On Sept. 29, 1982, a 12-year-old girl in Elk Grove Village had a cold, so she took two Tylenol capsules before going to school in the morning. She collapsed and died.
Six more people would die in the days to come after taking Tylenol. Officials soon pieced together the pills were laced with cyanide. As fear and panic shot across Chicago, and the country, officials didn't yet know how widespread the poisonings were. And without the existence of social media or many other forms of mass communication, they had to warn the community to prevent anyone else from taking the popular drug by going door to door and disseminating flyers as quickly as they could.
Forty years later, the poisoning murders still send a chill through the memories of generations of Chicagoans. The deaths led to the creation of tamper proof packaging and forever changed how people consume over the counter medication. But they also remain unsolved.
CBS 2 reporters and producers spent a year immersing themselves into the decades-old cold case to document firsthand accounts and unravel this dark mystery. This includes digging through thousands of police records and conducting interviews with victims' family members, former law enforcement and health officials, and more to not only piece together the case, but also figure out why authorities failed to solve it.
For many who were directly impacted by the deaths, the story of the unsolved Tylenol murders is a story of pain, frustration and generational trauma that lingers as time goes on. With only a small circle of firsthand accounts still alive to remember the tragic deaths in September of 1982, they speak about what they remember to ensure the public never forgets what happened, with hopes that the case can still be solved.
"When he fell, white stuff was coming out from his mouth. His eyes turned backwards." -- Joe Janus
Joe Janus immigrated from Poland, with his family, seeking a better life. Instead, his family faced tragedy after tragedy and became the center of a homicide investigation.
He lost his brothers, Stanley, 27, and Adam, 25, as well as his sister-in-law Theresa, 20, after they consumed Tylenol.
Joe answered the call about his brother Adam's death while working at Schwinn. Unfortunately, by the time Joe reached the hospital in Arlington Heights, his brother had passed. He was told the cause was a heart attack.
After finding out Adam died, Joe joined his family back at Adam's house to plan for the funeral. It was at Adam's house when Stanley, who suffered from back pain, took two Tylenol. His wife, Theresa, also took pills from the same bottle.
Joe witnessed Stanley's death, just before Theresa died.
"He dropped right in front of me," Joe told CBS 2. "He fell down. He didn't say anything...I tried to grab him but he didn't move."
Theresa also collapsed, with the family present at Adam's house. Joe remembers the chaos that ensued.
Joe hopes to find the person or people who killed his beloved family members.
"He took my life," Joe said. "Shattered my life and my family's life."
Monica and Isabel Janus
Monica Janus was only 8 years old when she experienced "the most tragic moment of my family's life." Her family received the phone calls in September of 1982 that her uncles Adam and Stanley, and her aunt Theresa, had all died over the course of a single day after taking Tylenol in Arlington Heights.
"It was very scary and sad to think, 'Wow, our family is just falling and dying,'" she said.
Monica recalled FBI agents securing her school building in the days after the deaths because they were not certain of the motive of the killer or killers, and whether they were targeting the Janus family.
The trauma of that day followed Monica throughout her life. She said for a long time she didn't take Tylenol.
"As I grew older, I couldn't even look at the bottle. It just made me sick."
To this day, she can't help but think twice before taking medication.
"Every time I take Tylenol, or any type of medication, I always do the sign of the cross, and I smell the bottles to make sure that there might not be poisoning," she said.
Monica has many theories about how the cyanide got into the tablets her family members consumed. She questioned how the investigation into the case was conducted and the fact that it's still unsolved. She believes it wasn't thorough and "really sloppy," adding police have not contacted the family to update them on the case.
Monica said she still hopes for any more information about how such a tragic event struck her family.
Her daughter, Isabel, is only 12 but knows the history of that dark day well, so much so that she wrote a school paper on her family's experience titled, "The Day the World Was Changed Forever."
Isabel felt it was important to document what happened because future generations might not know what happened to her family and how it led to important public safety changes, like tamper proof seals on medication. She doesn't want the public to forget.
"Maybe from the next generation down, people might not want to remember this anymore," Isabel said. "They'll say. 'It's just something that happened in the past. No one cares about this anymore.' But it's something tragic that people should know about."
Isabel also hopes she will find answers someday for her family.
"I feel like maybe one day, we'll figure out what happened," she said. "Maybe I might even solve it one day."
