The Tylenol Murders, Part II


They pay buddy. We want to plug in new podcast on our network. And this is from one of our trusted, most endearing colleagues, Alex Alex is the best. And so is this show a federal, yes? So for the show host Alex Williams guides the listener through wasteland of things that were just barely saved or in some cases not saved at all. And what he does he digs into the stuff that's vanishing just before advantages and brings it on the open, and examines it to find like the value in the worth that it has. It's really, really fascinating as far as podcast go. Yeah. It's awesome. I remember Alex turn in the trailer and I was like this is one of the best things of her a long, long time. It's part, history, part, sound collage features interviews with historians collectors and authors. I dare to say if you like ninety nine percent of his bull in this American life and song explorer, you'll love federal, Yep. You're going to love ephemeral and you can listen. Into it on podcasts, the iheartradio app, wherever you listen to podcasts. And you can learn even more about offense at ephemeral. EPA. Ch-. E M, E, R, A, L dot show, way to go Alex. Welcome to step, you should know a production of I heart radio. How stuff works? Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark. Those Charles, w Chuck Prien through guest, producer Josh over there enough with the pleasantries? Let's get back to Chuck Tylenol murders part to do if you did not listen to the first part in nineteen eighty two seven people were murdered by adjusting Tylenol tainted with cyanide all on the same day. All on the same day America. In much of the world is super freaked out Johnson and Johnson is demand facture and part, one of part, two has the deal with Johnson and Johnson in how they handled this in a public relations, sort of way. Right. Because there were and are a huge company like you said, in the episode one, they held thirty seven percent of the market share which was many hundreds of millions of dollars Tylenol. They're selling every year and that's a nineteen eighty two dollars. Right. Which is like kazillion. Liens now. Right. So it was very big deal for that company. And the way they handled it is taught in colleges. NPR classes all over the world as exactly how to handle a big public relations crisis like this. Like it's literally called a textbook example of how how it's done. Yeah. Correct. They did a good job because as you remember from the last episode, they found out pretty sure early on that this had nothing to do with Johnson and Johnson, right? Like it wasn't in their factory. Wasn't in their supply chain that it happened almost certainly and that it probably happened by some crazed person taking him out of the store, tainting them. Maybe in the store in the parking lot. Then putting the back on the shelf. But Johnson Johnson can't come out on the news and say, hey wasn't us, right? Well, first though in this, this gets overlooked in left out of the, the college business courses in the PR courses, I Johnson and Johnson was. Not in favor of a massive recall jerk. That looks well, it looks good in one way, but bad another. And they actually didn't recall anything until mayor Jane Byrne held her press conference on Friday, calling for a recall of the Tylenol in Chicago and Johnson and Johnson did low face palm. Yes, we're recalling all of the Tylenol in Chicago. Yes, what she said. Right. So by Friday, the thirty first of September thirty one in September was Tober. I, I have no idea. I think it was like Tober I anyway by the Friday, two days after the death. Yeah. Death Johnson and Johnson recalled all Tylenol in Chicago. And that should have been enough to them that was enough. But this PR crisis was so massive in spread so fast. And like we said earlier in part, one became global almost overnight. It. Was not enough. Yeah. So Johnson and Johnson within a week of the deaths recalled every bottle of extra strength Tylenol in the United States, which is worth about one hundred million dollars at the time took it back to their factories and destroyed it. So they say. Yeah. Both Johnson and Johnson. Right. I wonder if one of them was, like, I don't know about this there. One of them said, okay? I'll take all the states west of the Mississippi. North Dakota South Dakota. Take all the other states. That's part, one joke. They even got an award, the public relations society of America, which is a real thing, believe it or not. They awarded them their silver anvil award for how they handle the crisis, the Tylenol poisonings. That's right. And high-grade foods. Remember, we talked about the, the bad wieners in the first episode the ballpark, Franks supposedly had razor blades, but did not right. That's still created a public relations crisis for them. Even though they were just these little jerks in Detroit. And they won the golden envel-, right? Which is one higher than silver because of how they handled the PR crisis brought about by the copycats of the actual Tylenol crisis, which was in fact really brought about by two jerk kids in Detroit. Right. Really not even copycats not the Tylenol crisis. I wonder where those kids today. Probably in the Senate about one of them was the guy who did our, our lighting at our Detroit show. Smoke. Yeah. Guys. We, we did a show in Detroit if years ago and very famously we still use that as the standard bearer for bad crew bad. We had a guy that look like a former Brody for your riot, heap. That was running like a light show basically during the middle of our podcast and like smoke came out. We were like we had to stop the show, almost like