« True Crime Garage

The Tylenol Murders /// Part 2 /// 481

2021-04-14 | 🔗

The Tylenol Murders /// Part 2 /// 481

Part 2 of 2 www.TrueCrimeGarage.com

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 welcome to true crime garage wherever you are whatever you're doing. Thanks for listening, I'm your host nick and we're so woke that our mascara is vegan lady, gentlemen, the gentleman they? U? They use could be seen as good to see you decks for listening thanks for Tom, a friend
today you're still sipping on a delicious beer from the good folks over at oskar blues brewing company. This is called mama's little yella pills. It's a boating in style pills. No, it's a damn good, credible beer. Take two of these and don't call me in the morning the rag great three and three quarter bottle caps out of five and we'd like to give some praise and thank you to some of our friends that help this out with this week's beer fund. First, a big cheer, soon melissa MC breyer in Lexington Kentucky one of the best moms out there in a big way, your job to carry in anchorage alaska. Here's a double cheer to Alice in meredith from new ferris new york and a big irish cheers to nickel in ireland. Here we go captain we, a to kate and north Huntington PA. She says she wants a see g license plate order, which we do not have any of those so kate.
Look into that for you and last but certainly not least, we have philip g of the republic of Cyprus, everyone that we just mentioned well, they went True crime garage dot com and they clicked on that. when a button which helped us out with this week's beer, yeah w w wework beer run for more true crime, garage for your ear balls check out. Our bonus show called off the record and that's on stitcher premium and for all of our old episodes. You can find them everywhere: apple podcasts spot. buy stitcher app everywhere you listen to podcast, and that is enough of the freaking business All right, everybody gather round grab a chair grab a beer. Let's talk some true crime.
the shortly. After the tylenol murders, chicago calmness, Bob Greene wrote the following article, which appeared in multiple newspapers, in around the area as well as across the country. The article was titled message to the tylenol killer,
if you are the tylenol killer, some of this may matter to you, or it may make no difference at all. If you are the tylenol killer, your whole martyrs exercise may have beautiful and the flawless none of its execution. You doctor the capsules and the people died, and you fear in the hearts all over the nation, if you are the killer, the success of your mission may be sustaining you. If you are, tylenol killer you may be harboring, just the vaguest curiosity about the people. On the other end of your plan, the people who are unfortunate enough to purchase the bottles you had touch. If you are curious, come to a small house on a whining street and out grove village illinois. The people who live there, ass, an gina kellerman feel you have all already been inside anyway-.
maybe the names don't mean anything to you. You killed their daughter. She was twelve. Her name was Mary kellerman. And her crime was that she had a cold. You might be interested in hearing You have done to her parents. They are still numb one in the house gina eleven blames herself you see she I'm home from work on the day before her daughter died and on the way she stopped to pick up some medicine, Mary kellerman was a child put in like to take medication. She would go yuck when her mother offered her coughs or so then after noon. Mrs Kellerman purchased a new bottle of coffee serve with a flavor that Mary might like a little better and she picked up a bottle of tylenol at first. She was going to buy a small bottle
and because she suffers from arthritis and she thought that. She might need a pill soon, She changed her mind and bought the next bigger size. She bought your bottle to see her now crying her eyes vacant. He sits in the family room and talks about. only if she is stuck with the first well that afternoon you might be instead in marries father too, he woke up the next move and went into mary's room. She told him that her throat was sore. He said he wanted her to stay home from school. For the day he remembers exactly quote I heard her go into the bathroom. I heard the door close. Then I heard something drop.
I went to the bathroom door. I called Mary. Are you okay? There was no answer. I called again Mary. Are you? Okay? There was still no answer, I opened the bathroom door and my little girl was on the floor unconscious. She was still in her pajamas might be interested in knowing that Mary's, mother and father when they return from the hospital returned without me, We who, as you know, was dead. They looked in the refrigerator, in the refrigerator, was a brown paper sack with a sandwich and a piece of pie inside Mary had packed her lunch the night before she thought she would be going to school, so she made herself the sandwich she could not have known about. You. On the front of that refrigerator are a number of funny furry little animals with magnets fastened to their backs
are used to attach notes to the refreshing or door. Maybe you would care mary made those for her mother. They were gifts if you're wondering whether Mary's parents talk about you, you don't have to is any more: they do I have never been in their house, and yet they cannot Walk into a room without feeling you are there, you don't know them but changed their lives forever. They feel as if they can get away from you, although they realise that they make no difference to you. There find themselves caught in an awful game of making tradeoffs in their mind. Have you had only wanted to steal their car? They think if you Only had wanted to burn down their house anything. They would have said yes to anything anything, but this
do you want to know what they are thinking about. You quote, I would pay anything if whoever did this would walk up to my front door right now. That's what Mary's father said. I would give everything I own. because once he walks through that door, he's mine as it is, you should know. Mary's parents are too shattered even to visit the cemetery. Mary is buried at saint Michael, the ark angel and nearby palatine illinois, and they wish they go to her grave, but they can't the hurt is too deep and york being them even from that. If you killer. You should know other can't have any more children, Mary was her only baby, you might be interested
and knowing that mary was born one month premature and then ass, she entered the world her mother scared, because she was not crying, but the doktor smiled and said it's ok she's only sleeping, and she was she was a quiet child and because the kellerman knew she would be only child. She was, especially precious to that You should know that Mary's mother gone into mary's bedroom since her daughter died, her close still there and her school books and papers, the door is closed, Mary's, mother and father have to walk past it every They go upstairs there has gone inside, but just what he went in to pick out the clothes for me free to wear at her funeral. If you, killer.
