Case 118

The Chicago Tylenol Murders

After seven residents of Chicago passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in 1982, authorities discovered they shared a common link. In the hours before their deaths, each of the individuals had taken Tylenol branded paracetamol. 

It’s immediately clear that this was no coincidence. Testing reveals that the Tylenol packages had been tampered with, and some of the capsules replaced with cyanide. As panic ensues throughout the United States, investigators are left to discover what motivated the Chicago Tylenol Murders and find out who is to blame.



Casefile Presents



Research – Milly Raso and Anonymous Host

Writing – Milly Raso

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska



Although Casefile episodes are free for all listeners, those who want to support us financially can do so by becoming a member of Patreon, Apple Premium or Spotify Premium. Paid subscribers receive access to exclusive content including behind-the-scenes discussions with the Casefile team, interviews, early releases and ad-free episodes.




The Tylenol Mafia – Scott Bartz



The People v. Arnold – Appellate Court of Illinois: 1985

United States of America v. James William Lewis – Court of Appeals decision: 1986



How firefighters discovered Tylenol link – UPI

Coincidence may have saved several lives in Tylenol case – Washington Post

Poisoning is traced to stores – The Washington Post

Tylenol slayings remain unsolved – The New York Times

Neighbour says Lewis had banking system know-how – UPI

Wanted on extortion charges – The Washington Post

Settlement reached in Tylenol suit – Chicago Tribune

Tylenol’s maker shows how to respond to crisis – The Washington Post

Feds convinced Lewis was Tylenol Killer – The Boston Channel

Fatal tampering case is renewed –

Law enforcement to review Tylenol murders – CNN

Friend: Tylenol suspect submits DNA, fingerprints –

2D tainted bottle of Tylenol found by investigators – The New York Times

Cyanide death called a homicide – Chicago Tribune

Victim’s family thinks about all the things she missed after leaving behind 2 young sons – The Chicago Tribune

How the Tylenol murders of 1982 changed the way we consume medication – PBS

A brief history of the Tylenol poisonings – TIME

Chicago Tylenol Murders: the first domestic terror incident – Chicago Magazine

A bitter pill – Chicago Reader

Murder by Tylenol – Vice



Chicago Tribune

2 firemen tied drug to deaths – Oct 1 1982

Red-and-white pills deadly roulette game – Oct 1 1982

Antidote to sniffles results in a tragedy – Oct 1 1982

Living in the Tylenol killer’s shadow – Oct 26 1982

The Hunt – Oct 2 1983


The Times

Somewhere…we have a madman – Oct 10 1982


Arizona Republic

Camera records cyanide victim’s deadly purchase – Oct 20, 1982


The Dispatch

Revenge put ‘Tylenol Kid’ in prison – Oct 3 1996


Detroit Free Press

1 year later, Tylenol deaths a mystery – Sept 28 1983



1982 Surveillance Video Still of Paula Prince purchasing the poisoned Tylenol capsules. Police believe the unidentified man in the top right of the image may be her killer



5 Crisis Management Truths from the Tylenol Murders – MissionMode

James Lewis website

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This