« True Crime Garage

The Tylenol Murders /// Part 1 /// 480

2021-04-13 | 🔗

The Tylenol Murders /// Part 1 /// 480

Part 1 of 2


This week we explore an unsolved case out of the Chicago area. Back in the early 80’s the Tylenol Murders became the most extensively covered news event since the assassination of JFK. In just three days, seven people died all exhibiting the same symptoms. Symptoms that pointed to cyanide poisoning as the cause.

Beer of the Week - Mama’s Little Yella Pils by Oskar Blues Brewing Company Garage Grade - 3 and 3 quarter bottle caps out of 5

Our show - True Crime Garage “Off the Record” is available only on Stitcher Premium. For a FREE month of listening go to http://stitcherpremium.com/truecrimegarage and use promo code GARAGE

Beer Fund: https://truecrimegarage.com/home

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The The welcome to true graham garage wherever you are. What are you doing? Thanks were listening. I'm your hosts nick in here in the garage. We don't tolerate nonsense of any kind. In fact, we ve had five
consecutive days since our last nonsense, and here to crush that is the captain. Every day we have nonsense, he just doesn't pay attention. It's gonna be seen, is good to see you thanks for listening thanks for tone, a friend This week we are very excited to be featuring mama's little yella pils by oskar blues, brewing company This is a delicious bohemian pills nor, unlike most mass market pills, knows that are deluded with corn and rice. Mama's is bill on pills, nor an honey malt then double hot. This pills is v every rich and flavour within a b b, a four point: seven percent that makes it luxurious, but a low dose refresher. roger great three and three quarter bottle caps out of five and here's. A big cheers too some of our cool in reverse,
sing france. First up a cheers to Nicole and her son captain and arkansas all poor kid a big shot up to gen, b and malibu, and here's a we like your jib to christine from new fairfield connecticut and a big cheers to ginny and post falls idaho. Next captain we have a big cheers from our friend Amy, our neighbor, from down the street, and, last but not least, we have dustin and bute. Full butte montana everyone we just mentioned. Will they helped us out with this week's beer run, and for that we think? That's right. it would be. The believe. Are you in beer run thanks for listing make she subscribe to the show make sure you tell a friend- and that is enough for the business, all right, kiddies, everybody gather around grab a chair grab appear, let's talk, some true crime,
the. Imagine it's a normal wednesday, a work day school day the day in the life, but you don't feel normal. You have a headache, a cold, Fever, you do the most normal thing in the world. You take your preferred pain. Reliever pills with a sip of water,
Knowing that soon, you'll feel like yourself again only you dont within minutes of taking the pills, you experience, respiratory failure, seizure, cardiac arrest and This is what happened in the greater chicago area in illinois, several people took over the cow pain, medication for everyday ailments purchased at their neighborhood pharmacy only to die within hours. What in the world happened here? How could a medication the very essence of something intended to make people better kill them. so suddenly and efficiently The very rare but very real crime of product tampering some some ones or maybe a group of people were poison the general public killing indiscriminately
shopping at the grocery store was like playing russian roulette, But what was the motive? How was player, but the. Why and what for is anyone's guess the motives simply just kill. Was this a form, public terrorism or mass extortion or both, and what kind of months uses a painkiller as a vehicle for murder this It's true crime garage- and this is a case of the tylenol The september twenty ninth nineteen eighty two Mary kellerman was twelve years old. The middle schooler lived in Elk grove village illinois
She wasn't feeling well that day and had stayed home from school. She told her dad that she had a headache and a sore throat and he went to the medicine cabinet and brought her an extra strength. Tylenol capsule. He took from a bottle his wife purchased the day before at a jewel osco store in Elk, grove village, Mary dutifully swallowed the pill. Went into the bathroom and then she collapsed by the time paramedics arrived. They found Mary in full, cardiac arrest. She was Rushed to the hospital where she was I dead around ten, a m doctors could only guess that she had suffered an aneurysm She was her parents only child that same morning, postal Adam JANET's of near by arlene, heights illinois, a twenty seven went to his local jewel. Osco
or on veil avenue in Arlington heights in purchased, stake flowers and a bottle of extra strength, tylenol capsules He had lunch with his new wife teresa and then feeling well took two capsules from the bottle he had just purchased and swallowed them down. went to bed but immediately started convulsing and passed out. so called nine one one. When the pair, they rushed Adam to the er where he was pronounced dead at three hundred and fifteen thomas Kim at north, community hospital told Adams? Family quote, nothing seemed to help he suffered sudden death without warning. It was most unusual. End quote: deficit did Adams family, including his twenty five year old brother stanley and stanley, wife also name to risa aged nineteen gathered in the janice home to be with loved ones