dude. What he doing? Yeah. Well, the lighting is so bad your highlighter had turned like Brown and you could get the word. The word and you ask them to stop the show. And you'd ask them to use a different color light and his response because you me was hanging out. And our friend, Chris Bowman was hanging out in the sound with with the guy. Yeah. His response, according to them was want smoke will give them some more smoke and we got some more smoke like smoke machine. Yeah, man. And people ask us why we haven't been back to Detroit. It's a big reason into big reason. The only reason. Okay. So they won the gold naval for the, the Weiner, PR moves, McNeil, consumer products, which is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. They actually make Tylenol. They make the pills again the way this all the supply chain. Works is really come polluted. And like you said, they didn't want to recall Johnson Johnson, everything I wanna kinda take it a little slower. I guess. Well, here they'd found out the drugs are actually fine. Thanks to pinky McFarland. This is a hundred million dollars with stock that they were kind of feeling the pressure to recall its right? So they were kind of reluctant at first, especially if they were convinced that there was nothing wrong with the rest of them. They had no choice. No. Those only way to do it to lose a lot of money in, in favor of future gains. Yeah. But even at the time, a lot of people are like this is for Tylenol. Jer the public is lost faith in Tylenol. So in Tylenol recall. Called thirty one million fifty count bottles of extra strength Tylenol in destroyed it all there is a chance that not only were they losing one hundred million dollars, but that they were losing one hundred billion dollars of a brand that had already lost the, the public trust and would never regain it, so which wasn't true. But yeah, no they didn't necessarily know that still up in the air. So they it was basically thirty one million sacrificial lambs that were killed to show, the public, this Tena Tylenol is gone forever. That's right. Your chances of dying from taking estrogen Tylenol or now gone. You can go back to taking Tylenol now that was one thing that was the big gesture. Yeah. A which is what it amounted to was a gesture on behalf of Johnson Johnson, but they did other stuff too. They started to do things right out of their reluctance, once they finally said there we have to just go with this to save face into win back public trust. They started to do things ROY. Right. Like, including like setting up a hotline, or putting out a hundred thousand dollar reward for information change lead sitting how much they'd lost thirty nine hundred eighty two dollars. Still chump change. It's it is. Yeah. And that remains unclaimed it does. But they but because of all this Johnson and Johnson manage to regain the public trust. And actually. Manage to position itself as a victim. Yeah. In all of this. Like, yes, there were these, which they were been murder victims and Johnson and Johnson. I don't think ever tried to push them out of the spotlight, but they also manage to portray themselves as the victim of a of a mad poisoner who may or may not have something out for them. But either way, their brand was taking huge hit because of this, and they were victim in we're able to generate public sympathy is part of the road to regaining the public trust. Right. Which is why it's taught NPR classes. So we'll take you back to nineteen eighty two. If you're if you weren't around, then or old enough to be taking OTC pills, and pain relievers, OTC is over the counter, by the way. That's right. Okay. You done with OTC yet, you know. So dumb. I love that. You played along the way she was, you could have made me feel stupid move in partners for eleven us. Almost now. Yeah. That'd be one next month or this month. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Unbelievable. So. Not in that way. Okay. So here's how it used to happen. If you wanted to take a pill like a Tylenol you would get your bottle. You would pop it open with your thumb. I, I came in a little box. Sure. But the box wasn't. Even glued shut. Now, you would pop it open with your finger. You would take out the cotton in there and you would take your pill. It was that easy. There was no tamper-proofing. There was no, the cotton was completely superfluous at this time yet cotton originally was introduced to keep Bayer aspirin like the hard tablet. Yeah. From getting crushed and transport. Yeah. And since they started using capsules and other stuff figured out how to strengthen tablets. There was no reason for the cotton any longer. But because consumers expected it still today. You'll find cotton in your your pills. There's no reason for it to be there, except because the companies know that you wanted to be there. It'd be weirded out if there wasn't katainen your pill. I mentioned the cotton lobby had something to do with that, too. Well, they're not they're not complaining though. So big cotton. They should new fancy OTC. Phil should have micro doll in there. Right. It just kills. The pair of me undis- stuff. They fill the these have been worn. So this was a time it was a very innocent time previous to this where you could like and you pointed this out. I remember seeing this grocery stores, like I remember seeing mothers and grocery stores, opening food products, smelling them. Yes. That's what you could do, and then closing it back and putting it back on the shelf, man. I was a little mold in this one. Yeah, this leave it for the next person forget poisoning. Like these could be spitting in this stuff. It was