The Chicago Tylenol murders have gone unsolved for the past 30 years, and investigators are no closer to discovering the reason, or the person responsible for one of the largest mass murders in Chicago-area history.
The Tylenol murders took place between September 29 and October 1, 1982 and involved the pain relieving medication that was laced with cyanide, reports ABC Local.
Four women, two men, and one child were killed before medical personnel discovered the cause. Ross Rice, FBI spokesperson, stated:
“No one has claimed responsibility, and we won’t know the motivation behind the crime until we identify the persons responsible.”
The only known suspect in the Chicago Tylenol murders is James Lewis, who has been convicted and served time for writing an extortion letter to Tylenol’s maker Johnson and Johnson, notes CBS Local.
The case was dormant until the FBI and local police departments formed a task force five years ago. Three years ago, they received a warrant and searched the apartment owned by Lewis and his wife in Boston, confiscating possible items of evidence in the process.
Dave Ryan, a retired Chicago detective, worked the Lewis extortion case and also believes that he is the killer. Ryan stated:
“The fact that we weren’t able to assemble or gather enough evidence to satisfy a court of law or even charge him is one thing, but kind of knowing who did it is another.”
Lewis’s letter to Johnson and Johnson demanded $1 million for the company, so that Lewis could “stop the killing.” While Lewis provided detectives with sketches that show how the Chicago Tylenol killer would have put cyanide into the pain tablets, and he even wrote a book about it, but has always denied any involvement in the killings.
While Johnson and Johnson removed 30 million bottles of the pain medication from store shelves in 1982 and offered a $100,000 reward, which still stands, but 30 years later, the Chicago Tylenol murders remain unsolved.