As the 31st anniversary of the 1982 Tylenol murders approaches, the FBI has disbanded their lead as a task force, and a local multi-jurisdictional task force established in 2007 continues to investigate the Chicago area poisonings — one of the most high profile unsolved cases in the world.
Since 2007, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been the coordinating agency for the task force. In that lead role, the FBI provided valuable resources to task force partners which include: the Illinois State Police, as well as the Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Lombard, Schaumburg, Chicago and Winfield Police Departments. The FBI has now transferred coordination of the task force investigation to the agencies that have jurisdiction for the prosecution of the murders. Arlington Heights has volunteered, at least temporarily, to be the lead agency of the investigation. Three of the victims that were murdered, collapsed in an Arlington Heights home.
The FBI will continue to provide resources in areas of expertise as needed to support the investigation. The investigation is ongoing and active. The task force is continuing to work with the Cook County and Du Page County State’s Attorney’s Offices’ for a successful conclusion.
The victims of this product tampering case were Mary Kellerman, age 12, of Elk Grove Village; Adam Janus, age 27, of Arlington Heights; Stanley Janus, age 25 and Theresa Janus, age 19, both of Lisle; Mary Reiner, age 27, of Winfield; Mary McFarland, age 31, of Elmhurst; and Paula Prince, age 35, of Chicago. All seven victims were determined to have ingested cyanide-laced Extra Strength Tylenol capsules on or shortly after September 29, 1982.
“I am not surprised the FBI is giving the case back to the local police departments, as they do not have jurisdiction on this case in the first place. I wonder what this means for us? Are the sealed documents able to be viewed now? After 31 years, we still do not have any answers. The topic of this case should never come up again in the news until closure can follow. And, sadly, with a majority of the evidence being destroyed immediately following the murders, I believe it is impossible at this point. I only hope the local police will bring new energy and light to the case to steer it in a new direction.”
— Michelle Rosen (daughter of murdered Tylenol/cyanide victim Mary “Lynn” Reiner)
According to Michelle Rosen, her mother, Mary Reiner had given birth 6 days prior to the time period when the Tylenol deaths were discovered. Rosen and investigator Scott Bartz believe May Lynn Reiner received the Tylenol that killed her from the hospital pharmacy at the hospital where she gave birth — Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. Scott Bartz’s, a former Johnson & Johnson employee who self-published the book THE TYLENOL MAFIA revealed the information to Rosen, which leads her to believe that her mother’s exposure to Tylenol outside the retail channel is the “smoking gun” because she concluded the culprit presented by authorities could not have gained access to a secure hospital pharmacy.
Next News Network (September 24, 2013): FBI to Make Announcement on Tylenol Murders and interview with Michelle Rosen — daughter of Winfield, Illinois victim Mary Reiner.
Scott Bartz concludes that his research presented in the book THE TYLENOL MAFIA proves that the Tylenol tampering occurred within the distribution network for Tylenol, and that Johnson & Johnson, to avoid liability of corporate interests, would not want to be associated with the responsibility for distributing this Tylenol.
Potential evidence was destroyed when authorities ordered citizens across Chicagoland to destroy and dispose Tylenol to prevent any further fatalities from ingestion of contaminated Tylenol.
The September 28, 1982 Mystery
Bartz, writing in the opening chapter of THE TYLENOL MAFIA, describes a chilling incident that occurred on September 28, 1982 at 2:30 a.m., just before the Tylenol deaths occurred. Two Kane County Sheriff’s deputies discovered two light brown cardboard boxes in a Howard Johnson parking lot on Route 25 (Dundee Avenue) and Interstate 90 in Elgin.
On the boxes the words “EXTRA-STRENGTH TYLENOL CAPSULES” were embossed in bold black letters — along with the manufacturer’s name “McNEIL”. One of the boxes was open. Two dozen Tylenol bottles remained in the open box, but two of those bottles were also open. Scattered on the pavement near the boxes were hundreds of red and white capsules parts labeled with the 500-milligram Extra Strength Tylenol dosage mark. A large pile of white powder that appeared to be dumped was also nearby. A couple of capsules looked like they had been put back together.
Suspecting this was the work of some drug dealers, both officers rubbed the powder between their fingers, and picked up some of the pieces. One of the officers suddenly became violently ill with vomiting, headache and dizziness — all symptoms of cyanide poisoning. The second deputy also became dizzy and began to vomit. The deputies survived their contact with possibly the same cyanide-laced Tylenol products that would kill seven victims in the next few days.
The officers rushed away and became too sick to continue their shifts. They left the product in the lot. When authorities checked the parking lot, the product, powder and boxes were gone.
Get updates from The Cardinal CRIME BLOG ‘Plus’ on Facebook. Just ‘LIKE’ the ‘Arlington Cardinal Crime & Forensics’ Page (become a fan of our page). The updates cover all posts in the 24/7 Crime Alerts! and sub-categories. See all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages at Arlingtoncardinal.com/about/facebook …