Tylenol Poisonings


Diya Dhawan, Staff Writer

In October of 1982, seven people from Chicago have died from using Tylenol that had been laced with cyanide. A victim by the name of Adam Janus had been experiencing chest pain ending up collapsing after an hour later where he ended up dying. He had taken Extra Strength Tylenol. Janus’s younger brother and sister-in-law ended up taking the pills and they passed away.

Another case was about a 12 year old girl who took Extra-Strength Tylenol for treating a cold. The police cruisers started rolling in the streets of Chicago on that Thursday afternoon and evening and the police started blaring warnings over the loudspeakers and the drug had been removed from the shelves.

Three out of the eight bottles were tested and had been turned in to the authorities. Another victim by the name of Mary Kellerman (age 12) used Tylenol for a head cold and she died September 29, 1982. A new mom Mary Reiner (age 27) and Mary McFarland age 31 and Paula Price age of 35 ending up dying within a few days.

One suspect had appeared by the name of James Lewis; he had spent 13 years in prison for a conviction relating to the crime. Another suspect by name of Roger Arnold age 48 was a dock worker who had ended up buying a large quantity of cyanide six months prior to the poisonings. The police ended up finding books on explosives and poisons which includes a copy of “The Poor Man’s James Bond,” which describes how potassium cyanide is made. They also found laboratory vials, beakers, test tubes, and white granulated powder. Seven months later after the poisonings, Arnold had been charged with killing a man in a Chicago bar which Rogers had believed that man turned him into the police. However, that victim was the wrong person and now Arnold is currently sentenced to 30 years in prison.