Shocking Update On Tylenol Murders That Left 7 Dead, Including A 12-Year-Old, Over 24 Hours As ‘Poisons Handbook’ Revealed

Shocking Update On Tylenol Murders That Left 7 Dead, Including A 12-Year-Old, Over 24 Hours As ‘Poisons Handbook’ Revealed

DECADES after the grisly Tylenol murders that left seven dead, including a 12-year-old boy, new information is still being revealed, such as a “poisons manual.”

Fear and paranoia gripped the Chicago area in the fall of 1982 after an unknown individual poisoned several bottles of extra-strength Tylenol with lethal doses of potassium cyanide.

Mary Kellerman, 12, died after taking extra-strength Tylenol to relieve her headache.


Stanley Janus died after taking a pill, just hours after his brother, Adam, died in the same way.


Forty years later, the case remains unsolved.

However, new information has been uncovered following an active investigation of the cold case with some law enforcement officials believing there is enough circumstantial evidence to charge the prime suspect.

Two Chicago Tribune reporters, Christy Gutowski and Stacy St Clair, interviewed more than 150 people in multiple states and reviewed thousands of pages of documents over nine months.

Through their reporting, the duo discovered that the FBI recorded video of prime suspect James Lewis during an undercover operation.

The Mothman Returns: Chicago Reports On

Second body found near graveyard in a month after strange booming sounds

“We were able to see an undercover FBI video that was taken in 2007 right here in Chicago at the Sheraton Hotel,” Gutowski said.

The FBI interview implied that Lewis knew about the Tylenol deaths before they became public.

Lewis, who was working as a tax consultant, sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson saying he would stop the murders if he was paid $1 million.

He was convicted of extortion and spent 12 years in prison, yet there was never enough evidence to connect him to the poisonings.

During his trial, Lewis’s lawyer claimed that he “only intended to focus the authorities’ attention on his wife’s former employer”.

Read More :   This Week's 'She-Hulk' Set Up Some Big Marvel Villain Debuts

St Clair said the FBI went through some of Lewis’s things and found “the poison manual.”

“And in the years after, they fingerprinted that book and on page 196, the page that includes information about how much cyanide is needed for a fatal dose in the average human being, they found Jim Lewis’s fingerprint.”

Despite being circumstantial evidence, law enforcement officials want to take the information to prosecutors in Cook County and DuPage County for them to consider filing criminal charges.

Lewis and his wife submitted DNA and fingerprint samples to the FBI in January 2010.

“If the FBI plays fair, I have nothing to worry about,” he said at the time.

Lewis continues to deny any involvement.


The murders began in September 1982 when 12-year-old Chicago resident Mary Kellerman died after taking Tylenol capsules that had been poisoned.

Mary had woken up that morning with a cold and her parents gave her the painkiller to ease the symptoms, but a few hours later she died.

Later that morning, in another Chicago suburb, mail carrier Adam Janus collapsed and died as well.

While mourning their brother’s death, Adam’s brother Stanley and sister-in-law Theresa took painkillers from the same batch and soon died as well.

Hours after Adam, 27-year-old mother Mary Reiner, who had just given birth to her fourth child, felt unwell and took a few tablets before collapsing and dying at home.

On the same day, Mary McFarland, a 31-year-old store worker, told her colleagues that she had a severe headache and died.

Read More :   List of Words with 5 Letters that end in IBI [ _IBI_ ]

Stenographer Diane Elsroth, 23, was staying at her boyfriend’s family home in New York when she took a headache pill and went to bed. She was found dead the next day.

When the pills were tested, they were found to contain such a high level of potassium cyanide that they were toxic enough to cause thousands of deaths.

But apart from this information, the police were stumped about the suspects or the motives behind the murders.

All of the pills had been manufactured at different production plants and were sold at different pharmacies throughout the Chicago area, with no apparent pattern.

Investigators seemed to think the culprit had been tampering with the pills as they sat on the shelves of each store.

The deaths sparked hysteria across the country as bottles of Tylenol were recalled from stores and concerned consumers flooded hospitals and poison control hotlines with terrified questions.

Unfortunately, the Tylenol murders sparked copycats across the country.

So much so that the US Food and Drug Administration counted more than 270 different cases of people handling products in the month after the murders.

Divers who found teenager Kiely Rodni in reservoir open up to 'murder theories'

I tried bagels from 5 stores including Costco and Trader Joe's;  the winner was close

Since the murders, product safety standards in the US have improved dramatically: packaging has been improved and tamper-evident seals have been added to products.

But whether or not the crimes will be solved remains a mystery.

The case changed the way retailers package pill bottles


Theresa Janus, 19, died just after her husband and brother-in-law


Mary Reiner had just given birth to her fourth child when she collapsed and died.


Source :

You May Also Like

About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.