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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by STANDREID View Post
    The guy in the picture doesn't look like any of the suspects to me and he could be an innocent person but it's interesting that he didn't ever come forward if that was the case. He appears to be a heavy set man in his late 40s with an exaggerated Van Dyke type beard.
    When did this picture of "Tylenol Man" even get released in the press? Perhaps the guy in the picture has never even seen it, so he doesn't know to come forward and clear his name. (Or perhaps he's scared that the authorities might try to pin the crime on him?)

  2. #92
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    I just finished reading "Tymurs" by Scott Bartz. He may be a disgruntled ex-employe of J&J with an axe to grind and I do not agree with his belief that the tainted capsules entered the supply chain through the distribution system rather than through a reverse shoplifter at the retail level but I do find the book valuable in understanding the details and nuances of the case.

    The book is very strong in exposing the questions surrounding the death of Mary "Lynn" Reiner and the question it raises.

    Lynn, as she was known, had a child 4 days earlier and had left the hospital that morning. The hospital gave her a package of a few products a new mother might need. Included were some Extra Strength Tylenol Capsules. These came from the hospital pharmacy that was not open to the public and supplied with Tylenol in different packaging, through a different supply chain than retail stores.

    That afternoon at 3:00PM (Wed sept 28th) she went to Franks Finer Foods in Winfield and purchased a bottle of Regular Tylenol. Soon after returning home, she became sick, went into convulsions and died of cyanide poisoning.

    The next day, when the tylenol connection became know, police went to her home. They found a bottle of Regular Tylenol with six red and white Extra Strength capsules on top of the smaller grey and green Regular capsules. Four of the red and white capsules contained cyanide. I can think of three possible explanations for what happened.

    1) Lynn realized,when she got home from the store, that she had some free tylenol from the hospital so she took one or two of them and put the rest in the Regular bottle she had just purchased before she became sick. This would mean it was the Tylenol from the hospital not the store that was poisoned.


    2)The "mad poisoner" put tainted Extra Strength Capsules into a Regular Tylenol bottle before planting it on a shelf of Franks Finer Foods. Carelessness or deliberate?

    3)Someone set about to murder Lynn. First they planted the tainted bottles in a number of stores, then they induced her to consume cyanide, then the staged the bottle found in her home with the idea of making her appear a random victim.

    Bartz believes it was #1. Law enforcement thought it was #3 but after a rather thorough investigation concluded it was #2.

    I have more questions than answers but I can't help but suspect there is more to the death of Lynn Reiner than meets the eye.

  3. #93
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    I think the unsolved case that most closely parallels this one is the Paraquat Killer in Japan.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by kemo View Post
    3)Someone set about to murder Lynn. First they planted the tainted bottles in a number of stores, then they induced her to consume cyanide, then the staged the bottle found in her home with the idea of making her appear a random victim.
    This could be the key. Who might have wanted Lynn dead and did they work at the hospital or were they someone who could have gotten into the Reiner home and planted the capsules there while she was in the hospital?
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  5. #95
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    Red face

    "This could be the key. Who might have wanted Lynn dead and did they work at the hospital or were they someone who could have gotten into the Reiner home and planted the capsules there while she was in the hospital?"

    Per Bartz, Law Enforcement became very suspicious of the circumstances of the Lynn's death and they tried to make a case against her Father and her husband.

    Her father worked with Arnold (an identified suspect who bragged to friends about being an amatuer chemist who had cyanide) at the Jewel distribution center (although there was no evidence they knew each other; it was a big place). Neither the father nor the husband were with her when it all happened but her husband's mother was, so there was a possible conspiracy. The husband requested a poly and passed and no motive could be found.

    A fact that argues against the "targeted murder" theory is that the "planted" bottles were placed so far apart. It would make more sense to plant the bottles in a few nearby stores. Nothing would be gained by spreading them out over such a large territory and it would raise the chance of the deaths not being recognised as murders (something that might have happened if two family members of one victim hadn't also taken tainted pills). It has been estimated that someone would have had to drive at least 112 miles to plant all of the know bottles and would have taken over four hours. This would be a lot of time a conspirator would be unable to account for.

    What is also interesting is that the store Lynn purchased her Tylenol from (Frank's Fine Foods in were Winfield) was different from the other know stores the tainted bottles were placed. The other stores were large , high volume retail outlets in Shopping Plazas or Malls while the store in Winfield was much smaller and very much "off the beaten track" on the main drag of a very small, obscure suburban town. This situation was also different in that two tainted bottles were placed there, one in the "wrong" type of bottle, the cyanide in one of the bottles had been "cut" with tylenol (all the other capsules contained only cyanide) and it was served by a completely different distribution network . These "differences" could be very significant or they could represent the sort of anomalies that show up in any criminal investigation.

    The other location that is considered "different" was the Woolworths in Urban Chicago where Paula Prince purchased her fatal Tylenol. Since she lived alone and there is video proof that she made the purchase herself, her death is considered as part of the pattern and not otherwise unusual.

    What little I could find about the "paraquat" killing in Japan is that there was one series of tainted drinks in Southern Japan and then two or more imitators elsewhere. It is believed that these were simply "kill for the sake of killing" situations with no other motive involved.

    A lot of information has been withheld including the location where one of the tainted bottles was found, so it is hard to speculate on what really happened. The fact that the FBI is pressing hard on Lewis suggests to me that they really have nothing and he is just their "last best suspect" and if he doesn't pan out, the case will never be solved.