make funeral arrangements for their loved one in their distress. They both developed headache, and were handed a bottle of tylenol the same one Adams pills came from both stand, and to resource soon dropped to the floor and started convulsing at his wife, Teresa called nine one one. For the second time that day, DR kam was still on duty at the hospital. When the second batch of janice family members were brought in with inexplicable symptoms, they were both in full cardiac arrest and soon died. Confound at the mysterious deaths of several family members in one house doktor came decided that poison control centres should be contacted. Doktor John, solvent of rocky mountain poisoned centre, told doktor. Can that what he was describing sounded like cyanide appoint,
Meanwhile, nurse Helen Jensen spoke to the remaining members of the genus clan and determine that the three dead people had all ingested extra staff. tylenol prior to die. She went to the genus home where nurse and found the tylenol bottle on the kitchen counter and the receipt for its recent purchase in the trash jensen. counted the pills remaining in the bottle and noted that six pills were missing. Six pills missing. Three people, inexplicably dead, janis, brought the bottle to the administrators at northwest community hospital and voiced her concerns, but didn't well that she was listened to. After all, tylenol was the number one selling pain reliever worldwide. It made people feel better, it didn't kill them. Nurse Jensen wasn't Only one who saw a pattern, firefighters, Elk
ro in Arlington heights, chuck kramer richard key worth and fill capitally noticed the nine when one calls and quickly surmise that something was up with these unexplained deaths in the neighbouring taos, guessing that they might be somehow related, they reported least that it seemed that all the victims had taken tylenol right before suffering fatal symptoms. But while something there were just starting to observe similarities in the four strange deaths in the area on September. Twenty ninth more people continue to take time All for various ailments tylenol had thirty five percent of the market share of pain, relievers and night eighty two. It was a number one selling brand worldwide on the afternoon of september. Twenty ninth think about how fast all of this stuff is happening. All of this, these terrible distress calls coming in people collapsing.
being rushed off to the hospital. This is all the same day while back to one thing that you said before that the doctor that was communicating what you know to go hey find this bottle. How many pills are left. One of the things that they are able to do is to smell the bottle and that smelled like almonds, because cyanide has a almost an almond smell, a bitter almond smell Mary riner. Twenty seven of winfield, known as a lin, was home from a hospital after having just given birth to a baby boy four days earlier, and she went out to Frank's finer foods in her town about twenty five miles from Arlington heights to buy some regular strength tylenol. But she didn't take these from what we can tell. Instead, she took two extra strength: tylenol capsules that is believed to have come from the hospital that gave these to her to take
come and use as needed. I do want to throw something out here, captain before we move on, but in this particular incident. There are two sources that I was looking for: information on the debt, Mary reiner one comes from a book called tie mergers, which is by scott barks in his version of this horse of the story, it's unknown, where this extra strength, tylenol came from the she in fact purchase regular tylenol. That day when you look at john douglas box, where he briefly discuss the case and
two of his books, one being mine hunter and the other the anatomy of motive. He says that it was found that she took two extra strength, tylenol pills that were from a bottle that she had purchased at some point. We don't know when right This bottle was found in her purse. These are two very completely different stories. I do not know which one is in fact correct. So I wanted to make sure we pointed that out here. What do they surmise that all these victims? What I had a by the product within the last day, because cyanide would have been able to eat, through the capsules it would it would the gelatin capsule the encapsulates the powder and yes it would that. So these whoever constructing this and putting together the poison capsules had to do
relatively soon before they were purchased and then ingested, because it would destroy them to the point where buddy in their right mind, would look at what was now in the bottle in and consume it. So when exactly for sure where she got the extra strength tylenol, but we're sure that she took the extra strength. That's what both of these sources do in fact state. She took these in fact captain right in front of her husband, her mother in law and three of her children two convulsions and collapsed almost immediately within two hours she died at the same hospital where she had birth. Her son just days before Mary mcfarland, thirty one of elmhurst worked The illinois bell phone center in the yorktown mall and lumbered ten miles east of winfield.