Helen Jensen worked as the village nurse of Arlington Heights in September of 1982 when she got the call to come to the hospital to respond to three people from the same family who were dying.
She said first responders were baffled.
"Nobody had any idea what caused them to die," Jensen said.
Jensen spoke with the wife of Adam Janus who said he had taken Tylenol before his death.
After the deaths of Stanley and Theresa Janus, it was Jensen who realized the commonality between all of their cases was they had all taken Tylenol.
Jensen said she went to the Janus house with police that night. She found the bottle of Tylenol, and counted six capsules missing with three people dead. She also found the receipt showing it had been recently purchased from a local Jewel Osco.
"Something was wrong with the Tylenol," Jensen thought.
But when she presented her theory to the other authorities and medical examiner, she said they laughed at her. Jensen was insistent and told the authorities to listen to her theory.
"They're not going to listen to me," Jensen said. "I am a nurse, a woman, in shorts. Why would all the men standing back there listen to me?"
Jensen was angry and teary, and sensed the men "obviously wanted me to leave." She said she had a "stiff drink" that night after she went home. But by the time Jensen woke up the next morning, her theory was vindicated. Her husband woke her up early seeing news reports about the deaths.
He told her, "Helen, you're right. They're saying it on the news. It was Tylenol."
"I was just at the right place at the right time, and I'm the right person for it because I'm nosy and I'm loud," she said.
When Jensen reflected on the ordeal, she said it's hard to think how anyone would commit such an act that caused such pain all these years later.
"Families were ruined by this," she said.
Lt. Chuck Kramer
Lt. Chuck Kramer is not only one of the paramedics who responded when the Janus family members died, but he also played a key role in piecing together that Tylenol was the cause of death.
He received multiple calls from the same house on Wednesday, September 29, 1982. Kramer said the first call came in just before noon and then around 5:40 p.m. he responded to the second call, unknowingly witnessing Theresa Janus' last breaths.
When Kramer arrived at the house, he said he saw "crowds of people everywhere" and as he approached the house he heard screaming. Kramer ran in as a young man, Stanley Janus, was laying on the ground.
"The paramedics are working on him and as I walk in, I had a great deal of faith in these people, they were good paramedics," Kramer said. "And one looked up at me and I could almost see the fear in his face - he said this is the same thing as this morning, we're losing them."
Kramer remembered a young girl, he learned to be Theresa, ran up to him screaming "Stanley, Stanley!"
"She was grabbing onto my arm and the next thing I knew, she groaned and collapsed right next to me," Kramer said.
Kramer said he looked into her eyes, and described them as dilated and unreactive.
"I'll never forget that when she grabbed onto my arm and I went down," Kramer said. "I didn't know what we're dealing with. Yet, some people in the house were fine."
Fellow Lt. Phil Capatelli happened to be listening to the scanner at the time Kramer was responding to the Janus house. While talking with Capatelli, he mentioned an important detail.
"I said the only thing these people have in common, well, they're related, they don't even live in the same house, they said, the only thing these people have in common is they all took Tylenol," Kramer said.
The two pieced together the connection between the deaths when Capatelli realized Tylenol was involved in the 12-year-old victim's death as well earlier that day.
Reflecting on the investigation, Kramer credits his conversation with Capatelli in helping lead investigators to the cause of deaths quickly.
If Capatelli not listened to scanner and had Kramer not mentioned Tylenol, Kramer questions, "How many more people would have gotten the tainted Tylenol?"
Kramer also mainly credits Helen Jensen, the village health nurse, for connecting the deaths to Tylenol after locating the Jewel Osco receipt at the Janus family home.
The Janus family remains close to Kramer's heart. His grandparents were buried at the same cemetery as Adam and Stanley, and he still visits the two brothers.
"I watched a family be destroyed by somebody."
Chicago resident Scott Krueger felt the panicked reaction around the city in the immediate aftermath of the deaths, and then-mayor Jane Byrne's order for all Tylenol to be removed from store shelves.
He recalled how he and so many others were afraid of using other everyday items like toothpaste and shampoo that could also have been tampered with, especially since there were no tamper-proof seals back then.
"That was a big deal," he said. "It was a little bit of hysteria."
Krueger himself also had a small role in the story. He just happened to be at the same Walgreens in Chicago when Paula Prince purchased the bottle of Tylenol that would eventually kill her.
