When it comes to murder weapons or freak accidents, we do not usually look for suspects in a candy dish or bakery. Chocolate, caramel apples, and bubble gum seem so harmless.
However, throughout the years, some of the most horrific and shocking deaths can be traced back to candy and other fateful dessert choices. From the Candyman Murders of 1974 to India’s recent toxin outbreak, these ten shockingly dangerous sweets show just how dangerous our favorite desserts can be
10. Pesticide Pastries
In 2016, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, a family prepared to celebrate the newest addition to their family. Following the birth of a happy and healthy little boy, an ecstatic father rushed to a bakery to purchase an assortment of tasty “laddoo,” sweet, ball-shaped pastries, in honor of his son’s arrival. It never occurred to him that he was unconsciously sentencing himself and 11 close family members to death.
Unbeknownst to the father and fellow customers, the pesticide shop next door to the bakery was undergoing construction and renovations. Oddly, the owner of the bakery graciously offered to store some packaged pesticides for the neighboring poison shop until the construction ended. Although full explanations are still unclear, officials are certain that some of this poison “mysteriously” found its way into the pastries.
The pastry shop owners and an employee were arrested on suspicion of knowingly poisoning their customers. Over 70 people became seriously ill from these deadly pastries. Out of these 70 victims, 23 died from poisoning. Regardless of whether this poisoning was intentional or not, one thing remains clear, a little Pakistani boy lost his father and family on his birthday.
9. Trick-Or-Treat Murder
Halloween is said to be the perfect time for ghouls and monsters to walk among us. However, under cheap, plastic masks, some real monsters lurk—often much closer than we think.
In 1974, in a quiet Pasadena neighborhood, 30-year-old Ronald Clark O’Bryan lurked under the best disguise of all—a friendly, all-American dad.
On Halloween night, O’Bryan, his wife, and their two children, Timothy and Elizabeth, enjoyed dinner with their close friends, the Bates family. The children rushed through dinner and eagerly prepared for an exciting night trick-or-treating. Armed with costumes, candy pails, and their fatherly escorts, the group took off for a fateful night.
After the children tried and failed to gain candy from a discouraging, vacant house, Jim Bates ushered the children back to the sidewalk in search of a new target. After lagging behind the group for several minutes, O’Brian suddenly reappeared with a fistful of giant Pixy Stix. The children’s eyes grew wide at 22 inches of sugary wonder as O’Brian explained that the “rich neighbors” finally decided to give out the “expensive treats.”
Later that evening, O’Brian’s son, little eight-year-old Timothy, began complaining of stomach pain. Before the night ended, the little boy became violently ill with vomiting and was in excruciating pain. He was dead by morning.
Although O’Brian managed to put on a false mask of shock and horror over his son’s death, a prompt autopsy of Timothy’s body revealed a horrifying level of cyanide—enough to kill three adults. Police launched an investigation and managed to find one of the deadly Pixy Stix for examination.
It was not long before justice revealed the depths of O’Brian’s deception and depravity. A temptingly large insurance policy of $60,000 prompted the father to kill his son in hopes of gaining enough money to rescue him from past financial struggles. The jury found O’Brian guilty of murder with a death penalty to be carried out on March 31, 1984. Protestors outside the prison shouted “trick-or-treat!” as the father met his end.