Told her co workers that she had a headache and she took two extra strengthen all capsules from a supply she kept in a container in her purse. The pills came from a fifty count bottle that she purchased the previous day at the woolworth's. She had already consume. File of the pills from that same bottle, but she died within minutes of taking these last two so pointing out here captain that, in this particular case, brain where this woman passed away from being poison obviously not all of the pills inside that fifty count bottle were contaminated, actors assume that she had had a stroke or some type of aneurysm late. On september, twenty nine flight attendant Paul, a prince age. Thirty five, she was just back in chicago after an east coast shift. She stopped at a wall brains on north wells street in chicago's north side of extra strength.
Two days later, she was found by her sister dead on her bathroom floor with open bottle of tylenol sitting on the sink and capsule missing from this bottle. So now we have seven total victims. That's correct! and it was determined in this investigation captain that. Even though Paul a prince wasn't found until roll days later by they were able to determine that she had been dead sense that Wednesday night since that september, twenty ninth again all of this happening in jest a matter of a short period of time and just three day, seven people die yeah. What would stuff call here is: if you look at how much it would take how much cyanide it would take to kill somebody people were receiving one hundred percent to a thousand percent of a lethal dose, and I think
going through this case, ready determine is it we got multiple bottles, they have been contaminated that had been laced with poison right and not every apso in every bottle seems to have been contaminated with this poison so most like. This murderer is pull now Couple pills film. It back up with a couple of points spills and then moving on to the next bottle. Why? Even even the capsules themselves do not seem in all of these incidents, to contain the same amount. The same of poison. Now all seven of these victims were all exhibiting the same symptoms at the time of their passing. Where seizures convulsions and quick deaths, people who lived within just a few miles of each other in five different towns,
around the chicago area, people who had one thing. One thing: only in common all from bottles that were purchased very recently. The coroner office in cook, in page counties where all the deaths occurred did not think to test cyanide poisoning or in fact any poisoning of any kind no foul play was suspected. This was at first tylenol was at the time the most popular pain reliever on the market, with four hundred, fifty million dollars in annual sales and thirty seven percent of the over the counter pain, reliever market, the concept that it could harm people. was really truly unthinkable at this time, based on his conversations with the poison control center, we're going back to the doctor he, was the one that was on duty when all three of the members from the
his family came into the hospital suffering the same symptoms. Right all passing DR kim sent blood samples from the Jan his family to the lab and had them tested for cyanide The test showed a lethal level of cyanide in the samples so much that the lab tech wasn't certain that the test was even accurate. Dr dot kim collected the extra strength tylenol those taken from the genus family, home by nurse jensen and the one taken from Mary kellerman home brought to and by an Arlington heights police officer who heard about the janis family deaths rain, he called the cook county medical examiners office at three a m and asked them to test the capsules in these bottles for signing the chief toxicologist for the county medical examiner's office. His name is Michael Schaefer,
I the capsules from the seized bottles of extra strength tonnell as soon as he oh in the containers. He knew what he would fight the smell as you pointed out, captain of bitter almonds was evident and obvious to this man Potassium cyanide has an odor like bitter almonds, but it is only detectable by a port. Of the population reports very it's between thirty and forty percent of the population can detect this smell. their shape or noted that about ten of the capsules. slightly swollen and discoloured, and contain potassium cyanide at a level toxic enough to provide thousands of fatal doses. only trace amounts of tylenol- were found in these capsules and doctor four also determined something else, and this is important Cyanide used would have
strong enough to degrade the gelatin base? Capsule shells very quickly, but these pills were only in the beginning stages of this degradation. They still looked almost normal. What this means as you pointed out earlier, captain that someone had filled these capsules very recently, within just a handful of days, someone. open new bottles of extra strength, tylenol open, individual capsules inside emptied them filled. It cyanide, which would resume like a white powder, closed the cap backup and replace them. To the bottles and then appears at the bar Those were placed back on store shelves for consumers to purchase at this time, There's no seal on these when you buy a pain reliever. You got a bottle when you open up. I think they had the cotton swab at the beginning but they didn't have a seal. There was no seal of of any kind.