Want to know that Mary's parents always consider themselves to be overly protective measures always had to be home by dark. Even when she was out of france, she had a call home, frequently just say she was all right. The reason Mary's parents were like that they knew something that a twelve year old girl could not know they knew that world at times can be a cruel place and that parents have a duty to protect child from dangers the child might even know are there they they knew about every danger that could possibly touch mary, but they did not know
about you, the then one of his books, f b, I agent John Douglas, discusses the painstaking investigation that occurred in the weeks following the murders, task force members Viewed employees from each affected store. They went door to door with police sketches of persons seen near the stores, they tried to lift a finger prints from the contaminated bottles that were found still on the store shelves. Only a single smudge was lifted from one of the bottles they scrutinise security, camera video, such as it was in nineteen. Eighty two police were able to uncover one photo that bore scrutiny, an atm machine. Automated camera had taken a still shot of a store.
Checkout counter line at exact, The moment that paul a prince was paying for her tylenol. This grainy photo was it we publicly released by the chicago police department in the photo several people are. Visible standing in line, including one bearded tall man standing may be ten feet behind paula and staring directly at her. Police have said that they believe that this man might be the poisoner, it's very possible by, like we said in the last up, sewed the time frame of when this individual could at tampered with the time all pills and return them to the stores is days, I'm not exactly sure captain what makes police say that this you know that crafted their statement to be that we believe this guy could be the poisoner. Seen in this. Eighty am camera security, camera footage of clear there.
their bias against people with beards, probably, but yet they didn't pick out. The two lane guy with his beer So we have one two three, four five six people in the photo that I can see one of them is are would be victim and can potentially the man in the very back of this photo. He could in fact be the poisoner, then, in another, possibly helpful piece of evidence. We have one witness who comes forward, who me We have some significant information. This was an elderly woman who told police She saw a man in a drugstore, take something out of his jacket, pocket and place it on the drugstore shelf. She at the time assume that he was possibly a shot. Lifter who had returned item. In second guessed himself.
Right, if she was correct in her recall it meant it. The theories about the murderer operating at the retail level were spot on. Bon also, there's been plenty of times. I've been shopping and I throw something in my pocket, not thinking about Oh crap, I don't need to have that in my pocket, so it could. It could be something as simple as that, but, like you said, and I think we both agreed on it's more likely. This individual took the pills somewhere else. Tampered with them and then brought back as we mention John douglas was brought in to create a profile of the poisoner. He believed that the There was one single man, being alone poisoning tylenol at the retail level. He does. add the tylenol murders as a form of terrorism and the crime. One of psychological distance committed by cowardly non, confrontational person, he concluded that the
twitter had not targeted a specific person or store intending. Instead, generally terrorizing cause panic and mayhem the kid he believed was a man driven by rage and anger, someone with a history of personal failures, This would be someone who had many instances in their life where he believed he'd suffered injustices and unfair treatment. He may have a military background, would have trouble, keeping a job and likely had a psychiatric record he would have had: periods of depression and hopelessness and he probably set off by some stressful event, immediately prior to the late september, murders, of course, without a crime scene or targeted victim, it would prove very difficult to apprehend the killer Douglas says in his book quote.
We don't know if the subject was getting back at the manufacture, the stores they distributed, the drugs, the victims themselves or society in general. The killer could have no connection to tylenol, selecting it simply because it was so popular and cyanide of type used was readily available and cheap john douglas was the only one to suspect that the killer was an outlier time magazine said psychologists called the killer so strange that normal guidelines, just don't work and asia. I go area investigators stated publicly that they were looking for. We're a madman rather investigation, very, very difficult to because during the whole time there trying to find whoever did this have to be worried that that same individual is going to do this to another product.
And at the same time, this is happening just within the next thirty days of the initial investigation they had over two hundred and seventy com cats yeah, we'll dive into that in a minute. But I wanted to point out here captain that in the traditional douglas style of investigating and potentially apprehending a suspect. He is going to push these agencies to put forward some precautionary, methods for drawling the killer out to challenge the killer, come forward in some form or fashion, to present himself to law enforcement. And he had several different tactics which he suggested that they use at the time of the tylenol murders. Martyrs being that the local stores had beefed up security and nobody could tamper with any of the products that they were selling their own
challenging the killer to either, want to look and view the space for themselves or two to test them to see if they would tamper with a product and try to on one of the shelves there He also had several different methods and tactics, but one that was very interesting is the article that we read at the top of today story, if you read between the lines there some very interesting pieces of information that were included in that article yeah yeah come Come visit our house correct. They do not give the address if the keller, but they give a very good description of where one might find the kellerman home second they give up. Good description of where little mary kellerman body was buried what's terry she was buried in douglas.
