1982, Chicago metropolitan area. An unknown maniac was tampering with Tylenol capsules, lacing the popular pain-killer with potassium cyanide at a level toxic enough to provide thousands of fatal doses. On the surface, it looked like series of senseless and random murders. Psychologists called the killer so strange, their normal guidelines just don’t work. To this day, the mastermind(s) behind the murders have never been found, making it one of the most interesting unsolved crime’s in modern times.
The parents of Mary Kellerman gave the 12-year-old an extra strong Tylenol pill, after complaining of a cold. She died just hours later. In a few days, 6 other people died in similar manners. Shortly after, the investigators made the connection between the deaths and Tylenol. The makers of popular painkiller Johnson&Johnson quickly issued a recall and withdrew all the Tylenol products nationwide. The police ruled out a manufacturing problem quickly and it became clear someone is tampering the pills with poison and puts them back on the store shelves. The recall cost Johnson & Johnson estimated 100 million dollars.
However, the killings did have a measurable, positive impact: a revolution in product safety standards. In the wake of the Tylenol poisonings, pharmaceutical and food industries dramatically improved their packaging, instituting tamper-proof seals and indicators.
Next time you struggle to open that package you know why – because of Tylenol Poisonings.