And now we got a whole community that all of wondering wait, a second. How many deaths recently, Just in the past few days, could be a true It is too tainted tylenol, as you pointed out, in thirty seven percent of the over the counter pain, relief or market, this chicago a large area. A lot of people dont want the biggest. he's in the united states, while cyanide poisoning is poisoning that results from exposure to any of a number of forms of cyanide. Early symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fast heart rate, shortness of breath and vomiting. This phase may be followed by seizures slow heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness. Cardiac arrest. Onset of the symptoms usually occur within a few minutes Some survivors have long term neurological problems
cook county medical examiner's office held a press conference on September thirtieth, nineteen, eighty two stating publicly that the mary kellerman and all three of the janice's had definitely done from consuming extra strength, tylenol laced with cyanide, when the press conference attributed the deaths of lynn, reiner or mary mcfarland to tylenol and Paul body had not yet been found by this. Going to cause all kinds of shock, fear and panic about The poison medication throughout the entire country the tylenol poisonings became the most extensively covered news events, since the assassination of John F Kennedy was just like you said I am The report I have is thirty: five percent of the market share, but you said thirty, seven percent, so we're talking about the most popular
Reliever on the market I mean it is they're, backed by johnson and johnson right people. poison hotlines with calls and flooded hospital yards. The food drug administered sean issued warnings to consumers not to ingest extra strength tylenol until the source of the poison could be identified, close to the epicenter of poison. Outbreak police in illinois roam the streets with bull horns warning residents not to consume the drug after a conference by the mare chicago turned all of their home supplies of tylenol into the police along with any records that they may have of when and where it was purchased by thursday september thirtieth, both jewel osco. And chicago based, walgreens ordered the removal of all tylenol from
their shelves. Nationwide retailer across the country pulled extra strength. from large number m c: twenty eight eight zero The large number, the janice and kellerman bottles were part of which was the only lot number in which cyanide had been identified, the two tainted bottles at both, through a warehouse in the chicago suburb of franklin park and had been met. fort washington facility was tested was found not to be contaminated with sign out, and they end up finding out that all the bottles were bought at different locations s. They were all purchased at different drugstores, and you're saying that two of the bottles came from the same distribution, factory, that is correct distribution warehouse, that's correct, but keep in mind at this time in the ballgame. These are the only two bottles that they have decided
contaminated with cyanide, so, while ass, a gate is an john, in johnson, the parent corporation of the company, that manufactured dialogue were determining the potential scope of the tainted medicine. The autopsy was being formed online reiner in page county. The medical There was informed of the tylenol poisonings in other towns and also that had taken tylenol capsules, just before dawn The. and now a word from our sponsor better help. It's my favorite spot. It's the one I use most often it's. What has changed. My life so dramatically. Mental
is so important and something that we need to be discussing every day you invest time into yourself and taking care of yourself I've tried many ways to make my mental health better and with better help. They are peace, is look it's the best thing I've done from mental health period I hope his online therapy that offers a video phone or even live chat only therapy sessions. So, if you don't, we to see anyone on camera, you don't have to as much more affordable than in paris. therapy and is available worldwide better help. Assess your needs and can match you with your own accredited therapist in under forty eight hours visit, better help, dot com, slash garage and joined the for two million people like me, who have taken charge of their mental health. With the help of experienced professional
Our listeners get ten percent off their first month at better help, dot com, slash garage, that's better h, e l at slash garage. I love better help you're going to love better help. I know you will check out better help dot com. flash garage today. Alright, we're back chairs mates, cheers captain cheers I have a cheers: jib juggler from parts unknown, a big shout out to jib juggler from parts on there area get out of the town. So now very quickly, we have a new suspected case of cyanide poisoning this with the autopsy of lynn, reiner So naturally, law enforcement went to the reiner home. They found a bottle