allowed it. That's just the way it was like there was America was innocent enough, that was fine. That's how we live and that sets up this Tylenol poisoning. If really shows how much of a jarring experience, it was Erica. Because all of a sudden, like it's finally sunk in a couple of days, there's something wrong with the Tylenol somebody is gone out of their way to poison the Tylenol in order to randomly kill people. And the reason they were able to do it because it's easy to to get into the Tylenol super Hamer with it put it back in. No one will be any any anymore, the wiser and such Tylenol milk doesn't have anything that, that keeps tamper resistant new. There's orange juice cereal. Neither does cottage cheese. Nothing does, and America for wreaked out in this is the reason why this Tylenol poisonings considered widely the first incident of domestic terrorism in the United States because it was terrorism, pure and simple. America was terrified there petrified not only to take Tylenol or any over the counter medicine. Now there were petrified to drink milk, or give milk to their kids, Paul, prince the flight attendant, who was the last one to die in Chicago. She had a co worker who said like everything tainted. Now, I was afraid to give my kids milk. I was afraid to give my kid cereal if they could get to the tile Tylenol, they can poise. Anything? And that was really emblematic of the, the attitude the shock that everybody went through, and as a result within six weeks. Tylenol said we got this covered. Yeah. And I have a feeling. They did this so fast there had to been this idea in place already, it was I saw reference that it was. And I imagine it was not done because they're like a lot of money. And why why would we bother like it's not like someone's going to poison the medicine. Right. And then that happened. So within six weeks, they had a box. It was actually glued shut. So if your little box had been opened you would be able to tell. Yeah. That was that was part, one of three of this tamper resistant packaging that little plastic seal over the top of the bottle after you open. It are none of the, the plastic is over the cap on the outside of the bottle like plastic foil in then, the, the actual foil was over the mouth of the bottle that you, we all have to poke through now to pull out the cotton in whatever still use cotton. None of that existed until the beginning of nineteen eighty three. So all three of these are put in place within six weeks. Not only that, they said, you know what we're going to introduce the cabinet which everyone knows now. Now, it was we didn't have them back, then, everything was a little capsule, that you could literally pull apart. And you could snort the Thailand, all of you wanted to sure quite sure some people, I'm sure someone did. But the Catholic is a tablet coated with easy to swallow gelatin. It's solid. It's I imagine you could tamper with it. And even even saw with all these things in place. They said nothing tamper-proof, but these measures really went along way to restore the public, you know. Well, like the good feelings about what was going on within about a year. Tylenol Johnson Johnson, manage to win the public's trust back in Tylenol. That's hard to believe a year. It was really fast by also goes to show just how perfectly they did everything from that from the time they committed to it on. Yeah. And I feel like I remember like commercials with CEO's and stuff addressing the public, he became staking care members name on Jeffrey beam shoe brand. Gabby johnson. No. They'll johnson. Yeah. Jimmy johnson? Yes. I this. I can't remember his name, but he Jimmy Johnson, his wife are away from that. But he became a public face. He, he would you know go onto sixty minutes. And in he talked to Dan, rather and Ted Koppel and all those cats like he, he was out there like showing how much the company cared. Yeah. And it had had a huge effect. And then in nineteen eighty three congress got involved. They pass what they dubbed the Tylenol Bill, which basically says, if you do something, like this is now a federal offence few years later in nineteen eighty nine the FDA actually established guidelines for all manufacturers of any product really, to make tamper-proof. Yeah because it wasn't just the OTC manufacturers that, that started doing this. They followed suit very quickly once Tylenol came out with it because the kind of had to if they wanted to keep up with Tylenol. But also, the, the manufacturers of everything, like every product every consumer product started putting their products. Tamper proof packaging to dial soap started coming wrapped in cellophane inside the box the trap, the chemicals in I guess, but also to show like nobody's injected this with lie or something like that. Other lie is used in the making soap, isn't it. Remember my fight club. It's pretty funny someone injected soap into the soap. All right. Let's take another break, and we'll come back and talk a little bit more about the profile of the supposed mad poisoner right after this. Stop. We need to talk about something Chuck. Yes. Constipation abdominal pain and bloating. That's right. Man. You tell yourself. It's not that bad. You take laxatives modify your diet and exercise routine, but thinking about it all the time is frustrating. Yeah, do you find yourself making up excuses instead of admitting to people that you don't wanna go out because you're really worried about leaving home, despite your best efforts to feel better your symptoms? Keep coming back. Is this right Yemen? This feels all to relatable, you are not alone. If your gut symptoms return again, and