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News on 6 goes for Halloween sex offender fearmongering…

When I was a kid, the big irrational media-pushed fear each October was to scare kids and parents about the possibility of some deranged lunatic handing out poisoned or tampered Halloween candy.

Despite the fact there were no documented cases of poisoned candy (or razor blades in apples), we were encouraged to go to boring "safe places" like shopping malls for trick-or-treating, trained to look for holes or tears in candy wrappers, and instructed to never to eat anything that was unwrapped, which was awesome because it meant we could toss the fruit grandma would give us when we stopped by her house.

I think the poisoned candy myth is still a thing, but on a media hype scale, it has quickly been usurped by the TV news media's favorite spooky scare tactic – sex offenders.

If you search "Sex Offender Halloween" on Google News, you'll see scores and scores of TV news stories warning parents to watch for sex predators on Halloween. This is despite the fact that one university crime researcher determined there was actually a drop in sex crimes against children on Halloween, and even dubbed it "The Safest Day of the Year."

Regardless, Tulsa's News on 6 was quick to play along and scare their viewers:

There are hundreds of registered sex offenders in our neighborhoods and it's legal for all of them to pass out candy from their home this Halloween.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said they are encouraged not to participate in trick-or-treating, but parents should be aware of where they live.

The sheriff's office said right now is the time to do some research on your neighborhood before everyone's busy with costumes and candy Halloween night.

While ghosts and goblins are going door-to-door, there are a few things to keep in mind.

"Never eat anything that's homemade or unwrapped," said Sergeant Randy Chapman. "Don't play with cell phones while you're walking up and down the streets and walk out into the middle of a car."

Hey, look at that! Just like vampires, werewolves and Jason, the poisoned / tampered candy myth is alive and well. Talk about nostalgia, that makes me want to trade a Snickers for a Bit-O-Honey and three Smarties!

Here's more:

Chapman said to be aware there are hundreds of sex offenders in our area.

About 400 in the city of Tulsa and about 300 throughout Tulsa County.

"What does a sex offender look like? They look like everybody else," Chapman said.

That's why he encourages parents to go online and look up the neighborhood they'll be trick-or-treating in.

Especially if it's unfamiliar.

"A lot of people do like to go to other neighborhoods because they think they're safer, you just don't know," Chapman said.

Fun fact – The Tulsa City Council considered an ordinance on 2013 that would have prohibited sex offenders from decorating their residence or passing out candy for Halloween. I think the ordinance was backed by the Halloween decoration industry in an effort to get slackers like me to buy decorations. Seriously, having the boring house on the street with the unkempt yard is shameful enough. The last thing you want is for your neighbors to also think you're a sex offender.

Anyway, I'm not saying that people shouldn't be concerned or worried about sex offenders. Just like the other 364 days of the year, you should probably be aware they exist and may live in your neighborhood. It just gets on my nerves when the for-profit news media tries to ruin what should a fun childhood holiday with unsubstantiated fear-mongering. Halloween is scary enough already. We don't need to add to it

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