He was a second-year medical student at Rush University at the time and went to the Walgreens with a friend just to get cash.
Police released a photo of surveillance footage showing Prince at the store cash register and Krueger in the foreground, in an attempt to identify another man seen in the background of the photo.
Krueger was shocked when he saw the photo printed in the Chicago Tribune.
"It was just like, whoa!" he said, though "it didn't quite settle in what it was all about ... but then it kind of hit me that somebody died, someone was murdered."
Within a couple of months after the release of the photo, Krueger decided to contact the FBI to see how he can help with the investigation. He said authorities came to his home and asked if he knew anything about the man in the background.
"We were oblivious," Krueger said. "We did not remember him at all."
While he said he wasn't at the Walgreens that day to purchase Tylenol, Krueger said he's definitely used the drug often throughout his life. It still strikes him, 40 years later, how he and his friend were there just by happenstance.
"We felt like it could have been us," he said.
Ed Marshall was working on the assignment desk at CBS 2 in September of 1982 when he learned about a news conference city officials planned to hold about a series of poisoning deaths. He saw a bulletin from the Cook County Medical Examiner showing multiple deaths with no known cause in Chicago and nearby suburbs. It raised alarm bells.
"That was an instant trigger to tell us something big was going on," Marshall said.
In those first several hours after news of the deaths broke, there wasn't much information coming out from authorities which led to "quite a bit of terror" in communities across Chicago and beyond. The newsroom got calls from residents seeking information and asking what they should do. But newsrooms back then didn't have social media or other tools to track down information as quickly as they can today.
"We didn't have the benefit of the internet back then," he said. "We didn't have the ability to look up someone's name or go to Facebook, or anything like that. We were flying blind. One of the first things I did was grab this huge reverse phone number book and tried to find anyone that lived next door to the victims and ask them, what did they know? What was happening? What was going on? What were people saying in the community?"
As the facts began to unfold, CBS 2 reporters dug into the story. Eventually, reporter Mike Parker scored an interview with James Lewis, who police believe was the prime suspect in the case, but was never charged with the actual murders.
As he reflected on the case nearly 40 years later, Marshall called the Tylenol murders "markedly different" from other stories he'd covered in the past.
"It's like something out of a Sherlock Holmes story," he said.
John "Bulldog" Drummond, was excited to tell his producer at CBS 2 about a story he was working on traveling back to Chicago from Southern Illinois on Sept. 30, 1982. But when he called, it was the first time Drummond had heard of a much bigger story which broke that night - multiple people had died after taking Tylenol in the Chicago area.
"'That's the only thing right now we're really interested in and you'll be doing something on that tomorrow,' " Drummond recalled his producer saying during that phone call.
The case was all he and other reporters in the newsroom focused on for weeks. He remembers getting a call from a police source when the seventh and final victim, Paula Prince, was found by authorities. Drummond rushed to the scene with a news crew to capture what would become a critical moment.
"That hit home when you saw the victim...being taken out of the apartment," he said.
Even after a decades-long career reporting in Chicago, Drummond, now 92 years old, said he couldn't recall a story quite like the Tylenol case, even 40 years after it broke.
"The Tylenol story was as big a story, a crime story, that this city has ever had in recent years, at least since World War II," he said. "Unless you want to put in who set the Chicago fire ablaze in 1871."
Chinta Strausberg was a political reporter for the Chicago Defender, the iconic news outlet for Black Chicagoans, in 1982.
When news of the deaths from cyanide-laced Tylenol broke that year, Strausberg said she received calls from concerned readers about the case.
"That was a big question: who did this? And why can't the police catch the person?" Strausberg recalled.
She said she also aimed to allay the fears among some Black residents that they could be the targets of whoever was poisoning the Tylenol. Strausberg heard directly from readers about their fears and told them she did not think Black residents were being targeted.
"When they would call, or I would call them to get a reaction, it would always come up, 'Are they targeting us?'" she said. "And I would say, 'No, it's not the Black community.'"
That fear, Strausberg said, is what led Chicago officials to go door-to-door in 1982 to warn residents about the potential danger of poisoned Tylenol capsules and collect any bottles they had. At the time, authorities didn't know how widespread the problem was and how many other bottles were tainted.
Strausberg, who extensively covered city council, noted the Tylenol murders occurred in the months before the 1983 mayoral election in Chicago and incumbent Jayne Byrne was particularly anxious as she ran for a second term in office.