again, and again, you don't know why it may be time to seek help like thirteen million others. You might have a real medical condition called irritable bowel syndrome with. Constipation or IBS. C. Yup. To get more info about your symptoms, and I SE go to, oh, my, gut dot info slash podcast and learn about your constipation abdominal pain and bloating. And if you're ready find out ways to. Talk to your doctor or excess one online. That's my gut dot I in a faux slash podcast. All right. So this was a very big case at the time obviously. Like we've been saying it was a landmark case. So, of course, you're gonna get psychological profiles, which, you know, we should do wanna profiling actually have we done that. I don't think so it'd be good one, because it always like seems like the trope in movies and TV. But it is kind of like that. No, it is a thing for sure. It's not like they just make this stuff up. But in the end they said, you know, this is probably a man in his twenties thirties, who was sort of Jekyll and Hyde type during the day, he's very ordinary, you could be in the desk, cubicle next to you. And you wouldn't even know it every once in a while us go. Yeah, exactly. But deepen is in the recesses of his brain, everyone. He's plagued with self doubt and has an illusion that a random killing can boost his sense of self worth self worth. Which is just sounds like a straight out of a movie. It's like it's like interesting. I want to be on TV. Yeah. Listen to me. They also speculated in. This is just completely like conjecture was that he had probably already taken his own life after the killings. That was one specific person that yeah, yeah, it was I think like the medical examiner for Cook County. Yeah. He already jumped off the bridge. Don't worry about it. Don't worry everybody. Yeah. Yeah. He just threw that out there. I don't know if it was the calm people or not. But. Or maybe he's throwing his two cents in, but. I think you kind of said it earlier, I don't remember if it was part one or parts of the whole thing's is blurred and become a haze by now. But no one is ever been charged with the Tylenol murders. Yeah, that's the ending. But there has been a lot. There were a lot of suspects that member Tylenol set up a hotline, and this Tylenol task force one hundred forty person strong task force investigating this chasing down leads taking calls on the hotline thousands and thousands of calls that were coming in. They were trying to whittle those down into actual tips that were worth pursuing and out of all of them. They, they deemed twelve hundred tips or twelve hundred leads worth checking out, right. There's a lot of leads for case, even even considering yet one hundred forty people working on and I, I read somewhere that they started out with, like twenty thousand suspects or something like that. And whittled it down to four hundred. Yeah. In sort of the sad, part is, is quickly as they sort of figured a lot of this out and had that hundred and forty person taskforce, they almost just as quickly within a few months, really. Is that like, we don't have the very good chance at finding this person became clear very quickly? Yeah. They whittled that down by the last week about Tober the task force was down to forty people by the end of the year was down to twenty and it was a situation again, in nineteen eighty two where you didn't have security cameras everywhere, you didn't have credit cards and debit cards, creating paper trails. It was a lot easier back then to get away with something like this to, to be completely unknown to walk into a store, maybe slip some Tylenol in your pocket. Go out to the parking lot and come back in and slipping back on the shelf. If he's really easy, you won't even go to the trouble of buying it. Yeah. I guess that's deal in them. Put it back. But you know, people were using cash, if there were cameras in place, they were probably trained on employees. I worked at a golden pantry in college. And the only camera we had was directly above his pointing down at the cash. Register it was a the one elps in in. Elana highway. Alps. No. Okay. The one on the east side college Station Road. I think okay. Yeah. Very interesting job. That's the one where I got job. I needed a job. I got a job at McDonalds, and I showed up took the one hour training video, and they got my uniform number. I went home and I was supposed to show up the next day. And I was like, I can't do it. I can't go work at the colts. And I got the golden pantry job later that day which hey man sure sign me up from golden arches, and the golden pantry a rags to riches story was some beer and cigarettes. Nice pretty great you like one for you for me. Oh, I've never do that. All right. Where was I, I was at golden pantry so the cameras trained on the register they're, they're not? You know, you come and go in a store and in no one even knows in nineteen eighty two. Right. It was up. Nothing to go on most importantly, no motive. That was a big one because remember this is just a Jacqueline Hyde type you'd never expect is probably at the bottom of the Chicago river. Right. Who also is engaged in some senseless. Random killings of people anonymous poisoning killing them. Even shooting it just made zero sense whatsoever. So, like, we said earlier, the cups figured out within about a month within the first month the investigation that this is they were not going to have a break in this case. But that's not to say that they didn't have some suspects. Some people definitely did kinda come to come to the fore, but not many of them. Yeah, but these are really interesting sub stories in and of