The Gingerbread House Myth
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by Staff Writer - October 17, 2021
With Halloween again approaching, police around the country are again trying to protect Hansel and Gretel from the Wicked Old Witch known as, "the sex offender".
This week in LaPorte County Indiana, the Sheriff's Office used Halloween as an excuse to harass and invade the privacy of 123 local residents on sex offender registry. According to the local news report at nwi.com, "The operation included members of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office, LaPorte Police Department, Kingsford Heights Police Department, the Michigan City Police Department Fugitive Apprehension Team, LaPorte County Drug Task Force, Indiana Department of Corrections and the U.S. Marshals Service." This fishing expedition resulted in three arrests for non-compliance and one individual was arrested for an outstanding warrant for non-sex related offense. The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office also used this operation as an opportunity to possibly promote vigilante violence by encouraging local residents and others to visit their "OffenderWatch" system to locate the homes of individuals and families on the registry.
In Tennessee this week, the Tennessee Department of Correction has launched its annual campaign "Operation Blackout” to ensure sex offenders are complying with conditions of their supervision. Those conditions include:
At least 10 states, including Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, New York, and Texas, have enacted ‘No Candy’ laws for sex offenders. In some states, registered sex offenders must post signs in their front yards reading "No candy at this residence" or similar signs indicating that a sex offender resides in that home.
The justification for these types of operations are based on the myth that sex offenders use Halloween decorations and candy to entice and lure children into their homes in order to abuse them. Even though research has repeatedly shown " no evidence of increased child sex abuse on Halloween and no evidence that a child was ever a victim of sexual abuse by a stranger while out trick-or-treating", this myth persists. Like the "Creepy clown" hysteria in 2016, the police and general public are letting their imaginations run wild during the Halloween season, with absolutely no evidence that it is reality based. The idea that the Wicked Witch is trying to lure Hansel and Gretel into the Gingerbread house on Halloween is an irrational fear. We all enjoy scary stories during Halloween but that is all they are, make-believe stories.
Every source indicates, the biggest threat to kids on Halloween are cars and drunk drivers. Maybe a better use of police time and resources during Halloween would be traffic control.