William George Bonin (January 8, 1947 – February 23, 1996) was an American serial killer and twice-paroled sex offender,[1] also known as the Freeway Killer who committed the rape, torture and murder of a minimum of 21 boys and young men in a series of killings between 1979 and 1980 in southern California. Bonin is also suspected of committing a further fifteen murders. He was convicted of 14 of these murders and subsequently executed in 1996.

Bonin became known as the Freeway Killer due to the fact that the majority of his victims’ bodies were discovered alongside numerous freeways in southern California.

Happy Halloween
Pixy Stix Poisoning

Victim: Timothy O’Bryan

Year: 1974

Place: Deer Park, Texas

The Crime: After eating a Pixy Stix candy laced with cyanide, eight-year-old Timothy O’Bryan becomes violently ill and goes into convulsions. He dies within an hour of arriving at the hospital.

Background: Ronald O’Bryan was a seemingly normal family man who’d recently fallen on tough financial times – he’d gone delinquent on a number of loans and had recently been forced to sell the family home in order to try and pay them off. Strangely, however, he’d started telling several friends that he was expecting to come into more money by the end of the year that would improve his financial situation.

Around the same time, Ronald increased the life insurance policies on Timothy (8) and Elizabeth (5), his two young children, and by October 1974 they were up to $30,000 apiece. He also began trying to obtain cyanide, first through his job at Texas State Optical and later at the Curtin Matheson Scientific Company in Houston. After being told they only sold the deadly poison in large quantities, a salesperson directed him to where he could buy a more minimal amount.

On Halloween night, O’Bryan, his wife and his two children went to dinner at the home of the Bates family in a nearby town, after which they planned to take the kids trick-or-treating. O’Bryan offered to accompany the children, and Mr. Bates volunteered to go along too, along with his two children and another adult and child from the neighborhood. During the trick-or-treating expedition, O’Bryan at one point produced five Pixy Stix he said he’d acquired from one of the neighbors and later distributed them amongst his children and the Bates’ two children, as well as one other neighborhood child who came trick-or-treating at the door.

After arriving home, O’Bryan told Timothy and Elizabeth they could have one piece of candy before they went to bed, and allegedly urged them to choose the Pixy Stix. Only Timothy ate the candy and as he swallowed it he complained about its bitter taste. O’Bryan gave his son Kool-Aid to wash it down, and soon thereafter Timothy began vomiting uncontrollably and went into convulsions. He died soon after arriving at the hospital, and a cyanide was discovered in his blood and stomach fluids. Luckily, none of the other children who were given the Pixy Stix had consumed them.

The Case: Directly following the horrible event, police began searching for who had allegedly given Mr. O’Bryan the deadly candy; O’Bryan claimed it was someone at the home of the Melvin Family, who had opened the door to their dark house only a crack and produced the Pixy Stix. However, Mr. Melvin was able to produce an alibi and he was cleared of suspicion. After surveying other households in the neighborhood to see who may have purchased Pixy Stix, it was discovered that none of the other neighbors had bought that particular brand of candy.

A few days after Timothy’s burial, the police received a call from O’Bryan’s insurance company to report that O’Bryan had attempted to take out the life insurance policies on his two children without consulting his wife, and O’Bryan immediately became the prime suspect. After questioning O’Bryan’s co-workers at Texas Optical, it was discovered that he’d been asking around about cyanide in the months leading up to Timothy’s death.

Police then searched the O’Bryan family home and discovered a pocket-knife on which traces of plastic and powdered candy were found. O’Bryan was quickly charged with Timothy’s murder and put on trial, where it was alleged that he had distributed the cyanide-laced Pixy Stix to the rest of the children in an attempt to use the frequently-circulated urban legend of poisoned Halloween candy as a cover for his crimes. In May 1975 he was found guilty, and nearly nine years later executed via lethal injection.



“Theodore Bundy, 42, who is scheduled to be executed Tuesday for the murder of a 12-year-old Florida girl, also received death sentences for the 1978 murders of two Chi Omega sorority sisters at Florida State University. In this article, the surviving members of the sorority recall the night of the killings and how the crimes have affected their lives.

Sometime around 3:15 a.m. on Jan. 15, 1978, Nita Neary said goodnight to her date at the back door of the Chi Omega house on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee. She hustled inside to escape the near 20-degree cold.

Going through the living room, Nita heard hurrying footsteps coming down the stairs. As she stood in the near-darkness, she saw a man holding something that looked like a club in his right hand. His left hand was on the front door. For three seconds, in the half-light, she focused on his profile.

Then he was gone.

Nita ran upstairs to awaken her roommate, Nancy Dowdy. After telling her a man had just left the house, the pair walked down the steps to check the front door.

Finding no one downstairs, the girls wondered what to do next.

Undecided, Nita and Nancy went to wake up the sorority president, who

came out into the hall to talk.

Less than a minute later, at 3:19 a.m., Karen Chandler opened her door and staggered down the hall, away from the knot of women.

Nancy wondered if Karen were sick or drunk. She went to her.

As she passed Karen`s open door, Nancy looked in to see Kathy Kleiner sitting on her bed, legs crossed, rocking back and forth, calling for her boyfriend and her pastor. She was holding her hands under her chin. Her hands were full of blood. Another Chi Omega, Margaret Bowman, already was lying dead in her room. Lisa Levy was fatally injured.” -Chicago tribune, January 23rd, 1989