themselves. Sure the. Guy's name was. Last name Arnold first name, Roger Roger. That's right. I call him Richard. That's all right. But for good reason. Oh, sure. Because you said he was like the Richard jewel of his day. Yeah. The Olympic bomber who was not the bomber right. Who's life was ruined because he basically was implicated as the Olympic bomber right thing happened to this guy. Yeah. He was one of the first name suspects forty nine year old guy. So, so put yourself in the position, okay, the media's going berserk on the story. Everybody hears about it. It's a mad anonymous poisoner and now all of a sudden there's a name and a face associated with who's a suspect. But he's the first person named though. Yeah. It's like people going crazy trying to get to this guy to interview him. Yeah. I have my doubts about this guy. Not that he did that. But there are a lot of Hanky things that they found out about him. Sure. And then how Ol- ended up. Yeah. As you're about to see. So he was a DIY chemist too big. One. There's a big thing, right there, because into chemistry you'll he said, he's jecklin, high type who's probably into chemistry, right? He was a dock hand at jewel foods at a warehouse west of Chicago jewel foods to a couple of different jewel foods or where Tara was bought a grocery store food market, tell checking out so far. So the cops look into him in go to house. He has a book a handbook rather on methods of killing people how to kill people, eight his I don't know if that's the title. Okay. He had five unregistered guns, too big one he admitted to having cyanide once. Yeah, but he said, I threw it out, like at least six months before these murder, he's like, when we're in the murders again, six months before that one. And then his wife said, you know, they're investigating her and interviewing her. She was like you know what actually I did take some Tylenol, and felt really sick and threw up one time. But again, I was it was probably due to overeating, and it was just that once as the fact of podcast. So like he can't blame cops for saying this guy's pretty good lead. Yeah. Because you can kind of start to see like if you add all the other stuff together, and then here about the wife throwing up from Tylenol, we like, could you see this guy like toying with his wife like testing it out on her just enough to make her sick. But none to killer see what happened know see if she would notice who knows right? But the cups thoroughly investigated. This guy and cleared him there. There's not a there's not a person associated with the story that I came across who that thought he had actually think this guy did it didn't find one person who thought Ronal are, are Roger Arnold actually did it. But in very short order, he proved that he was more than capable of murder because six months after he was cleared as a suspect. He was brought in for the murder of somebody else. A guy named John Stanishev statia, stint show to the I'm going to sons Slovak or something. Yeah. He was forty six he was Kogyo computer consultant, and that's saying some in nineteen eighty two. Yeah. Probably so, so here's what happened Arnold, there was this bartender name, or bar owner, Marty Sinclair, who Arnold had thought head initially turned him into the cops in his life, essentially. So he goes to kill who he thinks his mardi Sinclair and it's actually this just. -pletely innocent random guy who gets shot point blank. And so he in fact did kill somebody he did because of what had happened to his life. It was premeditated murder even though it was the wrong person he was definitely he created a an intentional homicide. He killed somebody on purpose mistaken, identity killing, though. Right. And because of this, because it was directly related to the Tylenol poisonings John Stanishev is frequently considered an eighth victim of the Tylenol killing kind of like a preliminary victim, Brian his case. But it is kind of appropriate that he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time victim steak at identity. Yeah. You know, it would have like a slightly different ring to it. If it had been the right guy, the fact that it was the wrong guy dude just happen to be in the wrong bar in the happen to look like the owner. That's just is perfect for this for this saga. Yeah. Wonder. Mardi Sinclair thought about all that. I'll bet he was not very happy really not. But probably also very relieved and probably also guilt. Yeah, I guess there's a touch of that a range of emotions, I would imagine all over the place. So Arnold ended up serving fifteen years of thirty or sentence was released ninety nine and died nine years later. Yup. So Chuck before we go onto the main attraction as far as the suspects go. Yeah. I propose that we take a break agreed. Okay. We'll be right back. Only one can be king long live, the king Chuck tried Godzilla king of the monsters is the next chapter in Warner Brothers, and legendary pictures cinematic, monster verse. Yep. In this epoch new story godzillas pitted against some of the most popular and terrifying monsters in pop culture history, like mothra, Rodin, and godzillas ultimate nemesis. The three headed Ghidora, Chuck will this be the most epic theater experience ever? I think so, man, as the clock runs out autumn. It question is, do we fight to defeat these larger than life monsters? Or do we join Godzilla and hopes of saving our planet me, entire human race, or we have a ton of fun, starring Kyle Chandler Academy Award nominee, VERA, farm, IGA, and Millie, Bobby Brown inner cinema debut Godzilla king of the monsters storms into theaters may thirty first. Chuck. So this