Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Whatever Happened...

When I'm writing a book, sometimes weird thoughts come back to me.  For example, I was thinking about the Tylenol case back in 1982.  Random people in the Chicago area took Tylenol for headaches but died, due to drug tampering.  Six adults and one 12-year old girl (the first victim) died from the drug.  The pills were laced with potassium cyanide.  It was surmised that the drugs were tampered with on the shelves, and not in the factory.  No suspect was ever found in the murders, but it prompted many over-the-counter drug makers to reinforce their packaging so it was tamper-proof.  They also developed the caplet, which was harder to taint.

One man was charged with extorting a million dollars from Johnson & Johnson to stop the poisonings.  He was sent to prison for extortion but was never charged with the poisonings.

Various copycat poisonings (270, actuallly) happened after that, which is just as scary as the original crime.  In 1983, Congress passed the 'Tylenol bill,' making it a federal crime to tamper with consumer products.  In 1989, the FDA gave manufacturers federal guidelines to make all such products tamper-proof.

The case was never solved, over 30 years later.

***

What if someone based a plot on that person who committed the crime.  He's killed once and wants to do it again.  This time, he's tainting something else.  And this time, he hopes to be caught, to get his name in the media.

Interesting concept.  Might have to develop this one.

Have an interesting day,
SweetTale Books

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References:
How the Tylenol murders of 1982 changed the way we consume medication
The Horrifying True Story of the 1982 Chicago Tylenol Murders

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