The f b I decided what they were going to do was to pair up team up with a local columnist and douglas what are the colonists because he wanted someone that the community was already familiar with that. The community already trusted and had some type of relationship with now he said he did not want to tell this person the journalist columnist, to write the article, so he simply sat down with bob Greene who bob came forward and said I will to write the article. He says we just play, told them what our strategy would be and let him, as the writer construct his own call when John doe, comes into town. All law enforcement should cheer, because I get hours and hours of
return duty sitting in front of somebody's house waiting for somebody to come back or at a gravesite I can't remember what the actual number was, but I think they had surveillance on her grave site for like twenty four seven four yeah. I don't know if it was in fact weeks. I I don't have the exact timeline but I do know that when the article came out they were already prepped to do twenty four or surveillance on both mary kellerman home and the grave site yet to king here s. My issue, though, to with this crime is, this does not have to be a local individual. We have this timeframe where some eight, came into. The city took the items. We went to a hotel. What went down the street tampered with him turn all the items and then head out of town. Yes, that's correct! That is certainly a possibility
here in this case, and the reason why bring that up is: don't you think that law, enforcement and John doe What can I do mean that this individual was more local, well. I mean we have it in the profile that we just cave where he says that he believes that the temporary took place at the retail level. so what that means is One can say for certain if this, if the perpetrator is in fact, local or not if they way of determining that we probably would have a solved case? We wouldn't be sitting here thirty later by, but what you are saying is that the retail stores their technic the local level, so the person would have had to get the those. Adam. We'll know they were local at one point right. in the commission of these crimes. It just like what we spoke, when we talked about the the zodiac killer I know who he is: there's been all these aspects
over the years, but one thing we can say for certain: is it those letters were all mailed on the same day from San francisco, so You don't know where he lives where he works, who he is, but we know that day on that one particular day the zodiac or had to be in the city of savoured, cisco, same situate. in here captain as pointing out if you're targeting this in commissioning these crimes at the retail level? That means it, some point you were local. You had to physically be there to place these items on the shelf. So therefore, you go all right if the perpetrator was local on that Day, whatever the time frame is he may still, see here or it'd, be local permanent. So we're going to one, these these tactics and try to draw him out now there's an interesting story that comes from this is that, after a couple of nights,
there. You know their surveillance, Mary kellerman home and her graveside, hoping the killer may want to catch a glimpse of the home or visit the grave site, maybe even show some type of remorse and go to the grave site out of he reported on this yet, but they also publicize all the victims, funerals as as a way to say, hey, maybe he'll show one of the funerals yeah Douglas also suggested. I mean, like I said there were. There were probably sir seven different methods that he suggested that they they do at the time, one would be to have candlelight vigils and to take down the names and license plates of the people attending right. He also suggested you know, as you said, publicly announcing the the funerals which is which very typical of any type of crime it's Often the funerals are publicly announced anyway, regardless of
how someone dies? So it's not it's not out of bounds. By any means at all, but one thing that he said It was putting like special markers decorative markers on the graves themselves, and maybe this guy might want to go and take one as some type of souvenir by or tamper with them and on some level, so something physical, but you might be able to catch this person with in their possession at some point in time, and I keep saying he I I think you're saying he has why I think we we believe, but So law enforcement believes that this was done by a male. Yes, that seems to be the general consensus and lay seems to be John douglas his thoughts. I know that typically fee males are poisoners, but typically females kill people that they know. Is
right, it's very rare, it's much more rare that a female would kill strangers here too. A male killing strangers one story they comes out of this, this tactic of surveillance, the home and the grave site. Is it after a few nights of this, these stakeouts in the boneyard at the cemetery, a guy approaches the graves in the middle of the night, so police move and cause they wanna hear what this guy's gonna say is more like bitter almonds. He says something to the effect of he's apologizing, saying I didn't mean to do this- the man's crying and apologizing and said that it was an accident. I never meant to kill you. the problem then becomes that police hear the man say Susan. I never meant to kill you, Susan Wright.