dude, there was basically two suspects in this whole case over all these years, basically, to people. And again, no one was ever actually charged with the murders, but this guy came awfully close and his name was James Lewis. Was it? It turns out, it was, but James Lewis came under the attention of this Kaga PD in the Tylenol task force when the letter showed up at Johnson and Johnson headquarters, and it was from allegedly, the Tylenol poisoner the mad poisoner. In the letter, it said, basically, like I've spent fifty dollars so far, and the whole thing is taken me about ten minutes per bottle. And I've already killed seven people. I basically see no reason to stop pay me, one million dollars. And then I will stop the killings and he gave a Bank account number. Right said, wire me this money, very, very presently. No, it's not the right word stupidly. Maybe but is it? No. It's not. So this letter has a New York Post, Mark, but the Bank account is associated with a travel agency in Chicago. And so the cops go okay to seems like it was dropped in our lap. But let's go check it out. And they find the owner of the travel agency that had closed up a gone under and this guy is like, oh my God. You're kidding me. He's like, no. I didn't write this letter, but I can guarantee I can tell you who did is a guy named Robert Richardson. Robert Richardson, turned out was the husband of a woman named Nancy Richardson, who had worked at the travel agency. And when the travel agency went belly up Nancy lost her job, and never got her less paycheck. While rubber Richardson was the type of guy who would fixate on this, right? And was even more. So the type of guy who had write a letter to frame, the owner of the travel agency for the Tylenol murders in retaliation for that last paycheck. He was that kind of dude. Right. As the Cup started sniffing into this, Robert Richardson cat. And they figured out pretty quickly. The rubber Richardson, didn't actually exist that it was actually somebody else, amending James Lewis. Right. So when we joked earlier about is that his real name. And you said it was it was. His name was not Robert Richardson though. That was an alias. So what they found out. Was it Robert Richardson was attacks consultant? He had and this is just a strange ironic twist when he was twenty years old. He tried to take his own life by swallowing aspirin. Thirty six of them. Yeah. So that's just neither here nor there. But it an interesting little side, the fact that, that, like most people don't have that as part of their past. Yeah, it is interesting that it came up. So he had a pretty long rap sheet. He was wanted by postal inspectors for credit card fraud in Kansas City. He was indicted in nineteen seventy eight for and this one is just mind blowing. Yeah. He's indicted for murder after police found remains of one of his former clients in bags in his attic. And he got let loose because it was an illegal search but he, he was caught with the body of one of his clients. Yes dismembered in his attic with no good expert. Nation as far as of ever heard. Yes. Such. Well, what expansion would be good? Well, we're playing poker and doing other right. Juggling swords and. Yeah. So his wife's real name was leeann the one who are the travel agency and went unpaid. They fled Kansas City in December of eighty one. And this was as US, postal. Inspectors were converging on them about this credit card scheme. Right. So they're like. Just bad people. Not the postal inspectors. No, no, go Lewis's. Sure, right. Yeah. So they moved to Chicago. They changed their names to Robert Nancy, Nancy Richardson. He got that job as a tax prepare, but then he was fired after a violent outburst in his office against his co workers. And then she lost her job went unpaid. They left Chicago. And this turns out, this is what got them exonerated from the Tylenol thing is they left Chicago and moved to New York before this happened right before those same month. Right. But if the theory held up that this person went around most likely in one day and did all this stuff, then it couldn't have been them. No in. Here's why. Because the cops are decided that it was done locally and one of the other things that supported that local mad poisoner theory was because the cyanide through the gelatin capsules eventually. So it had a very, very short shelf-life before the whole bottle, just turned into a mush of cyanide powder and melted gelatin. So, like you said it had to have been done, basically the day before the, the twenty ninth on the eighth, they could not no matter how hard they tried. They could not put James Louis or his wife in Chicago, that day. Right. They just. Couldn't and for his part, James Lewis said, yeah. I wrote this letter, I wrote the letter Johnson and Johnson, framing that travel agency guy. But I did not did not poison the Tylenol us always been adamant about that. He's never toyed around with it. He's never messed around. He's never been coy. He's always been adamant that he did not poison the Tylenol, although. The Tylenol task force tried to trip up. Once I guess, to just get this on the record that he done this. But they asked him like in a in an interview, okay? Let's say you had done it. How would you have done it? And he actually pulled an e showed them how he would have done it, right? Yeah. He just didn't write a book about it. He's showed him in an interview, and he defends this later on by saying. It was just a speculative scenario. I could tell you how Julius Caesar was killed. But that doesn't mean I was the killer. Right. I think the answer for me would have been. I don't know. Man. I'm innocent. I