Tylenol Murders Research Paper

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ENG 121 24, Feb. 2013 Tylenol Murders On the morning of September 29, 1982, a bright 12-year-old girl named Mary Kellerman of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, woke up early complaining of a sore throat and a runny nose. Her parents chose to give her an Extra-Strength Tylenol capsule to make her feel better. Around 7 a.m., they found Mary collapsed on the bathroom floor. In hope of getting her help, the parents rushed their daughter’s unresponsive body to the local hospital. Mary was pronounced dead. Doctors believed at first she had died from a stroke. However, over the course of the next three days, the death toll would rise. Extra- Strength Tylenol capsules tainted with cyanide would be responsible for Mary Kellerman and six more deaths.…show more content…
Phillip Cappitelli, an Arlington Heights fire lieutenant, had been listening to the paramedic give his report about the Janus’s death on his police radio. Cappitelli learned from the Arlington Heights officials that Tylenol was mentioned on two of the reports. He then got a call from Marge Gosch, his mother-in-law, asking him to look into the mysterious death of Mary Kellerman because she was a friend of the family. Curious, Cappitelli called his firefighter friend and colleague, Richard Keyworth, from Elk Grove Village to discuss the case. Cappitelli asked Keyworth if he would find out if Kellerman was on any medications. Keyworth checked the medical report. The answer was yes, Tylenol was listed as the only medication she had taken. With this news Cappitelli immediately said, “Wait a minute, the girl in Elk Grove Village died from Tylenol.” Immediately, the two men looked over the full report of each incident. Realizing Extra-Strength Tylenol was the link to the death, the men notified their supervisors (“Deaths from Cyanide Tylenol Alarm Nation; ‘Madman’ Sought in…show more content…
The FBI, State Police and the local law enforcement had numerous leads. State police officer, Tom Schumpp, who supervised the Tylenol case, along with 100 other officers, pursued thousands of leads and several suspects. None compared to the evidence they had on a man named James Lewis, 40, an unemployed accountant. Lewis was the prime suspect in the beginning of the investigation and he remains the prime suspect to this day (Hale). James Lewis was arrested after he sent a letter to Johnson and Johnson demanding $1million to “stop the killings.” If the money was not paid, a repeat of the killing would occur. He was found guilty of extortion, and served a 13 years sentence, Lewis, was release in 1995 on parole

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