Chrysler 300 sedan. In his pocket was a cigarette lighter shaped like a 9-mm semiautomatic.
Thomas had once lived in Woodbridge. He’d shared a small fixer-upper with a woman named Jewell Hicks and her young son, whom he raised as his own. The relationship didn’t work out, but they’d remained friends. In fact, Hicks was the reason Thomas was in town that Halloween. He was helping her move out, and it was her car he was driving. Thomas set out that night to buy a new shirt, but he soon found himself cruising by their old house, lost in the memories.
He spotted the three teenage girls trick-or-treating. It was raining. It was getting dark. The girls were alone. Thomas parked the car. Before the girls knew what was happening, Thomas was pointing the fake gun at them and forcing them into a wooded back lot behind a CVS pharmacy, where a steep slope took them to the bottom of a rain-drenched ravine. Thomas ordered the girls to line up and lie down.
One of the girls later said, “I was praying. I thought that was it. I thought I was going to die.” Another girl managed to send a heart-stopping text to her mother which read. “Man raping my friend in the woods behind CVS call 911.” Then she dialled 911 herself. Thomas was too busy to notice. Police converged on the site within minutes, sending Thomas fleeing into the woods. He tossed the lighter away, doubled back in a wide circle, and then calmly walked past a dozen police officer to his car in the CVS parking lot and drove away.
From 1997 to 2009, families in New England had a reason to lock their doors at night, although they didn’t know it. For those 12 years, Aaron Thomas, soon to be dubbed the “East Coast Rapist,” had been abducting and raping women from Virginia to Rhode Island. The Halloween abduction sparked a massive manhunt, but it still took two more years and an anonymous tip before police tracked Thomas down. They were able to link his DNA to 13 unsolved rape cases, although he’s admitted to raping many more than that. In 2013, Aaron Thomas received three life terms plus 80 years, and in 2015 he pleaded guilty to three more charges and received three additional life sentences.
Number 8. Death of Yoshihiro Hattori.
Yoshihiro Hattori was a Japanese exchange student living in Baton Rouge as part of the American Field Service program. On Halloween night 1992, Hattori and the young son of his host family went to a Halloween party for AFS students. Unfamiliar with the neighbourhood where the party was, the boys rang the doorbell of the wrong house.
When they got no answer, they started walking back to their car. The owner of the home, Rodney Peairs, then opened the door armed with a 44 Magnum revolver. Hattori turned around and said, “we’re here for the party.” Claiming he feared for his life and that the exchange student was “scary,” Peairs shot Hattori at point blank range, hitting him in the chest and killing him.
Peairs and his wife then went back into their house and waited 40 minutes for the police, who questioned him and let him go. Only when both the governor of Louisiana and the Japanese consulate got involved was Peairs actually arrested, after which he was acquitted of manslaughter.
Number 7. Murder of Martha Moxley.
Greenwich, Connecticut, isn’t a place you’d expect to find a body. It’s one of the wealthiest burgs in the States, the place where Bush Sr. played as a boy and where a solid dozen US senators are raising their own kids. But in 1975, amid the sprawling estates, multimillion-dollar mansions, and manicured lawns, the blood-soaked body of 15-year-old Martha Moxley was found on a cold Halloween morning.
The discovery shocked the town. Martha had been beaten with a golf club so hard that the club had shattered, and then she’d been stabbed in the neck with one of the jagged pieces. Then, her killer had dragged her 24 meters and dropped her off in her own backyard. All eyes soon turned to 17-year-old Tommy Skakel, the nephew of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. According to reports, Martha had been out with her friends the night before Halloween, and they had all gone to a party at the Skakels’ house. Tommy had left the party with Martha late at night, but she never made it home, even though their houses were only about 130 meters away.
Although the police had their suspect, they never made a conviction, and the gruesome Greenwich Halloween murder remained a cold case for over 16 years. In 1991, renewed investigations into the Moxley case brought it back into the public eye, but it wasn’t until 1998, 23 years after the young girl’s murder, that a killer was named. According to novelist Dominick Dunne, Michael Skakel, Tommy’s brother had once climbed a tree outside Martha’s window and masturbated. He was infatuated with the girl. And in 2002, Michael Skakel was finally convicted of the murder by a grand jury.
But the story doesn’t end there. Michael Skakel was later granted an appeal, and in 2013, he was released from prison on bail.
Number 6. Death of Chris Jenkins.
Chris Jenkins was a 21-year-old student at the University of Minnesota who was last seen leaving a downtown Minneapolis bar on Halloween night in 2002. Four months later, his body was discovered in the Mississippi River, still wearing his Halloween costume. Since Chris was intoxicated that night and his cause of death appeared to be drowning, authorities initially believed his death was either an accident or suicide.