We're not sure who susan is, but it's quick We determined that Russia's somewhere, that graveyard soon Grave was right next to Mary, kellerman grave, the was going to her grave to susan's grave to apologize to her because susan was killed in a hit and run situation. This was the that was responsible for killing susan, so hoddan did ganem yeah ganem. So what becomes of this is never got Mary kellerman killer, but they did get this who was involved in this hit and run accident with this susan victim and Not only did they get this guy off the streets and solve that crime, but also in a way proves Douglas's theory that is actually a thing, really happens and it's a way that they can be more proactive. Rather than just
sitting on their hands, waiting for the killer to either strike again or or himself in some manner, but if, if europe, and mine hunter any believe somewhat. The storytelling in mine hunter than John Douglas was the guy that people would talk shit to as some wait, some ways, one we're paying all these cops. All these extra money in nothing's turned up on this agenda was sway of saint. How well one my theory is correct, but to what we got a bad guy off the street before we had law enforcement there at the gravesites in early nineteen. Eighty three, the cook county medical examiner, announced that they had reexamined seventeen unexplained deaths that occurred around the time of the tylenol murders and that three of them appear to have resulted from cyanide. In all three cases, lethal doses of cyanide, as well as a seat a medicine were found in there
blood. But it was too late to discern whether these people were definitive victims of the tylenol murder, any extra strength all in their homes had long since disappeared 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 the so important, and something that we need to be discussing every day. You now 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. Peat is look it's the best thing. I've done for my mental health period,
better. Betterhelp is online therapy that offers a video phone or even live chat only therapy sessions. So, if you don't want to see anyone on camera. You don't have to as much more affordable than in person. 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 betterhelp dot com. Rod and join the over two million people like me, who have taken charge their mental health. With the help of experienced professional are just get ten percent of their first month that better help dot, slash garage, that's better dot com flash roger. I love better help you're going to love better help. I know you will check out better help dot com, flash garage today
here that that's the fighting spirit for some it sounds like you're, rich brothers, conviction and though it's different for everyone to calls us together, put up for those with a fighting spirit, drink responsible fear, import, micrometer, Portugal, the alright we're back cheers mates, cheer crazy to think the chicago tylenol murders. Nineteen. Eighty two september, twenty ninth tylenol, goes from thirty. Seven percent of the market share to eight percent after the murders rising they got eight percent yo. Sadly, the tampering inspired hundreds of copycat incidents across the: u S, the FDA rico,
more than two hundred and seventy different incidents of products tampering in the months following the tylenol. All some of this was for the most part in another it to seventy within the fur. month, but we have, we might have different information here. The large part of this too one hundred and seventy number, regardless of if it was in a thirty day time period. Forty five is, or ninety days is most of these are pretty small time acts. These are not people trying to kill people or kill people on a mass level. A lot of this is people trying to collect some kind of money from manufacturers or from stores for items that they can. take something as simple as maybe spaghetti sauce and put some. You know a dead bug in it or they had found dead rats in some food products
they also found things like pills tainted with everything, from rat poison, to hydrochloric acid, that We did in fact get some people sick around the country and, as said some copycats branched into food tampering that halloween parents reported finding sharp pins concealed in candy corps. and candy bars and some communities ban trick or treat altogether emmi. Let's be a very scary time, because once Look the initial fanny go okay, there's a madman out there but, like you said to say any within the next couple months? Are you on theirs? There's multiple mad people and they're, not just trying to poison tylenol capsules, they're trying to tamper with other food products sin and medical products. There is one portion of this case that is absolutely terrifying. The quote: tylenol murders expanded out of the state of illinois,
take on a new shape in the state of washington Around the greater seattle area- and this case starts- on Wednesday june eleven nineteen, eighty six, when forty year, susan snow, got up early, just like she would any other work day, both susan her husband, paul web king aged forty five we're going you go about their normal work day. Routines Susan was the assistant vice president of puget, sound national bank, typically Paul would leave for work before susan, and that would be the same on this day as well, so paul heads after work. Susan is going too far in the shop getting ready and then leaves leave the house as well. However, Susan's daughter We will soon find susan unconscious on the bathroom floor. Haley called nine hundred one in the paramedics were sent to the house when the parent
it's a ride on the scene. They found and still lying unconscious on the floor. She was still alive. She was quickly transported to a seattle hospital Unfortunately, Susan was brain dead and eventually she was taken off of life, support and passed on. during her autopsy. The medical examiner detected that telltale bitter men smell associated with sinai, poisoning and sure enough After further investigation, the exam determined susan. It died of cyanide poisoning now that Susan and her husband, Paul both took two extra strength. Excedrin pills, This is your basic over the counter headache, slash pain, reliever. In fact, this is one of them You're competitors for tylenol at the top answer, in, for whatever reason preferred this brand. It was
