Halloween of 2023 occurs on Tuesday, October 31st. A prominent and cherished American holiday, the final day of October is the unofficial peak of the fall season. For children, the day is filled with light hearted and “spooky” festivities. It is also an expression of individualism and an example of the uniqueness of that trait in historic American culture- fun costumes are chosen and adorned by youngsters across the country in search of candy. The holiday is a modern creation, but the general period surrounding Halloween has been celebrated by various European cultures in the west since the time of paganism before Christianity ultimately dominated the continent.
As aforementioned, the fall season is often a time of fun. Halloween themed horror festivities and events like movie screenings, haunted houses, fall festivals, corn mazes and hay rides are common. But in reality, the dark sides of human nature do not cease to exist in the fanfare. In Ireland, a man admitted to police that he was responsible for the murder of a well-liked and respected primary school teacher. On January 12th of 2022, Ashling Murphy was murdered near the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly. Jozef Puska, aged 33, pleaded not guilty to the murder but reportedly confessed in a hospital to the committal of the crime.
According to Sergeant Brian Jennings, a detective, Puska confessed to the murder while admitted to a hospital just days after the event took place. Jennings stated to the Dublin Central Criminal Court that Puska told him he was responsible for the murder when he was at the hospital while being treated for what appeared to be stab wounds. Supposedly he told police at the time that he murdered Murphy. While seeing her jog passing through the park, he encountered her and reportedly told her that he would not harm her before proceeding to slash and severely lacerate her. Murphy was only 23 years old.