She said Byrne had to balance responding to the deaths in addition to creating an ordinance that would mandate tamper-proof packaging for medication. It was difficult and became political, Strausberg said. Byrne didn't want to upset retailers, who could stand to lose a lot of money on such a change.
"I don't think they were thinking about lives lost - the bottom line was profit," Strausberg said. "So the mayor was caught in the middle because this is an election year, she didn't want them coming after her, so they came up with a compromise."
Ultimately, Byrne got an ordinance passed in council.
"These people were dying, and they were from Chicago and it happened on her watch," Strausberg said. "So I can understand why she was upset."
Still, Strausberg said Byrne had a strained relationship with Black Chicagoans as many felt she had not done enough to push for equity. A year after the murders, Byrne would eventually lose the 1983 election to Harold Washington, Chicago's first Black mayor.
While no one was ever charged with the poisoning of the Tylenol pills that killed seven people in 1982, James Lewis was perhaps the most prominent suspect many pointed to.
Lewis was convicted of extortion in connection to a letter he wrote to Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million for him to stop the cyanide-induced murders. He would eventually be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
But police were ultimately unable to link him with the actual poisoning deaths.
According to Jeremy Margolis, the federal prosecutor on the case, investigators traced the letters back to Lewis. They learned Lewis intended the letters as a way to draw federal authorities' attention to a former employer of his wife who had bounced checks.
Margolis said after he was convicted of extortion, Lewis volunteered to assist the FBI in investigating the Tylenol murders. But to Margolis, despite Lewis spending a lot of time speculating about the case to give investigators ideas about the case, it wasn't much help.
Still to some, Lewis remains the prime suspect in the case.
"I don't think there's evidence that anyone else did," said David Williams, an Illinois State Police Criminal Investigations Unit commander who worked the case, although he conceded there was no clear physical evidence pointing to Lewis.
CBS 2 investigator Brad Edwards found Lewis in Boston and traveled there to in an effort to interview him. He refused to answer questions.
David Williams was a unit commander of the Illinois State Police Criminal Investigations Unit in 1982. He was also involved in the task force assigned to investigate the cyanide deaths across the Chicago area from the very beginning of the case.
Williams, who had a 30-year career in law enforcement, said he first learned about the cases from news reports and remembered feeling a sense of confusion about how the deaths could happen. But he eventually thought it was obvious the incidents were all connected.
"There's somebody who's doing this," he recalled thinking.
Within a week of first hearing the news, Williams was enmeshed in the investigation. Because the victims spanned across five different cities, he felt the daunting task was "almost too big" at first. Working on the case was "nonstop for months" for him and his team.
Williams also offered a glimpse into what it was like working with executives at Johnson & Johnson. One of the task force's first goals was to find out if the company itself might have been a target. He said the company was "totally cooperative" and helpful to the investigation.
"Everything we wanted from them, they gave us," he said.
"Why would a thing like this happen to this company? Why would they use Tylenol as a murder weapon? Which was ingenious, now some people might say crazy, but ingenious. Who would think of that?"
Williams acknowledged that while James Lewis may still be the prime suspect responsible for the deaths, there was no physical evidence proving his involvement - a fact that still frustrates him 40 years later. Lewis was eventually convicted of extortion for a letter he sent to Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million. He was sentenced to a decade in prison for that crime, but was never arrested or charged for the actual murders.
"Where's the physical evidence?" Williams said. "You can't manufacture it. It's either there or it's not. And it wasn't there."
Jean Regula and Carol Laabs
When Paula Prince did not show up for her flight, her best friend, Jean Regula, and Paula's sister, Carol Prince, went to check on her.
They found a shocking discovery.
"I just knew something was wrong," Regula said. "We took the keys and went upstairs and unlocked the door, and her body was on the floor."
Before her death, Paula, who was 35 years old, lived very close to Carol and Regula and shared many aspects of their lives.
"I flew for American Airlines, Paula flew for United Airlines," Prince said. "We all lived in different apartments, but in the same building."
Forty years later, Regula and Prince miss their best friend. Regula described Paula as caring, warm as well as vivacious and "tons of fun."
"I think of how much she's missed," she said. "I think she would have loved to have been married and be a mother. And that never happened because I think she would have been a fabulous mother."
