Is the story of Kevin Archer dying from a hypodermic needle in the ball pit at McDonalds true — or is it an urban legend or hoax?
McDonalds – Are There Really Hypodermic Needles in the Play Areas?
Hi, My name is Lauren Archer, my son Kevin and I lived in Sugarland, TX. On October 2nd, 1994, I took my only son to McDonald's for his 3rd birthday. After he finished lunch, I allowed him to play in the ball pit.
When he started whining later on, I asked him what was wrong, he pointed to the back of his pull-up and simply said “Mommy, it hurts.” But I couldn’t find anything wrong with him at that time. I bathed him when we got home, and it was at that point when I found a welt on his left buttock. Upon investigating, it seemed as if there was something like a splinter under the welt. I made an appointment to have it taken out the next day, but soon he started vomiting and shaking, then his eyes rolled back into his head.
From there, we went to the emergency room. He died later that night. It turned out that the welt on his buttock was the tip of a hypodermic needle that had broken off inside. The autopsy revealed that Kevin had died from heroine overdose. The next week, the police removed the balls from the ball pit and lo and behold. There was rotten food, several hypodermic needles: some full; some used; knives, half-eaten candy, diapers, feces, and the stench of urine. If a child is not safe in a child’s play area then where?
You can find the article on Kevin Archer in the October 10, 1994 issue of the Houston Chronicle. Please forward this to all loving mothers and fathers!
Editors Note: No need to worry, parents. It’s a variation of another old urban legend.
And straight from the horse’s mouth… Houston Chronicle’s columnist, David Galloway, uncovers the truth ‘Hoax writers’ technique':
and ‘Old hoaxes never die':