regular shrank, tylenol the landed purchased that day this was What number one eight three three m b a still sitting on the kitchen sink, but they also found some inner strength, tylenol capsules, which they believe are and to land by the hospital when it discharged her in her bottle of regular strength, tylenol testing the capsules, the assistant chief toxicologist for illinois department of public health determined that they were filled with potassium sign up and inexpensive. Low purity grade that is typically used in factoring in heavy industry lenin taken two extra shrank tunnel capsules, one of which had contain cyanide. The other apparently did not of the other six extra shrank, pownall capsules found in her bottle
Four were poisoned, none of the regular strength pills in the bar that she had purchased were tainted at all, although authority suspect that it is possible that linz point, and pills came from the hospital johnson in and removed all the pills from area hospitals and destroyed them without testing? Any of that, so we would never really know. Cecy too said to have them testimony now, because how big this crime became correct you also have to wonder how much work and effort Are they putting into motion to just get the capsules off the shelves and and collect all them, so nobody else gets harmed or killed then it's. This is not. These are not easy task, and these are things that you need to do a mediately with the quickness, So we still have law enforcement looking into these other unexplained deaths
though investigators looking into the unexplained at Mary mcfarland the the bell telephone store worker began to question whether her death could also have been caused by tylenol, they found ten extra strength, tylenol it in the container in her purse, five of which were determined to contain Sinai these open. They came from the bottle they found in her apartment. This was a lot number one. Nine one, zero m d. This bottle contain thirty three capsules, one of which was filled with I know this was a new lot number and then a fourth, the pills consumed by All a prince. The bottle bore the lot number one: a zero. One m a witch not been listed by the company among the known contaminated locked? Interestingly, the extra strain
tylenol, bottle and paws bathroom was a twenty four count bottle. Unlike the fifty count bottles used in the other deaths. cyanide was found in one of the remaining capsules, but six other capsules were discolored They had been corroded by the cyanide leaking from that one tainted pill from Johnson Johnson, the parent company, what Soon is considered the birth of crisis management. Corporate method of handling a pr disaster. Johnson Johnson announced at first a localized recall of just pills from the tainted lot, but by october fifth, they Bandit that recall to a complete nation, wide recall of their painkiller capsules. Thirty one million bottles, that's exactly correct. Thirty one million bottles were pulled from retail locations. This is
made it to have cast johnson and johnson about one hundred million dollars they offered or award of a hundred thousand for any information one. hundred thousand dollars reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the cyanide poisoning. The recall, I believe, is what caused over a hundred million dollars. You think, maybe would offer a little bit more money than a hundred At my company we just lost one hundred million. I go hey, I'm offering a million I'll pay I'll pay the one percent of what I just lost, to figure out what? What asshole did this? What murder is out there? They flew in hundreds of chemists assist in this testing process. They worked hand in hand with the fbi and other investigators Johnson and Johnson examined the three distribution centers through which the tainted tylenol bottles were processed
These were looked at and they publicly Said that they found nothing, nor was anything found at the one distribution center in pennsylvania that all the bottles had passed through. The pills have been manufactured at different plants, so this is true: because this means that they were not tainted during. In the manufacturing process Knowing what we now know about cyanide and how it would react in that capsule in corrode everything, I think there was there's little reason to believe that anyway, yeah you're moving a little fast was the slowdown for saying so we have seven victims, seven victims that we believe were all poison. Three of them took pill. From the same bottle correct. So we have a total of four different bottles.