determined that susan took two pills full of cyanide and the two extra strength, etc. Capsules did Paul talk on that same day. No cyanide in them at all. Susan was, at about six or so hours later Paul was lucky enough that the pills he took were not tampered with susan, of course, not so lucky now, after all the campaign to more tainted bottles were found on store shelves. This is the whole all tylenol murders, chicago experience to point out taking place now in seattle. I wonder if that's why they're sleepless than on june seventeenth for the two year old, stella, Nicole, called seattle, PD to report that her husband bruce, who had died suddenly too weeks before, on june fifth, nineteen, eighty six
Did she believed that he had taken excedrin to extra strength, excedrin tablets shortly before he died now. At the time, the king county medical examiner listed bruce's cause of death as pulmonary emphysema. Now, armed with new information, starting to look like his death was in, natural, but it was a murder, the bottle that bruce took his pills from was from the same lot number as the pills ingested by susan snow. By now, of course, This has been buried for some time, but the hospitals had some of bruce's blood because he was an organ donor and sure enough. There was cyanide in the sample, it looked Like bruce was another unlucky victim of product tampering and this time
it's all going on in chicago, but two thousand miles away and four years later in the greater seattle area. Now the super strange thing here is the authority. were able to figure out that there were a total of five bottles that contain sign? I somehow of these five bottles, two of them manage to end up at bruce and stella. Nicholls household was cool, eating so of the five adulterate bottles of extra strength, etc, and authorities found in seattle to came from the sellers from style is home and we think there was a now look johnson johnson to test all of em, but we believe there is eight bottles of the tylenol, so five here that they know
I have but possibly another few that they didn't catch. So the lab test on her two bottles showed traces of fish tank algae cleaner in the doctored pills, the traces match. The fish tank cleaner in stella's home stella had points and her husband and planted additional tainted bottles around town, killing susan in the process, so she could hide her crime. and collect insurance to open up a fish the war of her own remember, That was one of the suspected possible theories in the chicago case. right is it somebody would want to kill someone they knew directly but cause other deaths to camouflage the market was definitely a high level. High sophistication level of crime could be looked at as such, but I think the chicago case and again here in the stella nickel case it might
seem that way on the surface, but it's actually not very difficult to do at all especially in the chicago case, when there was no real tampering. Proof seals on Actual bottles, if this I readily available and someone just now, the general knowledge of cyanide, then all to do is take the bottle open, pull the capsule apart with their fingers and refill it with sign of the problem, for the perpetrators of this crime, and this is something that you will see, often with bomb makers as well, is it with poisoning and with bomb making There is the same risk involved for the perpetrator that you end up, harming or killing yourself in the process of creating these devices to kill others. So it is now only lethal as ingested, but can also be lethal to that And I want to go too far that because I don't have a complete understanding I I don't want to try to pretend that I do but
the information provided to me. It seems like it's risky, be If you to even be handling write, this type of poise will get used to it, because I just ordered a bunch of offer amazon. But what's answers and here, in this case captain these stella nickel case is. I mean she's, actually a really terrible murder, because one her river crimes this is not just a situation of wife, kills husband, but wife kills husband. Willing to kill at least one, if not several other people in an attempt to cover up in a way with the murder of her husband so completely, willing to kill total strangers just to get away with this cry, but two killing her husband to get money. So this murder plot was fueled by greed.
It took out to life insurance policies on her husband and sell. It was such a agreed that she would away with this martyr? But she couldn't get out of her own way so check this. She had two insurance policies that she took out on her husband, bruce unbeknownst to bruce fizzy. She purchase too twenty thousand dollars policies that she was the no beneficiary on then Bruce life insurance through his work for thirty, one thousand dollars. Ok, so with these two forged signature pal please have twenty thousand dollars were forty grand Add the thirty one thousand from his work policy. Stella stands to make any one thousand dollars from bruce death, so if Stella would have been ok, with seventy one thousand dollars she would have never been caught. The man examiner, ruled the death, a natural death,
Nobody was any the wiser until susan snow died later from ingesting the extra strength excedrin and then stella nickel and forms the police hey, my house bruce, who died of natural causes. Weeks ago. He took excedrin right before his death is well now. That is because Bruce Bruce's work policy paid out, one hundred and five thousand dollars more. If Bruce's death was accidental opposed to natural- and this is a big and what was going on in the spring of nineteen. Eighty six was national news at the time big news, as I like to say the families of the seven dead chicago tylenol victims were suing mc. Neill consumer products incorporated a division of johnson and johnson. Eventually
he would settle with these families for millions and millions of dollars not only wanted acts. A dental death benefit of birth is work plan but she wanted to be able to sue a big brand of household name for millions rights. This agreed so far bruce couldn't be the only one to die from product tampering, slash, poisoning herself set of becoming a widow with an extra seventy one thousand dollars. She ended up, arrested and convicted receiving two ninety nine year terms under the new federal tampering wall. Still, a nickel was the first person in us history to be convicted of murder through product from my understanding captain that is a federal offense. That's a federal prime and she was convicted on the federal level of product that resulted in murder. So technically the state of washington could still charge.