John Milner and Herb Hogberg
John Milner and Herb Hogberg investigated the death of Tylenol victim Mary MacFarland.
However, getting the evidence was no easy feat.
Hogberg was a detective with the Elmhurst Police Department at the time of the Tylenol case. Milner was a detective sergeant. They were tasked with collecting Tylenol bottles. After getting permission to enter MacFarland's house in Elmhurst, the two officers had to gain entry through a bathroom window.
"We opened the window, climbed in there. The first place that we went to was the medicine cabinet and popped a Tylenol bottle," Milner said. "It didn't look right. Something just didn't look right with those pills."
McFarland, who was 31 years old, worked as an AT&T Interviewer at Illinois Bell Telephone Company, where flickering fluorescent lights caused employees headaches. MacFarland's husband told authorities she used Tylenol to treat the headaches.
"I had been a detective for a long long time...we had never saw anything like this before, never experienced this before," Milner said. "And to say that it is unsettling is just an understatement."
Jeremy Margolis was the assistant U.S. attorney and federal prosecutor who worked on the investigation and prosecution of James Lewis, the main suspect in the Tylenol murders.
While no one was charged with the infamous murders, Lewis served more than a decade in prison for the Tylenol extortion letters.
Margolis had conversations with Lewis, who told him a series of theories "as to how the killer could have done it."
Margolis said Lewis presented his theories were presented in the form of sketches and drawings. Lewis even offered his assistance to the FBI to help find the killer after he was convicted.
"He (Lewis) was always very careful to explain that this was speculation, these were all hypotheticals, these were merely his musings to try and give us investigative ideas that might lead us to finding the Tylenol killer," Margolis said.
Among all the cases Margolis has worked on, this case stands out. As to who actually committed the murders, Margolis says he believes he knows.
"I've never said publicly who I think did it," he said. While he remains tight lipped, he does believe "justice will prevail."
Ty Fahner was the Illinois Attorney General at the time of the Tylenol Murders.
In 1982, Fahner was running to stay in office after being appointed Attorney General to fill out Bill Scott's term. While at a Republican election event, he got the call about the various poisonings.
Fahner shifted his focus from his campaign to the Tylenol investigation. He became the main spokesperson as new developments unfolded and formed a task force with investigators focused solely on solving the case at the time.
As tips came into law enforcement, Fahner said his team sifted through "300 or 400 tips a day" and there were more than 1,000 leads.
"Every call that came in, we took a name, we logged it, put it down what their tip was and they were run down on a daily basis, distributed," he said.
Fahner did not win the next election and faced criticism for the fact that the case was never solved. He remains bothered by the lives lost but has reflected on the work he did 40 years ago.
"I have no regrets on what I did or how I did it," Fahner said.
Attorney Bruce Pfaff represented two families who sued the makers of Tylenol for the deaths of their loved ones. After practicing law in California, Pfaff took a job in Chicago with Corboy and Demetrio in August of 1984.
At the time, the firm represented the families of 12-year-old Mary Kellerman, the youngest victim who died after taking Tylenol for a head cold, and 32-year-old Mary McFarland.
He soon became involved in the case as an associate.
"We pursued the manufacturers (McNeill and Johnson and Johnson) on a theory that it was unreasonably dangerous to sell capsules in an over-the-counter drug because they were tamperable, and that they should have sold the product as a tablet, which they already did or as caplets," he said.
"You shouldn't be selling any drug that you can tamper with, period."
He reflected on the agony felt by the parents of Kellerman, who had a cold and died on a bathroom floor after consuming Tylenol. Pfaff said Kellerman's mother testified she doesn't know what happened in the bathroom the day her daughter died because her husband did not want to share details from the horrible scene.
"[I] can't imagine having to see something like that happen to your child," Pfaff said. "And making the decision not to tell his wife was a very brave move."
Pfaff said litigation was a grueling, years-long process for the victims' families. The case against the manufacturer was settled in 1991 - just one day before jury selection for the trial was set to begin.
"It's only when 12 people are available to decide a case that suddenly the hard decisions get made," Pfaff said. "They won't make that decision until the very end."
But Pfaff is convinced they would have won had it moved forward.
And after the deaths and lawsuits, he concluded the deaths and the lawsuit ultimately "had a huge impact on people's perception of drug safety."
"Those are seven beautiful lives that shouldn't have been lost," he said.