can't figure this out. He was like here. So I've been waiting to ask me, he's actually found in New York City. He's at the public library with a reference book, copying names and addresses of newspapers. I would imagine to send them letters like zodiac style because we gotta say this. So the cups figured out, who James Lewis was before they found James Lewis and it became part of the national media. Circus. It was a manhunt, while they were looking for James Lewis. Yeah. This guy was writing letters to newspapers. He called in a radio talk show. Yeah. He was really relishing. The fact that the, the there was a national manhunt out for him who, like sort of saying on the one hand, you go to kind of feel a little bit bad that this guy was kind of being railroaded into, you know, the rap for these murders after his extortion attempt, that's where the feeling bad for your like. Oh, yeah. That's right. Totally brought this on himself. He SO they hold him out of the new York, Public Library. He was sentenced to ten years for extortion. Attempts in ten years for credit that original credit card fraud and served thirteen years and lives in the greater Boston area today. So still today there, I think there are a few people who are like I could see this guy he may be maybe he could he could be some, some detectives maintain that the Tylenol murder could have flown into hair. Rented a car done that, circuit, your flown, or driven back to here and flown out all in the same day. The day before they could never put James Lewis in Chicago at all. That day. So he was cleared finally, although he did serve two consecutive ten year sentences reserved thirteen of the twenty years for that credit card fraud that the postal inspectors wanted and for and for the extortion letter. And like you said he lives in Cambridge mass now but then in two thousand nine the case after basically having gone dormant in the early eighties was reignited by the FBI because they worked up. They thought DNA profile Sherm the capsules and they raided James Lewis's house demanded of fingerprint and DNA sample James. Leeann Lewis fought it in court. The judge is like no you have to do this before leaving the courthouse, they gave him the samples and nothing has come of it. So I guess that means test that the Lewis's were cleared once and for all of the Tylenol murders. Yeah. And, you know, the DNA thing is an interesting piece because they still have some Sam. Apple's of the cyanide, I guess that the capsules have have worn away by now, if it had the cyanide in there, but there was and still is hope that DNA could could crack this case, just like eight or nine years ago, the Univar, Ted Kaczynski, is that a two parter. No, no. It's just one good podcast. I don't think so get up. He grew up in Chicago, and his parents were living in the greater Chicago area and eighty two and he is the Yuna bomber. So they said, we might as well get a DNA sample and talk to him. And he, he was cleared. I don't think he was ever a super strong suspect, and he's he probably would have admitted it. So he was like now. Mrs not me. Right. So the Yuna bomber has been clear, that's right. But that remains the case remains unsolved to this day. They also have a fingerprint workup that they found on one of the bottles, and that in some DNA is just sitting around with that there's there are no suspects there. Every suspect has been cleared in there's nobody on the horizon. It's just in unsolved random series of killings that happened. Yeah. They're still working on it, though. There's a police sergeant named Scott Winkelmann, who has been on this task force for a long time. And he says he thinks it's solvable and his department, did you saw BA forty five year old murder case cold case man, if they sold this one, that would be the biggest coal case over salt. I think I think I mean who knows, but I could see maybe finding like deathbed letter or something when day maybe like, I dunno if they're gonna catch someone in at the bottom of the Chicago river and the jail. But I could see the truth. Coming out one day hope so for the families because Monica, Janice, she's the niece of Adam Stanley, Theresa. She said her family to this day. This is from an article like last year, I think said that they have still not gotten over it. She said her grandparents have passed now but she said, literally every day for the rest of their lives. They just cried about the fact that they didn't know who did it. She grew up as has been theory therapy, her whole life, because there were all victims, you know, that this post traumatic stress disorder kicks in sure where she grew up fearing that any of her family members could die at any time. Joseph Manus her her dad says that he still has dreams like you know, on the rag about these murders. He said he had one recently, where everyone involved was in a room in the case. And then to black men and suits glasses were laughing about how they got away with murder. Michelle rosen. She's the daughter of Mary Reiner, right? She has dedicated her life to investigating this on her own, and she doesn't agree with the loan the mad poisoner theory at all. No, this is this is interesting. Yeah. She thinks it had something to do with the supply chain, and that Johnson and Johnson knew this and covered it up. Yeah, one of the things one of the things that people who believe this point, too, is that Johnson Johnson, recalled, all of that Tylenol thirty one million bottles, and then destroyed them allegedly without testing any of it. So we will never know whether it was pinky had the Dale, right? Whether, whether it was beyond Chicago or