And then convict her with murder at a later date. She still she's living in some low security prison ah in law. Yet when she got sentence- and the judge said to ninety ninety years- sentences reason she said so you're saying there's a chance right am I I stuck it out now during the first ford days of the investigation in the tylenol case bank in chicago in eighty two, the task force interviewed over one thousand people and amassed mastiff. Of pages of documentation and created a suspect list of twenty four names by week out. This list was down to four One was a loading dock worker at jewel, a massive operating warehouses, distribution center and packaging plant in the chicago area. This man, this suspect forty, eight year old, roger aren't
was known to possess and use cyanide and rant about killing people with Sinai. Capsule it is also known to carry illegal weapons and dirt The course of this investigation refused a lie. Detector test. The other strange thing here to captain is it look. Like Roger arnold, actually may have known or through a separation. a few degrees known one of the victims in the tylenol case, seven degrees of Kevin bacon. He worked with. The father of lynn, rhino rain. One of the victims in her father's name was howard fear and a pair Lee. This arnold guy, was in possession of two recently purchased one way ticket to thailand. when he was arrested in early october, what they It was he's a suspect. In this case he was
also a suspect in a june one thousand, nine hundred and eighty two assault. So we're going to arrest him on charges of assault from that incident in june. hold him in investigate him. In this tylenol case,. This will allow us to search his home in his home. They fine, weapons making manuals, including a book about how to in capital, encapsulate cyanide. For a time authority suspected there aren't old, was in cahoots with fair, in the title and all murders. They also suspected reigners husband, ed for a time, but both he and fair on past polygraph test they were cooperating with the investigation is really clear why Roger arnold was eventually cleared, but he went on. onto shoe.
And to death, whom he suspected had turned his name into the police as a potential suspect in the tylenol murders case he was convicted and sentenced to prison in nineteen. Eighty four for fifteen years, For that murder, and then he later died in the year of two thousand and eight again according to permission. I saw it sounds like they cleared this roger arnold got certainly clear him of murder and then he commits murder. Somebody turned a man for their people. Look at him! That's how the store europe's criminals are pretty stupid. Well, I that you have to be of a certain type to even land on the list of potential suspects in the town, all murders- and you see how his personality played out in the long term, another
spect was a chicago man who was mentally unstable and made threats against some of the stores where the tainted tylenol was eventually found. This was Kevin masterson, masterson, exe wife had settled a lawsuit against jewel, remember that jewel asko company, her employer for miss tree in connection with a shoplifting case and Kevin had run did about getting even with some of the retailers who ended up selling tylenol that killed people So he's in this whole dispute with his wife's employer He under this theory is seeking revenge to attack the stores, maybe even put them out of business because they up selling this time on all this killing people so, as I say, not essentially attack on the people per se or attack on Johnson Johnson. These are both by standards and the fact that yours,
down the store correct. That would be the motive if, in fact, he is the perpetrator. However, he too it looks like was investigated quite thoroughly and then dismissed at some point as a viable suspect. When again what you said in episode, one assistant they're not being investigated just by local detectives or local law enforcement. We have a lot of hands on deck. At the time of thirty, oh over thirty som, f b, I agents helping with this investigation from the onset. That's a lot back in nineteen, eighty, two yeah and a task force of almost two hundred law enforcement members. Looking in investigating this case, there was vernon Williams, Jr new jersey. He saw this-
an opportunity to try to extort one hundred thousand dollars from Johnson and johnson by threatening to taint more pills. He was jailed for attempted extortion, but clearly had nothing to do with the murders per law enforcement. The iron it. Why thought this? When I first heard about him? This seems to be a good one at the time, but because in eighty two, as when we hit a very bad recession, so I thought well, maybe somebody's young, when all countries in crisis, financially, you ok! Well, maybe somebody would try to take advantage of the situation and and get money through through crime And then there was James, William Lewis, on october six nineteen, eighty two, johnson and Johnson received a hand written all caps letter with a new york postmark that red johnson and johnson.
Parent of MC neill laboratories. Gentlemen, as you can see, it, easy to play cyanide, both potassium and sodium, and a capsules sitting on store shelves and since the cyanide is inside the gelatin, it is easy to get buyers to swallow the bitter pill. Another view is it cyanide operates quickly? It takes So very little, and there will be no time to take countermeasures. If you don't mind the publicity of these little capsules then do nothing so far I have spent less than fifty dollars and it takes me less than ten minutes per bottle. If you want to stop the killing Then wire. One million dollars to bank account number eight hundred four nine, five, nine seven at continental illinois, inc chicago illinois, don't attempt to involve the behind or local chicago authorities. With this letter a couple of
Phone calls by me will undo anything Possibly do this guy sounds like a madman. He sounds like a good suspect mean you have but also you have the guy coming out and he's confessing to the crime. Yes, The fbi lifted fingerprints from this letter and then noted the metered postage, with the identifying bo's number and an old date that bows that's that presort the machine that helps you put together mail. The envelope was stamped april, fifteenth nineteen. Eighty two, so well before any of these tylenol murders. The meter was traced to a company called lakeside travel. The bank account reference which was no longer opened at that point, belong to frederick miller, Mackay. Heir to the miller brewing company fortune, although
he owned. Lakeside travel police quickly determine that mackay, he had not written a letter, and he the authorities, a list of disgruntled employees or associates of his business on that list were the robert and Nancy Richardson Robert Richardson. was an alias used by james, william louis, who was wanted by police in another state which we will into in a minute. again as initially thought that the extortion letter sent to Johnson and johnson by Robert Richardson was just a hoax to embarrass mackay, but ass. They did. Some digging into James lewis has passed. They discovered that he had been. Charged with murder and was suspected of business and tax fraud. They began to put a little more stock into the possibility that the letter, was really sent by the actual poison, but they couldn't find louis.
