Oct 10, 2016

Halloween horrors: Shocking murders on All Hallows' Eve

Halloween is just around the corner, and tis the season for throw blankets, hot cocoa and spooky stories -- but what stories are spookier than true ones? The following cases are examples of some of the most gruesome real-life crimes committed on this popular autumn holiday.

Texas man Johnny Frank Garrett committed a crime that some may consider unthinkable. On October 31, 1981, the 17-year-old teenager let himself into the St. Francis Convent -- which was located across the street from his family's residence. On the second floor of the convent, he encountered 76-year-old nun, Sister Tadea Benz. Instead of fleeing from the convent, like most teenagers would do, Johnny Frank Garrett assaulted the elderly woman. The Texas man not only assaulted her, but he raped, strangled and killed the nun -- then left her body on the second floor of the convent from which he fled.

Garrett's case isn't only famous because he committed the grisly crime on Halloween morning. What made his case ultimately famous was the fact that he was sentenced to the death penalty at only 17-years-old. What's more, the state of Texas carried out that penalty and executed the man when he was 28-years-old -- more than a decade after he was convicted of his crimes. His defenders have famously argued against the fact that he was underage when he was sentenced to death -- and have also noted that he was seriously mentally challenged.

Sixteen-year-old Lynette Ledford was tortured and killed by two serial killers on Halloween.
The teenager was walking home from a Halloween party in 1979, when the duo known as the "Tool Box Killers," picked her up in their van. Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris raped and tortured the teenage girl. They reportedly sodomized her with a pair of pliers, and used a hammer to bash her elbows while recording her screams of agony. Ultimately, the California teen was strangled to death with a piece of wire. Her body was dumped on the lawn of a random residence in Hermosa Beach, just to see the reaction in media reports.

The two serial killers who took this teenager's life on Halloween, also had a handful of other female victims -- all of which were young girls under the age of 19-years-old. Thankfully, they were both apprehended and their crime spree only lasted for a couple of months in the year 1979.

Sometimes poisoned candy doesn't come from strangers. On Halloween in 1974, Texas man Ronald Clark O'Bryan executed a deadly plan against his own children -- and some neighborhood kids as well. The man poisoned some packages of the popular "Pixy Stix" powder straws, and then coerced his 11-year-old son into ingesting it -- even though the child claimed that it tasted funny. It wasn't long before the child was violently ill, and he was dead before he could make it to a nearby hospital. Ultimately, the Texas man was convicted of this horrifying crime, and was put to death by lethal injection.


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