just local, Chicago. Right. Seems like it took long enough that other people would have died in that week before the national recall was undertaken if but there was something, very, very interesting, though, is a postscript to all this that does undermine that. Mad poisoner theory. Yeah, it was just a few years later in one thousand nine hundred five woman in New York named I n ELS Roth took two extra strength Tylenol capsules and died from cyanide poisoning, but they found I mean it's just completely unrelated. Was it, another copycat case? Well, or, or the original poisoner, maybe so the different cyanide, right? The cyanide was definitely not the same site. Right. From the same batch, it was chemically different. But there was another bottle found around the block from where Mary Ellsworth bought hers in Yonkers that did match that cyanide. So there were two bottles of extra strength, Tylenol two years later in another state that had been tampered with the problem is, this is after the three prong, tamper resistant packaging had been introduced, which means it was an inside job. Right. I guess, because the Tampere the thing had not been, obviously tampered with then. Island was never able to explain what happened yet and then within five days of her death, eight states outright banned the capsules Tylenol capsules right in Tylenol for its part was like we've been trying to get everybody to take capless. Anyway, keep taking capsules so we're making it. And then a guy wrote a book, right, Scott BART's. Yeah. Former Johnson Johnson employees wrote in two thousand eleven self-published book on the time poisonings in. He said, what we were talking about earlier. He's like this apply. Chain is so convoluted basically like it could definitely could have happened at any point right along the way. And his, his idea is that the Johnson and Johnson knew that it was in their distribution network. And they covered it up self-published book. Yeah. Gotta you gotta note that for sure not, not gonna know, but it's noteworthy it does, if there's like any hint of journalistic integrity in us that feel. Like we have to note that sure. So that's the Tylenol poisonings of nineteen eighty two in Chicago changed, America, change the world, but definitely changed America is the end of some form of innocence that we still had absolutely if you know, more about the Tylenol poisonings go online, there's stuff all over the place and you can go down there where but hole in its deep in white since I said that it's time for listeners. This is from gin from Brunswick, Maine, guys, been listening for several years and never thought I'd have a never thought perfect time, right? To write in would be related to synthetic farts. Remember the disgust episode. Talked about since synthetic parts. It's a real thing when I was in high school. My dad came across the stuff online called liquid A S S, horrible not allowed to curse, right? Spell it out the jer I guess, maybe you should said like a asterisk s. There you go. Good name for product. She said he founded on a joke, web website and ordered some and I have to tell you, it is the worst thing you've ever smelled. I can't even describe it, it makes you want to not breathe anymore. Tiniest little drop is deadly. So, of course, I took it to college with me to play pranks and boy, did it backfire. I thought it was pretty funny, putting a couple of drops in the radiator by my across the friend across the hall, friends room, not eating thinking and not even thinking about what would happen when the heat turned on. Well, the heat turned on the whole floor of the dorm was amazingly, disgusting and made us just about gag smell took almost a week to finally go away and have not used it again in the tenure cents. It's probably learning your lesson still has the bottle. I kept it right. Case. Case. Thank you for your interesting and entertaining podcast. This is the first podcast ever listened to and it's still always on the top of my download list. Thanks, thanks for giving this twenty eight year old woman, a platform on which tell a story of synthetic farts that is not completely out of place automous, that is Jen green. Thanks, Jen green very brave. You put your name on that one, especially I wonder if you stepped up and said that horrible smell that was my bad right of you. Have a great story about college pranks. We want to hear about it. You can get in touch with this view. Our social links by going to stuff, you should know dot com or you can send us an Email to stuff podcast at iheartradio dot com. Stuff. You should know is production of heart radios. How stuff works for more podcasts from my heart radio is at the iheartradio app, apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Hey there, dear stuff, you should know listener it's me, Josh, and I am hitting the road this June to take my solo show, the end of the world with Josh Clark live onstage to, to kind of two towns, maybe a near you on June nineteenth. I'll be at the Parkway theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota and on the following night, June twentieth will be in our nation's capital, Washington DC at the miracle theatre, even if you've never heard a second of the end of the world, Josh Clark, and I urge you to go do that. Or if you've heard ten times, doesn't really matter, there's going to be a lot in this show for you. Push. You'll get to see words come out of my mouth live and in person. I'll be talking. In other words at any rate, if you'd like to go, get tickets available at the miracle theatre dot com and the Parkway, theater dot com. Hope to see you this June.

Coming up next