Arlington Heights Police Sgt. Joe Murphy was first assigned to work on the Tylenol poisoning cases in 2019.
He said his agency has been actively investigating the deaths of the three members of the Janus family who died after ingesting Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide.
Murphy acknowledged criticism aimed at police for not having solved the case 40 years later, but insisted the case is still being worked on and tips have still been coming in as recently as this past year.
"We're actively pursing this investigation," he said. "This is not collecting dust on a shelf. We have dedicated considerable resources to this investigation and we still are. We're using ever face of law enforcement to find a resolution to this."
Still, Murphy declined to comment on specific leads, suspects or theories about how the capsules were poisoned, citing the ongoing investigation.
"We are pursuing every lead that comes in," he said. "So it would be difficult and almost inappropriate for me to say one lead deserves priority over another one but I can tell you every lead is investigated fully."
Murphy said the evidence preserved in the case is still important as investigators are exploring the use of new technology like DNA and fingerprint analysis. And he does not believe they have exhausted opportunities to test the evidence, including the original Tylenol bottles that were tainted and previously tested by the task force of investigators formed at the time of the murders.
"DNA technology has advanced since that task force was dissolved to the point where we're confident that this technology will assist this investigation moving forward," he said.
Murphy cited the recent increase in cold cases being solved around the country thanks to the improving technology at investigators' disposal, like the identification of the Golden State Killer in 2018.
Still, Murphy said he understands how family of the victims have grown frustrated over the years with the lack of any charges brought in the case. In interviews with CBS 2, members of the Janus family also said they had not been contacted by law enforcement with updates about the case in decades.
Murphy would not say if the police department has contacted the Janus family specifically, but said vaguely he has spoken with family members of victims recently.
"With cold cases, it's a difficult balance on when to contact families and if it's appropriate. And the family's always seeking to see if there's new information out there, and there's always limited information we can provide to families," he said.
"Any time someone reaches out to myself or any other detectives, it's a priority to respond to that inquiry."
Murphy acknowledged there may have been "communication breakdowns" with the case being passed from one investigator to another over the years and before he was assigned the case.
"And that's on an agency. We're going to have to own that," he said.
"But I have spoken with family members recently and try to give them as much information as I can."
Murphy said police are still committed to solving the case.
"I hope each family understands that this is a top priority for the Arlington Heights Police Department, and I know a lot of other agencies as well," he said.
"We are actively working this case. This is not something that we've given up on. We have hope and have a lot of resources dedicated to this. We hope to one day provide answers to the Janus family. That's our goal."
"I feel like maybe one day, we'll figure out what happened. Maybe I might even solve it one day." -- Isabel Janus
Waiting For Justice
"When I see this bottle, it takes me back to the most tragic moment of my family's life," said Monica Janus.
She was just a child when a killer deliberately laced Tylenol capsules with cyanide and placed the tainted bottles on the shelves of stores around the Chicago area.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini asked Monica's father, Joe Janus, if he thinks the crime will ever be solved. His brothers and sister-in-law died after taking the medication.
"I hope so, before I die," Joe said as he broke down. "I hope I see the person."
In late September, 1982, a 12-year-old Elk Grove Village girl collapsed and died after taking two Tylenol capsules before going to school that morning, and six more people would die in the days to come.
The case remains unsolved, and is one of the most infamous in Chicago history.
On Sept. 29, 1982, Mary Kellerman, 12, collapsed and died after taking Extra-Strength Tylenol for a head cold.
A short time afterward, postal worker Adam Janus, 27, of Arlington Heights, died in the hospital after taking the same drug.
Adam Janus' brother, Stanley, 25, and sister-in-law, Theresa, 20, who had gathered in Arlington Heights to mourn their loved one, took Tylenol from the same bottle and both died.
In the days afterward, new mother Mary Reiner, 27, of Winfield; Lombard phone center employee Mary McFarland, 31; and flight attendant Paula Jean Prince, 35, of the Old Town neighborhood also died.
In the weeks and months after seven people in the Chicago area died after ingesting Tylenol laced with cyanide in 1982, federal, state, and local police examined thousands of leads in connection with the poisonings, but never made an arrest.
However, a few people investigators considered key suspects or persons of interest were identified publicly.
One of those suspects, James Lewis, was convicted of trying to extort Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Tylenol, out of $1 million to stop the killings. He was never charged with the actual murders, however.