And that you're saying that all the bottles came from different stores, but how many came from different distribution centers? So we have. Yes, we have seven victims who would have consumed capsules from sea. therein lies a big question in this whole case, with one of the victims not really one hundred percent certain where she obtained the poison capsules right. So we could be talking bout, a situation of seven victims with five different tainted bottles of tylenol or four and then somehow she received these poison pills from either hospital or elsewhere. We, we can't say for certain, but what we an can say, is given the large numbers on the bottles that we know tested positive for cyanide, that they is like they had come through similar from the scene. distribution center. What is all
determine is that they were manufactured at different plants and from my understanding there was a plant in texas and a plan and pence, mania, probably other plants as well, but determined that pills came from those two plants manufactured at those two plants which again points that it's not. Painting the pills during the manufacturing process that whoever did this did. at a later time after they had been manufactured, packaged up and shipped off to be sold. Yeah almost seems like this individual was walking into the store. Maybe I did four pills in his hand. The cyanide pills opens up, tylenol because we have no safety precautions at this point and just replaces a couple pill. Moves on to the next bottle or maybe does several bottles at that location or
maybe one and then moves on to another drugstore doing the same process over and over that's exactly the other thing that was quickly determined to captain by Johnson and Johnson and in investigators was that all, pills from these bottles or the bottles themselves, manufacture the previous spring. So if they were contaminated during the manufacturing process. They would have been extent Thirdly, corroded by september late september, when people were consuming these things right now, that is, one. It's going to be horrific for the general public because it seems like we got some broke person out there, who is in a very evil indiscriminate way, killing unknown people to the vet, to the suspect or a group of. Bull that are doing this to terrorize the community. But it is a good
four for johnson and Johnson, because it's not a mix up in the manufacturing process. It's not They are in fact responsible, but not to the level of that it's going on when the pills are made brain. If we do have a disgruntled, employee still having to go around store by store they're, not tampering with the medication. During the the initial processes. Correct. someone's doing this after these, these I've already made it through the distribution centers. Either somebody's taking them off of a truck somewhere, off of multiple trucks. It would deliver these kind of goods or there I mean they could even be actually purchasing them from stores taking them home, And then, Together, they are poisoned by it all, and then returning them to the store brain. These issues,
but the story- and you put it back on the shelf boy party- put it the front of the shelf, where someone's going to grab it and in purchase it and take it home, that's all safer way, because if I go into a drugstore and I purchase this product, I need some yourself tylenol thailand. I got a headache, my coworker driving me nuts- and they give me bottle of pills, while they also give me a receipt so then come back in with the tampered pills and I mean go to put it back on the shelves, but I get caught right and if they, something I go all no. No. This is my bottom here's my receipt, and so it would, it would protect me when I went back to putting the the tampered with or the poison back on the shelf, yeah yeah, you wouldn't want to be leaving A paper trail of returning that that bottle
would want to go around and purchase these from different stores at different times, maybe even well in advance of you doing this or again take them off of a truck or multiple trucks depending where you work or your accessibility to said trucks or st want to just go back in there and place them on the shelf yeah, which nowadays would go hey, pull up the the horrible camera footage pull up that one. Horrible camera footage that we're not going to be able to make out who's in that picture, but One. Eighty two most I do not have surveillance so believe every place. They believed that these were purchased, that there was no surveillance cameras, so they can do anything about that, but what they did do was
His stores went back, and I am I'm assuming this. This came from. Law enforcement, hey go back to the last week or so of any shoplifters that you had and requests in them. The reaction from law enforcement to these tylenol deaths, which came quickly to be known as the tylenol murders or timers, as the f b, I called the case- was What was swift and immediate investigators from Various agencies went to work, forming a task force of one hundred and Already. Law enforcement personnel officers from the five different towns were involved and because they are also fell under federal jurisdiction because of the united states, commerce laws, the fbi. jumped in as well sending thirty two agents to the area
hours of the murders coming to light a young within hours of the murders coming to light a young john douglas. Who would go on to be known as a legendary criminal, profiler, an fbi agent and, more importantly, friend of our show. On a plane to illinois will discuss here. conclusions and a bit late as force looked into. Ray angle imaginable in this situation tat. force. Members examined a possible manipulation of johnson and Johnson stock prices by some kind of crime syndicate. My fears looking for a competing company yeah who something to gain out of this this mass hysteria that has been caused. They examined foreign terrorist groups. They exist and angry employees or ex employees at each location, where the tainted tylenol was manufactured, stored,