Meanwhile, he continued his pattern of sending ranting letters. All postmark from new york city louis sent these algo tribune and the kansas star letters. Denying that he and his wife had committed the tylenol murders in another letter, so tat police handling of the murder and had been charged with the raymond west case, so he is telling these newspaper the he and his wife had nothing to do with the tylenol murders and complaining that the police. In the rain and west murder case had bungled. That hope, investigation and that he was to get that case reopen for some time. Louis b, and signing his real name at some point and even put his right thumb print on one of the letters the letters were. written in strange,
le stick vengeful language, here's an from John douglas. Then I found interesting quote: we are armed unless one means, the anatomical paraplegia sense? We I'll never carry weapons. Domestically. Weapons are for two quite similar types of bantling one criminals and to police. We are neither douglas noted that this personality seem to match with what he had profiled a cowardly type. There would these saddled with inner rage and preferred indirect attacks Lewis also sent some letters to president ronald reagan in october of nineteen eighty two threatening to murder him with a remote control airplane and poisoned more people with cyanide laced tylenol. If certain tax policies were not chain
this seems like a man that fancies himself a bit of a robin hood, to try to change things for the good the good, as he says it, but threatening violence? don't give him his way. Yes, robin of locksley, I'm going to katy, with the spain before becoming a suspect in the tylenol murders, louis owned and operated a kansas city. Business tax service called lewis, and this is where they befriended an elderly client, whose name was raymond west we've already mentioned his name. This man completely disappeared nineteen, seventy eight raymond's body was found in an attic in his own home about three after he disappeared. The body was and member he cut up wrapped in sheets trash bags and somehow hoisted to
storage area using pulleys and rope. He was too badly. composed to determine the cause of death or even actually who he was at the time later. determine that it was in fact raymond west. Now what leads them this James louis guy he's a client of louis, is in Kansas city and Police found a check from west bank account made out james lewis for five, wasn't dollars dated The last day that Raymond west was seen alive after, discovering ness they search louis his car, which yielded additional evidence, including rope, trash bags and more checks from Raymond west. Five thousand dollars by then was alive. It's like ten million dollars today now Dave charge him with the murder of Raymond west. However, this trial,
set for late nineteen. Seventy nine it was Lee tossed out it was dismissed by a judge who ruled that the arrest in search of louis, his home and vehicle were illegal, so louis is gonna, get lucky in this situation now Lou This once he's free and clear, and I have to worry about these martyr charges. He goes back to work. What's interesting. I find this to be interesting here. Captain is there He did a startup company, which he cofounded with an indian pharmacist to import industrial still making machines from india police continue to as to louis for anything they were so convinced. he did this murder that they wanted to catch him on anything that they could find. You know. Tax fraud. Falsifying credit card applications, swindling clients, anything that they could possibly find and some of the things they suspected him to where male fraud, by the end
I take one is sounds like local authorities in Kansas city had enough evidence to charge, MR louis with something, but before they could james Lou besides, he and his wife are going to go on the run where do they go. They went to chicago so. This guy has a history of potentially murdering people. He has history of potential falsifying documents, tax fraud, mail fraud- swindling his clients out of money and possibly land deals he's on the run from authorities in Kansas city who have warrants out for this guy now. he's in chicago all, and he has experience in filmmaking making which again
he said it puts him. The area he's steadily fits all the profiles and a lot of people that look into this case or have looked into this case. This becomes their number one suspect and once we're too is that lets say this guy was out for revenge By all appearances, it looks like the revenge he was seeking might have been against this fred mckay. He, the the very wealthy man that stands to inherit the miller brewing company fortune, that is being has remember. You pointed out the pitney bows awful up their police work, able to trace back to some time in April of nineteen. Eighty to you so are used to work on a picnic bows missing yeah we had them Some of the places that I worked as well now, what happened here captain is
Not only did they trace it to that date, but they also traced the account to that lakeside travel company owned by that Fred Mckay. He who was his wife had that big pay dispute with right mackay. He fella supposedly owed her five maybe six hundred dollars. It was not that big amount of money. I expected it to be a large amount of money. Considering that seven people died in this tylenol murders case, but those that envelope was stolen, along with a stack of other envelopes from that travel company on the last day that his wife, why they're. So maybe he used it as it was convenient that the army, hope was all ready, their posted jolly already paid, or was he trying to purposely give this to law enforcement?
