On the news that Bobtown, Pennsylvania has outlawed Hallowe'en to "keep kids safe," Lenore "Free Range Kids" Skenazy points out that there has never been a single substantiated incident of a kid being sickened, hurt or killed by doctored candy handed out during trick-or-treating in the history of America.
Was there ever really a rash of candy killings? Joel Best, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, took it upon himself to find out. He studied crime reports from Halloween dating back as far as 1958, and guess exactly how many kids he found poisoned by a stranger's candy?
A hundred and five? A dozen? Well, one, at least?
"The bottom line is that I cannot find any evidence that any child has ever been killed or seriously hurt by a contaminated treat picked up in the course of trick-or-treating," says the professor. The fear is completely unfounded.
(Image: Me as a pirate, Hallowe'en 1975, Toronto, Canada — photo by Gordon Doctorow)
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