Chicagoland Tylenol Murder Case Remains A Mystery 40 Years Later

Poison bottle with a skull

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Seven people were killed from September 29th to October 1st in 1982 after taking Tylenol, and to this day, the suspect remains at large. According to Patch, an unidentified individual removed multiple bottles of Tylenol from the shelves of five Chicago-area grocery stores and injected cyanide into the capsules. The suspect then put the Tylenol back on the shelves for strangers to purchase.

What happened next had the entire nation in a state of panic.

"I just remember how shocking it was," Kerry Neidel told Patch, "And the fact that they never caught the person was even more shocking. I became much more observant of over-the-counter drug purchases to see if they were tampered with."

Victims of the Tylenol murders included 12-year-old Mary Kellerman, 27-year old Adam Janus, 25-year-old Stanley Janus, 19-year-old Theresa Janus, 27-year-old Mary Reiner, 31-year-old Mary McFarland, and 35-year-old Paula Prince. Each took the Tylenol for various aches and pains and were immediately sent to their local hospitals where they later died.

Soon after it was discovered that the victims passed away as a result of the tampered over-the-counter medicine, nurse Helen Jensen pioneered the rise of tamper-proof packaging. Patch mentioned that FDA regulations swept the country soon after to prevent future tampering. During this time, over 31 million bottles of Tylenol were recalled from the shelves.

Decades have passed, but the Arlington Heights Police Department continues to investigate the murders, and search for a suspect who could possibly have died.


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