and maybe get them to lead them back to this fred mckay he guy. So basically this would be him in framing fred. For the tylenol murders, yes or again, maybe just a way of covering his own tracks and sending them on a wild goose chase. Now. Remember douglas said that this person, the murderer probably would have experienced some type of stressor disruptive life event leading up to contaminating the bottles and then killing these innocent people. While james lost his job, Then he had in chicago in august of nineteen. Eighty two, this could be the stressor, but what we do know is that the the james is left chicago, on September. Fourth, nineteen. Eighty two using the names, william and Karen Wagner,
This is where you get into that really grey area right captain where cause there's a lot of people that believe that louis is the best suspect it may be. It is, in fact the actual poisoner, but we talked about the delicate nature of the jail in capsules in relationship to the cyanide that was placed inside of them right, one have contaminated, all of these products put them on the shelves back in early september, and then they're not purchased until late september. soon, then. seems a little difficult to believe, but. Oh, he still is stolen All very much involved in active in this case, even after the that he leaves. Maybe poison. These people leave and some other people under the bus after the fact and they'll never catch
because I'm not even in the area. More. Maybe that's maybe, as you pointed out, the purpose, traders, not local, so he couldn't have gone to Mary kellerman. His grave could not have gone to her home, or this guy was once local was not local after people started dying. I know he's a lot of people's top suspect. Her favorite suspect in this is my problem with. It is the type of criminal he is the the cargo tylenol murders or what you calm, the timers yep, the timers at a goofy sounding name. But to me it's it's an act of terrorists, it's so it's too! Create terror and fear, and to not just chicago but you're doing in chicago causes one the biggest cities. But yours
we somehow connected to it. So, but it's gonna it's it's about the overall fear of the nation, basically are setting a bomb or set in this trap and then once the things are once a vent start taken place here off in a distance watching it happen a meyer in your work that to me as the way a terrorist would work. This guy just does not fit that profile to me. I think this again, I think, is less about money and more about and still stealing fear where I think a lot of his crimes were connected to money and yes, I just think a good suspect
wouldn't be my number one well in the thing about him as well. In the other thing that makes this case very difficult, is you cannot it's too hard to determine if this is supposed to be public terrorism or mass extortion, because correct louis, ass. He tried to extort money from Johnson Johnson, but so did some other guy in new jersey who had nothing to do and was proven to have nothing to do with the case. So does that mean that louis Didn't have anything to do with the case, potentially we can't say for certain, but what we don't have other than this situation is. We don't have someone coming forward that we believe to be the actual poisoner saying you know what I'm going to keep doing this I'm going to keep killing. unless you pay me off right so. It might not even be extortion at it might be, as you said, just public terrorism, the others problem with that
though then to becomes often terrorist, have an agenda or they have something that they need to be into the spotlight of how they've been wronged in some form problem is usually someone unclear responsibility for these terrible acts. We don't have that either nobody coming forward saying you know we are this group. And this is why we committed these acts against the people of Chicago so. There's nobody really coming forward trying to gain from this or claiming responsibility. It's just he falls under what could be just a really confusing crime. Yeah. We don't have anybody coming forward and saying where a small
foreign faction yeah, so what you do have with this louis character, he eventually is charged with extortion stemming. The tylenol murders case of serving about twelve years in prison on the extortion jar he was released in nineteen ninety five, but he one of these he's one of these real pain in the ass types that, while in prison, he's granting interviews and Talking about. You know I was the time all killer? But if I was this is how I would do it break. This is how I would contaminate the cat. So this is how I would place them in the stores. You know saying all the all the stuff that make you go. Okay. I cannot clear this man. I can't get it out of my mind that he could be, in fact the tylenol killer in january of two thousand and ten. Both
James William Lewis and his wife were asked by the f b I to submit dna samples and fingerprints to the authorities louis status quo. If the f b I plays it fair, I have nothing to worry about. Lewis continues to deny all responsibility for the tylenol killings. So are you saying that he submitted dna? I said he submitted. Dna yeah So in two thousand and nine the fbi came forward and said: hey we're going to use all new technology to re, examine the evidence in the chicago tylenol murders case asking then louis. or dna, and then, a year later they ask the famous ted kaczynski for his dna obama. The unabomber now he said,
give it to them, but he had one condition he wanted. There was going to be an auction of his belongings and he wanted for the auction to stop and not be held. He wanted to keep his possessions saying that he did if he did give them his dna. That may be his dna would partially match and he would need his items from his cabin to prove that he never own potassium I knight, as for the murders, they remain unsolved. The case remains open and the one hundred thousand dollar reward still unclaimed quote one of the most sensational murder cases. This century has gone unsolved because the person who did randomly killed, seven people said Dan Webb, the: u s attorney during the investigation. He goes on to say, You have no motive. If all you're doing is king people for no reason whatsoever. Then that is a lie to be the most perfect martyr, because there won't be
any ties back to you, the for everything. True crime check us out at true crime garage dot com and make sure you sign up on the mailing list, we'd like to send out promo codes for discounts in our merchandise, store colonel. Do we have any recommended reading for this week. We all need a little escape once in a while. So this week we are recommending a fictional novel by friend of show Christopher Ferris. His new book called the fountain is out and available everywhere deep in the ozarks holler lurks in ancient source
are called the fountain. It drives men and women mad in leads them to do strange and terrible things. It is growing in strength only in a visible wall held in place by centuries of sacrificial magic protection, unwitting mountain community from aid sent into bloodshed and madness check out the fao by christopher Ferris. We will have that listed on our recommended page at true crime garage dot com, for and until next week Lee good be kind. Don't let
Transcript generated on 2022-07-14.