FBI reviewing Tylenol murders, questioning James Lewis

The FBI was reopened the investigation into the Tylenol murders, and has questioned James Lewis, the man previously jailed for an extortion attempt related to the murders.

Seven people died in 1982 in the Chicago area after taking Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules which had been laced with potassium cyanide. No person has ever been charged for the murders.

Lewis served more than 12 years in prison for sending an extortion note to Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million to “stop the killing.”

Lewis, now living in Boston, runs a web design and programming company called Cyberlewis. The company’s site (currently offline) included a tab called “Tylenol” with a written message and audio link in which Lewis claimed he was innocent of the killings.

The killings changed the over-the-counter pharmaceutical industry for ever, seeing the introduction of paper and foil-wrapped blister packs that are harder to tamper with.


The FBI cited advances in forensic technology as grounds to reopen the case.