• April 20, 2024

A Person Connected To The 1982 Tylenol Murders Has Passed Away…

A guy who said he could put an end to the murders in 1982 brought on by tainted Tylenol pills has passed away.

According to a statement from the police, James Lewis, now 76, was discovered dead in his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home after first responders got a report about an unresponsive person at around 4 p.m. on Sunday.

“Following an investigation, Lewis’ death was determined to be not suspicious,” the statement read.

Lewis was initially thought to be responsible for the seven-person Tylenol killings in 1982, but DNA tests finally cleared him.

He came to the attention of the police after he wrote to Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million in exchange for the murders to stop. Lewis was detained, found guilty of extortion, and given a 10-year prison term. His DNA was given to police years after his release, but it did not match the DNA isolated from the poisoned bottles distributed in the Chicago area.

Over 40 years ago, someone put potassium cyanide in the bottles, but police are still unsure of their identity.

The first victim was Mary Kellerman, 12, of Elk Grove Village, a Chicago suburb, on September 29, 1982. With a runny nose and a sore throat, Kellerman awoke. Although Mary’s symptoms weren’t the most serious, her parents nonetheless gave her one Extra-Strength Tylenol capsule when she informed them of them.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Mary’s father heard her cough shortly after taking the capsule, followed by the sound of something hitting the ground. Mary was on the floor when he walked to the bathroom door after calling her name and getting no response. Her breathing was shallow, her eyes were focused, and she appeared to be choking.

She was taken to Alexian Brothers Medical Center after paramedics were unable to save her. Mary had gone into complete cardiac arrest by the time they arrived. Doctors contacted a priest and put in a pacemaker.

Mary passed away shortly before 10 a.m.

A little over an hour after Mary passed away, Adam Janus, a 27-year-old postal worker from Arlington Heights, some seven miles from Elk Grove, came out of his restroom gripping his chest in pain after taking Tylenol. His wife Teresa followed him into their bedroom and noticed that he was breathing shallowly and had frozen, dilated eyes. At 3:15 pm, Adam was pronounced dead.

On that day, Stanley, his brother, and his wife would all take Tylenol and perish.

Three people who took Tylenol on the same day—27-year-old Mary Reiner, United flight attendant Paula Prince, and single mother Mary McFarland—all died as a result.

Since each person experienced intense vomiting after eating the capsules, authorities swiftly concluded that Tylenol may have been the culprit. Testing revealed that the pills contained potassium cyanide, a toxin that can be fatal.

When detectives realized the Tylenol bottles in the Kellerman and Janus incidents came from the same batch, a multi-agency inquiry was started. The entire batch was recalled by Tylenol’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson also recalled bottles from other lots after McFarland bottles were linked to other lots. The business suspended production and advertising while also alerting hospitals and wholesalers. The business issued a nationwide recall on October 5, 1982, for an estimated 31 million bottles worth $100 million ($315 million in 2023 values).

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The Daily Allegiant