But his parents refused to believe this and pressed for a more thorough investigation. Finally, in 2006, the death was reclassified as a homicide. Police claimed that an incarcerated suspect told them he was present when Chris was murdered, then thrown off a bridge into the river. While the story is credible, there’s never been enough evidence to file charges. However, one possible theory is that Chris Jenkins could have been a victim in the mysterious and unsolved “Smiley Face Murders.”
These bizarre killings involved approximately 40 male college students in the United States who all died of drowning. In some of these cases, unexplained “smiley face” graffiti was found near the body of water where the victims turned up. While no “smiley face” graffiti was ever found in connection to Chris Jenkins’s death, the scenario does have a number of similarities to these killings. As for the case, it still remains unsolved.
Number 5. The disappearance of Cindy Song.
Penn State grad student Cindy Song disappeared after leaving a party on Halloween night, 2001. She’d been dropped off at her apartment and had gone inside, but nobody saw her after that, and no trace of her has ever been found. The case has taken a number of bizarre twists, and for a while, the investigation focused on a man named Hugo Marcus Selenski.
Selenski had been arrested after five corpses were found in his backyard. A police informant linked Selenski and another man to Cindy, claiming the duo had kidnapped, raped, and murdered her. To make things even weirder, the other man named in the kidnapping was found dead in Selenski’s backyard. More bodies have been found there, but none have been proven to be Cindy, and the case remains open.
Number 4. Killer Preacher.
Although John D. White previously served separate prison sentences for stabbing one woman and murdering another was paroled and became the pastor of a small Michigan church. Living in a trailer park, he became romantically involved with a female resident a few trailers down and would frequently babysit the woman’s three-year-old grandson.
On Halloween night 2012 while the three-year-old boy was in the trailer White knocked the boy’s mother out with a rubber mallet and strangled her to death with a plastic zip tie. He stuffed her in a garbage bag and dumped her in the woods. Then he returned to the trailer and dressed the boy in a Halloween costume, whereupon the boy’s father came by to pick him up.
After being arrested for murder, White told police his crime was part of a lingering fantasy to have sex with a corpse, but that he’d “forgot” whether or not he completed that act.
Number 3. Teen Rape’s Nun.
From all available evidence, Johnny Lee Garrett endured a brutal childhood of physical torture and sexual abuse that rendered him psychotic and brain-damaged. After examining him, one psychologist said that Garrett’s life story was one of the most virulent histories of abuse and neglect. He had have encountered in his 28 years of practice.
In 1981 when Garrett was 17, a 76-year-old nun in Amarillo, Texas was raped and stabbed to death in the early morning hours of Halloween. Garrett’s fingerprints were found on her headboard.
Garrett later denied murdering her and instead claimed to have burglarized the convent a few days before Halloween. Still, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Although it seemed like an open-and-shut case, details emerged that cast doubt on Garrett’s culpability. Such details include a prosecutor who wound up killing himself, a forensic investigator who was convicted of falsifying evidence in multiple cases, and a convicted murderer who told police that he was the one who’d raped and killed the nun. The doubt was so formidable that even the Pope petitioned the Texas governor not to execute Garrett for the nun’s murder. But after a brief reprieve, Garrett was executed in 1992.
Number 2. Tool Box Killers.
Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris were known as the “Tool Box Killers” because they routinely employed implements such as pliers and hammers in their unconscionably vicious series of kidnapping, rapes, tortures, murders of five teenage California girls in 1979.
The last of these murders, that of 16-year-old Shirley Ledford, occurred after they spotted Ledford hitchhiking home from a Halloween party. They picked her up in their van, and over the course of hours, they bound and gagged her, smashed her elbow repeatedly with a hammer, sodomized her with pliers, and finally strangled her to death with a wire coat hanger before dumping her on a random front lawn.
During the course of Ledford’’ murder, they tape-recorded themselves taunting her while she screamed for mercy.
Number 1. Serial killer.
Like many males who grow up to be killers, Richard Biegenwald had a childhood stuffed to the gills with beatings and trauma. Very early on, he also displayed psychotic behaviour of his own. At five, he set fire to the family house. He was drinking at age eight. At nine, he received electroshock therapy. At eleven, he attempted to set himself on fire.
One of his estimated five murders occurred on Halloween night in 1981. Seventeen-year-old Maria Ciallella of Brick, NJ had been out trick-or-treating late at night. Shortly after midnight, a patrolman spotted her walking alone on Route 88 in the direction of her house. Around 10 minutes later he had turned around back to offer her a ride, but she was already gone. Her corpse was later found chopped into three pieces and buried in the yard of Biegenwald’s mother’s house on Staten Island.
Well Thats it for this list. Hope you enjoyed watching this as much as we enjoyed making this. Always Remeber Halloween can be a fun holiday but it can also be a dark place. Happy Halloween everybody. Stay Safe!