  6. #96
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    I don't know what the geographic profile was but to me the hub looks to be somewhere in the vicinity of Elmhurst. If the killer knew anything about geographic profiling, however, "he" may have skewed the pattern to leave a false impression.

    Perhaps the killer had reason, at least in his own mind, to spread the bottles out, such as the fear of being recognized in his local area.

    I haven't heard but I'm sure LE did a test run to see just how long it would take to make all the plants. My presumption would be that most or all the stores were open 24 hours so, if the plants were made at say 3 AM when traffic was light, the circuit might not have taken as long as one would think.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  7. #97
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    Standreid said: "I don't know what the geographic profile was but to me the hub looks to be somewhere in the vicinity of Elmhurst. If the killer knew anything about geographic profiling, however, "he" may have skewed the pattern to leave a false impression."

    Geographical profiling was very much a part of the investigation. This case, where the Perp is presumed to have gone on only one "mission" would be different than a serial killer or a rapist. There was an assumption that the Perp started at a particular point and made a route to each of the "plant sites" and then returned to the starting point; probably his residence.

    We know that 8 bottles were planted in seven different stores. Information on one of the stores has been withheld and it is likely that other tainted bottles were planted at other stores but they were destroyed by the distributer soon after the tylenol angle was discovered. Per Bartz, large retailers like Jewel Osco sold about tylenol two bottles of ES tylenol a day and most OTC pain killers are used soon after purchase.

    From this, one could conclude that the first death would occur within a few hours of a plant. Mary Mcfarland died Tues evening shortly after purchasing a bottle. For this reason it was concluded that the "run" was made Tuesday afternoon.

    A logical route would be to start with the Walgreens in Chicago Northside and then to Arlington Heights then south to Lombard and east to Winfield; or the reverse. Since the basic profile of the perp was a lower income, single, white male, and there is more appropriate housing in the Northside than out in the affluent low density suburbs around Winfield, it was speculated that the perp lived in a lower income neighborhood near the Walgreen's. Seems reasonable but by no means certain. (for what its worth, Lewis live in this general area) Why he chose a comparably small store in an obscure town like Winfield is a good question.

    My own WAG (wild ass guess) is that the perp wanted to cause "wide spread panic", not just a local panic. He may have figured that suburban areas were easier to move "mall to mall" but to get real publicity, one of the deaths had to occur in Chicago proper. Again, why Winfield?
    Last edited by kemo; 05-02-2014 at 05:27 PM.

  8. #98
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    If my memory serves me correctly wasn't there a woman in Washington State who started to tamper with Tylenol bottles. Some people were killed and she was eventually caught. Her plan was to poison her husband and make it look like the husband was the victim of the serial killer who was lacing the medicine with Cyanide.

    If the Tylenol murders of 1982 happened why didn't johnson & johnson put a seal on all bottles there after??

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilahchris View Post
    If my memory serves me correctly wasn't there a woman in Washington State who started to tamper with Tylenol bottles. Some people were killed and she was eventually caught. Her plan was to poison her husband and make it look like the husband was the victim of the serial killer who was lacing the medicine with Cyanide.

    If the Tylenol murders of 1982 happened why didn't johnson & johnson put a seal on all bottles there after??
    Stella Nickell is her name. She tampered with Excedrin, not Tylenol. And J&J DID put tamper-resistant seals on all of their bottles of capsules after the 1982 Chicago tamperings. The scary thing about that is that another Tylenol cyanide murder occurred in 1986 in New York, despite the tamper-resitant packaging being in place. In fact, I've read that there were NO signs of tampering in that incident. After that, Tylenol abandoned capsules entirely, and switched to caplets. Google "Diane Elsroth" for more info. on the 1986 tampering incident.

  10. #100
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    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


    Long Lost Love - Discovery ID - Disappeared - Bob Harrod Case

    You can now purchase Mr. Harrod's Disappeared episode through Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.


  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    Lived in Mt. Prospect at the time and it scared me silly. If memory serves, there was a Jewel milk salmonella outbreak concurrent with this. Which spelled the end of milk in the square paper-type container as well.
    Six-year-old Shannon Sherrill disappeared from her front yard in Thorntown, Indiana in October, 1986. Someone knows where she is......

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...annon+sherrill

  12. #102
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    Lewis has been pretty well cleared. He's a great suspect with a real motive, a clear involvement in an extortion attempt involving the case and he fit the profile perfectly: a sleazy looser who thought he was real smart. But, all evidence places him in NYC during the time the tampered bottles were delivered.

    It is very unlikely that the contamination occurred at the distribution center. The bottles containing of all of the pills that resulted in poisoning were purchased during a period of less than 24 hours. Had the contaminant occurred at the distribution level, the contaminated bottles would have been spread among many different distributors and jobbers and the bottles would have hit the shelves over a period of weeks. The distribution channels all operated differently. Even if thousands of tampered bottles were put into circulation, it would be statistically impossible for so many to appear in front of the shelve in those different stores during such a short time frame unless somebody went around delivering them directly to the front of those shelves.

    Subsequent product tampering cases were motivated by a desire to manipulate the stock market, cover up the murder of one of the victims or to extort the manufacturer. In this case no obvious motive could be found.
    It is possible that that whatever the guy was up to just didn't work out or he just wanted to cause widespread panic with no direct personal gain; a terrorist without an agenda.

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