9/29/82 – 12-year-old Mary Kellerman of Elk Grove Village, Illinois– Initial Cause Of Death noted: stroke
9/29/82 – 27 year old Adam Janus of Arlington Heights – Initial COD: Massive heart attack
9/29/82 – later that evening: Adam Janus’ 25-year-old brother, Stanley died
10/1/82 – Stanley Janus’ 19-year-old wife, Theresa, died. Stanley and Theresa’s Initial COD: poison gas
Between 9/25 and 10/2/82 – Four other similar bizarre deaths in the same area occurred.
After firefighters talked amongst themselves about the rash of strange deaths after enjoying the amazingly good chili that they make, Firefighters Philip Cappitelli and his friend, Richard Keyworth connected the dots. All the families had ingested Extra Strength Tylenol for various ailments, including headaches. The police retrieved the pill bottles and, after testing, discovered they were filled with 65 milligrams of cyanide, which is 10,000 time more than the amount needed to kill an average person. Blood samples from all the victims confirmed cyanide poisoning.
And then, 27-year-old Mary Reiner, who had just given birth to her son, took some and died. And 35-year-old Paula Prince took some and died. And then 35-year-old Mary McFarland of Elmhurst, Illinois, well she took some and died too.
The police drove through the neighborhoods of Chicago’s suburbs using loudspeakers to warn the citizenry away from the pills. Panic ensued. The manufacturer stepped up to the plate and whoever did this was probably laughing his/her evil head off.
Police investigation proved that the Tylenol bottles had to have been purchased, taken home, emptied, filled with cyanide, put back into the boxes and returned to the shelves of six Chicago area stores. Although there were solid suspects, no one was ever pinned with this act of terror. This was ambitious. This was insidious. This took so much damned work and preparation and energy from someone/s life to blot out the energy of complete strangers I wonder that they had time to do their laundry. The ultimate in passive/aggressive acting out.
Thanks to this series of murders, we now have safer packaging on our OTC’s and tamper resistant bottles, that we pay more for, all because we cannot trust our fellow species members to not kill us with poison. But consider – out of the entire population, how many people actually want to commit random murder? Probably less than 1 percent (well, heck I would hope so anyway). And these people are dictating the terms of our physical survival. There is something wrong with this picture, don’t you think? Like the tail wagging the dog?
~Mary Kellerman would be 40 this year. A beloved high school P.E. teacher and girls’ volleyball coach
~Adam Janus is 53 and his wife, Therea is 47. Their two kids are in high school. They run a home business selling home made dog food.
~Stanley Janus is 53. Curiously he married Mary Kellerman. He teaches English in the same school.
~Mary Reiner is 55 – her son is now 28 and takes care of her as she suffers from MS.
~Paula Prince is 63 and runs a modeling school in downtown Chicago. She is in debt up to her eyesockets as she has an online gambling addiction.
~Mary McFarland is also 63. She is an astonishingly sour and grumpy woman who has her own bookkeeping service. She depends on accounting firms for her income, which is sketchy because of her demeanor.
All this math has given me a headache. I am going to go get me an Aleve.
Then I will lie down, shut up and suck it up!