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Myles

Tylenol murders of 1982

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Not A Rockstar

So, what is your question? Or position? 

The best thing one can say about it is that it led to more serious security measures on medicines and products in general to reduce the ease of tampering with them.

The worst thing one can say is that it killed several people unawares and could have sunk a less PR alert and smart company. 

I have always wondered if this was an inside bit of sabotage myself, as it takes a degree of sophistication to poison a pill and leave it seeming the same. Maybe some angry employee dropped a bit into a batch or something.

But, short of a death bed confession I doubt we will ever know.

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Myles
2 hours ago, Not A Rockstar said:

So, what is your question? Or position? 

The best thing one can say about it is that it led to more serious security measures on medicines and products in general to reduce the ease of tampering with them.

The worst thing one can say is that it killed several people unawares and could have sunk a less PR alert and smart company. 

I have always wondered if this was an inside bit of sabotage myself, as it takes a degree of sophistication to poison a pill and leave it seeming the same. Maybe some angry employee dropped a bit into a batch or something.

But, short of a death bed confession I doubt we will ever know.

Sorry about that.   I see where I didn't ask a question or provide much of my own opinion.

Mostly I was wondering what people thought about who may have done this.  Even if it was James Lewis, he got out of jail 23 years ago for his extortion crime.  

I think it was a guy who removed bottles from stores and them put them back after poisoning them. 

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Not A Rockstar

If that happened today with the net and crime buffs we have now it would be hotly debated. Then a lot was never revealed.

Tylenol then was sort of like the plain type now, not with a easy swallow film or in a capsule/gel IIRC. They were like generic aspirins, just a bit smoother. There were not seals on caps really.

It takes very little cyanide to kill, so maybe it was enough to tip some powdered cyanide in to transfer to the pills. I have no idea what form cyanide comes in or how a guy on the street can get some. This is why I lean toward it being in the manufacturing process when the pills are ...pressed into form for it to seem normal to the people taking it. But maybe transfer was enough. Maybe one of our experts can chime in on that. I was just getting out of college about then and was shocked like everyone else anyone would do something like that. Society has changed a lot since then.

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Matt Vinyl

Could it have even been unintentional contamination - if it happened at the production plant? Although not sure how or why Cyanide might be present 'naturally' within such a place, is / was it used for anything in the pharmaceutical industry?

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Myles
17 hours ago, Not A Rockstar said:

If that happened today with the net and crime buffs we have now it would be hotly debated. Then a lot was never revealed.

Tylenol then was sort of like the plain type now, not with a easy swallow film or in a capsule/gel IIRC. They were like generic aspirins, just a bit smoother. There were not seals on caps really.

It takes very little cyanide to kill, so maybe it was enough to tip some powdered cyanide in to transfer to the pills. I have no idea what form cyanide comes in or how a guy on the street can get some. This is why I lean toward it being in the manufacturing process when the pills are ...pressed into form for it to seem normal to the people taking it. But maybe transfer was enough. Maybe one of our experts can chime in on that. I was just getting out of college about then and was shocked like everyone else anyone would do something like that. Society has changed a lot since then.

I think since the contaminated bottles found and the people who died were all in the same Chicago area, the decided that it was not done at the manufacturing plant.   They probably traced the lot numbers and found them shipped across the country.  

 

I'm also not sure how one would contaminate with cyanide either.  

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Not A Rockstar

Yeah. Just sharing our speculations back then. It was one of the first events which started changing our view of life in the USA and Society.

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