Re-opening the Case of the Tylenol Killings | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Re-opening the Case of the Tylenol Killings

In October of 1982, events in the Chicago area sparked a national scare. Around the Chicago-area, young, seemingly healthy people began to die with traces of cyanide in their blood. Hospital workers began to notice one connection-all of them had taken Extra Strength Tylenol.

Tylenol recalled their product not knowing whether the effects were far-reaching.

James W. Lewis was convicted of trying to extort Tylenol to "to stop the killings." Lewis, who maintained his innocence of both the extortion attempt and the killings, was released from prison in 1995.

But now it appears the FBI is reopening the case with a very specific suspect in mind. Joy Bergmann is the author of "A Bitter Pill," a story about James Lewis that was published in The Chicago Reader in 2000.

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