or sold these people were interviewed, Any value waited shoplifter as you pointed out previously arrested for shoplifting from these drugstores, they were looked at a second time and spoke to in regards to this. cry recently released inmates and mental patients in the vicinity were profiled and interrogated as well police. And checks on every car receiving a traffic ticket in the areas around the stores during sex, number twenty nine. During that whole timeframe, agents may the task force. Hotline logging each tip, no matter how crazy it seemed when it came in. They also question we firmly member and close friend of each victim. I like to hear a top ten list of the the craziest calls at came in on the on this, case yeah, so you're interviewing all
the family, members and close friends, one because you're trying to fill out the whole timeline on you know when and where it was kristen in that jazz, which it seems to be fairly known by this point in our investigation right, but you're because you want to make sure it wasn't actually a targeted victim, an intended victim, whoever perpetrated that murder was camouflaging that murder with the crime in the other deaths, bright investigators on the case where conflicts that between those who suspected that the tampering had occurred in the distribution process. and those who believed that it happened at the retail level, thirty obtain list of all employees of retailers and the distribution chain as well. You know any that would have had access to these
bottles or the cases that they came in. Of course, this list was massive. This was, a bunch of people to pour through turning general tire foreigner, caesium initially said they were investigating disgruntled employees and had all He had twenty two thirty potential suspects in this case, but the focus change to retail level tampering because it just two implausible that the pills could have been messed with at a distribution centre, put back into the supply chain in large part cat. As you pointed out, that there put on the front of shelves indifferent, but proximate towns all kind of at the same time. so. The timing was suspected to be very recent and almost simultaneous because of the belief that this I would corrode the capsules very quickly causing them to do so
it change. Color people would notice people would not ingest them. Experts advise the cyanide would eat the pills within hours or days this is a little tricky here. Captain because I read the results of several test and this was run by the cook county medical examiner's office. oh corrosion, was found within forty eight hours of the induction of the cyanide the possibilities and the timeframe meant that no one was really sure when how the tina pills had been placed on the shelves, although they all been purchased within hours of causing death. So, basically, What you're saying is We know that all these victims purchased or receive their bottle of x frank, tylenol, within twenty four hours of their death. So even though the
apps were saying: hey, if you add cyanide to these capsules, they would disintegrate within a day once they actually did some test on these cooks county. They come back and say well, actually Once we applied the same method to put the poison into these capsules, we actually see no corrosion. After forty eight hours, no corrosion within forty eight hours. So yes, it's it's. Little bit messy because you have the experts, the quote: co experts saying one thing that the cyanide would eat. The pills within a matter of hours or a couple of days. The cook county, their experiment showed differently that that it would be possibly well after forty eight hours before corrosion corrosion starts to take place, so this it really helped to narrow down the window of time of when whomever put the poison
in these bottles and then put them back on the shelves, they're, basically the the purchase and then gestion, We have that all figured out we don't have when they were actual ten tampered with, because now we're looking at. A lot larger window than a our window. Yeah, and the thing that's so tricky here too, is how little would one be paying attention to other shoppers in the stores No, you see somebody putting something on a shelf. You might think that all that they just looked at the back of it, they read, ingredients are red, the possible side effects or whatever and decided to put it back on the shelf, or maybe it was a dollar or two more than they were willing to pay and they they might buy a different product. Are they didn't want explosive diarrhoea? But what was interesting here captain is all in all. It was determined that way,
one hundred and sixty tainted capsules were found in eight bottles of extra strength. Tylenol purchased at seven different locations This is, after people start turning in their tylenol after they pull em off the shelves, their testing ones it that work either purchased and not in our consumed, or bottles that were still on the shelves. Two bottles found on the shelves at ashcombe drug and would field mall and schomberg illinois two more bottles containing tainted pills were turned in by should a residence. These, or bottles- were in addition to the genus kellerman prince, emit farlane bottles, so eight bottles total, we still are as to where lynn reiner's pills came from one hundred percent. And of course I have no idea how many bottles were just through. Away without being tested.
Survey later found that sixty percent of chicagoans had destroyed or discarded their capsules during the first week after the poisonings Nothin and Johnson was permitted to collect and destroy collected bottles tylenol without inspecting them for tampering in all a very, very small percentage of extra strength. Tylenol adults nationwide were tested. The fact is that likely. No one will ever know how many pills were actually poison one here. the other weird they into again nineteen eighty to solicit remember this is gonna call as the industry to change the way they do things the reason why we're going to have seals, put on items and protective yours, but we don't have security footage, but we have these bottles and what do they not fine on these bottles, they don't find fingerprints or any other form of physical evidence.
