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Library’s ‘Tylenol and Terror’ event recounts 1982 Chicago poisonings

LANSING, Ill. (April 29, 2023) – The Lansing Public Library held an event called Tylenol and Terror on Thursday, which recounted the Tylenol poisoning murders from 1982. The lecture was presented by library employee Daniel Cuthbert, who explained the events in great detail to a small but heavily invested crowd of true crime enthusiasts.

“It’s very interesting … how much true crime [cases] can influence outside of your crime area,” Cuthbert said when asked what interested him about this case, adding that this case caused manufacturers to include safety seals on their products.

The presentation covered the victims and their deaths, the investigation, the suspects, and the Tylenol company’s response to the unfortunate events, which made for a very informative and entertaining event. The audience learned how each victim met their unfortunate fate from the cyanide-laced pills, and how, after investigators uncovered the cause of death, Tylenol immediately issued a nationwide recall of all Tylenol pill bottles, which ended up being about 31 million bottles.

This case was also local, as the deaths and subsequent investigation occurred in Chicago. However, long-time Lansing residents were never in danger, as the recall did not find any cyanide pills in the village.

Lansing resident Jim Cuthbert (Daniel’s father) remembers when the incident occurred.

“There was absolutely no tamper-proof pills. You opened up a bottle and there were the pills. Back then we never thought about it, it was just the norm,” he recalled.

He also remembered people stopped buying and taking pills immediately after because they were afraid of what might be in them. In addition to being there to support his son, Jim Cuthbert was also interested in learning more about the case, since he remembered it happening.

This is not the first true crime lecture the library has had. Lamar Sherlund, another resident of Lansing, said he had previously attended a lecture about Lizzie Borden.

For those interested in topics less macabre, the library has hosted many other history lectures in the past. Due to the subject matter, this event was for adults and seniors, but there are also events for families. A schedule of all future library events can be found on the Lansing Library’s website.

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Richard Scanland
Richard Scanland
Richard is a recent college graduate with a passion for writing. He aspires to write full-time, as well as become a published author. When not writing, he can often be found reading or playing video games with friends.