Medicines have tamper-proof seals for one reason: A 25-year-old case involving cyanide-laced Tylenol that killed seven people in the Chicagoland area during September of 1982.
Helen Jensen can still picture the bottle of Tylenol perched in the medicine cabinet. She feels the receipt she pulled from the wastebasket. She hears the pills she poured onto the kitchen table.
And she recalls the absolute certainty, even before she finished counting, that pills from the bottle in her hand killed the 27-year-old man who lived there, as well as two of his relatives.
“Six capsules were missing, and there were three people dead,” she recalled thinking.
It has been exactly 25 years since Jensen, then a nurse for the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights who accompanied investigators to the home, played her role in a story that sent shock waves all over the country.
In a space of three days beginning Sept. 29, 1982, seven people who took cyanide-laced Tylenol in Chicago and four suburbs died. That triggered a national scare that prompted an untold number of people to throw medicine away and stores nationwide to pull Tylenol from their shelves.
The case is still unsolved. Nobody was ever charged.
Tylenol tampering case remains unsolved, in 25 years [USAToday]
(Photo:Charlie Knoblock, AP file)