yeah. So, let's dive into this here, captain the all the poisoning was actually done. So if it was done. At the retail level, as most investigators seem to believe, and, of course, Johnson and Johnson is going to back this belief. It meant, as we said that or had purchased bottles of extra strength, tylenol stole them, whatever, probably purchase them because, again, you're not wanting to create a paper trail you're not going to want to get caught. dealing tylenol leading up to this event, were me trying to do that. administer this mass hysteria. I would will be purchasing these bottles? Well in advance weeks in advance in case there is security footage. We know that a lot of places will recycle their recordings. And maybe after a week or two weeks, they are recording over old footage if they, in fact even have
any type of surveillance at their their building. But somebody would have obtained the bottles and then had to dr them somewhere elsewhere re and then put the capsules, into the bottles and then drive around or what have place these on these shelf france at the different retail locations. But again, there's seven different locations? This makes it also more difficult because if you look at a town like Boston or you look at a town like new york and even chicago ones, that have public transportation, where you can get through the major city and jump from point to point pretty quickly right if you're on foot so for a individual to have these, let's say eight bottles that they take
put with and then to go throughout the city in problem off it new locations cause. That's one thing that they never could tell you. They can never tell you. If of these bottles were in the inventory of that sets, for so we don't know if the individual bought eight and ten bottles, How come you from one location took him home and then tampered with them and then distributed them out? Why that's correct. What we do know is that these retail locations seven of them this person, or group of people would have sprinkled these also round the chicago area and the western suburbs of chicago? And whoever did this likely had to done this very soon prior to september. Twenty ninth right, as pointed out, if you know you ve, just put them back on the shelf, you put him at the front of the line.
you. Whoever did. This would have some knowledge of cyanide and wood. Know that it probably would corrode these other pills and therefore, if they want the sinai to have the effect that intended for, in this case, you're going to put those bottle, right at the front of the line for people to grab them, purchase them and hope ingest them very soon after purchasing which we know. Unfortunately, happen in all these cases will again it's also the weird thing because I have when I've been at the store all I need some migraine, medicine or something right: I'll pick some up. I think I'm running low, but it's not item that you pick up after you. Run out correct or you're picking it up
because you need it right now right, then yeah. So it's a very low level of sophistication of attack again we. We know pretty much how they did it or we can assume look I'm with you. It makes more sense than they would by the bottles. Take the bottles home manipulate the situation there and then take em back, doesn't make any sense to me that there would be able to to do this with within sight of a store. Now now you immediately, someone would be, would notice that you were up to something obviously not like inside the store, but the eu get the bottle and go to the bathroom or something. And I don't think it would take that long of time, because the
the measuring out. That's what gets me is the lethal doses. Could be anywhere from like they said, a hundred percent, the hundred percent, though lethal dose or even a thousand percent, a lethal dose, meaning that as individuals not measuring them out he's just filling the capsules backup. But that's also because I don't think it takes much, you don't have to have It should have a lethal lethal dose. One thing that we know that he did not do as far as the infirmary we currently have, as you underestimated how much to put in to the capsules so whether it be one hundred per cent or one thousand percent? It worked one hundred percent of the time right that it was ingest. It was like sex panther, like sixty percent of the time. It works all the time so just to go through this a little more in depth, because not everybody
as old as we are here in the garage, but in nineteen o to the bottles available for purchase by the public. As pointed out, captain we're not safety sealed nowadays, if you buy, bottle of tylenol or other medication. The bottle tylenol specifically has a silver foil safety seal and closing it in the box is glued shot back. Then you on untucked, the box, lid and then screwed off the cap of the bottle. This timers kay as the f b. I called it changed the pact the process of the united states for ever for a visa. When extra shrink tylenol was returned to the market in late nineteen. Eighty two, it was real introduced with a triple seal tamper, resistant packaging, a bottle encased in plastic, wrapping
inside of a glued shut box and the federal anti tampering act of nineteen. Eighty, information we currently have. Is he never underestimated? How much to put in the capsules product tampering- a federal crime on these deaths. Also, like we talked about before they're five, yeah. So how does the sign kill a person potassium cyanide acts very quickly to prevent the blood from absorbing oxygen from the lungs. which essentially starves the body of oxygen. This causes vulcans, cardiac arrest and then death both potassium and sodium cyanide are used in jewelry, manufacturing and in mining, amongst other things, and this was credibly surprising to me. Captain, apparently they both readily available,
The more a true crime garage for your ear balls check out. Our bonus show called off the record it's on stitcher premium. You can find that by going to true crime, garage dot, com and click in on the off the acquired link. That's right, and we were at least a new off. The record episode this week make sure you check that out. Join us. Here tomorrow for the rest of the story until then be good, be kind and don't let
Transcript generated on 2022-07-14.