James Lewis

James Lewis Wiki – James Lewis Bio

James Lewis was the sole suspect, in the infamous Chicago Tylenol murders that saw cyanide-laced painkillers killing seven people, has reportedly been found dead. Lewis’ deceased body was found in his Cambridge, Massachusetts home at around 4 pm on Sunday, July 9, according to the investigators.

Lewis had been the long-standing suspect in the killings of seven Chicago residents, who died after swallowing Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide in September 1982. The first victim of the tainted Tylenol was Mary Kellerman, 12, of Elk Grove Village, who collapsed and died on September 29, 1982. She reportedly took the capsule for her cold. Soon after, postal worker Adam Janus, 27, his 25-year-old brother, Stanley, and sister-in-law, Theresa died after consuming the medicine from the same bottle. Their deaths were followed by Mary Reiner, 27, Mary McFarland, 31; and Paula Jean Prince, 35, according to CBS.


James Lewis died at the age of 76 years old.

Wife & Children

Lewis’ wife, who was out of town, requested someone to check on her husband when she was unable to reach him. “We have no reason to believe there was anything suspicious,” Cambridge police Superintendent Fred Cabral confirmed to Tribune. Public records reveal Lewis had been ill and had a history of cardiac issues. However, the definite cause of his death from him is not released yet. He was questioned by local officials only last September as part of a fresh effort to file charges in the 1982 case. Now that the sole suspect in the case is dead, it seems doubtful that anybody will ever be charged in connection with the poisonings that claimed seven lives and sparked a global panic.

Lewis Released From Prison

He met with investigators on multiple occasions, delivering flowcharts and detailed illustrations demonstrating how to fill the capsules in order to carry out the poisonings covertly. Despite all his help, Lewis maintained his innocence and never got charged with the murders of seven residents. He spent nearly 13 years in prison before being released in October 1995. He then joined his wife in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lived the rest of his life. Before Lewis, two other men appeared in a police investigation but they were released who after.

One of those men was Roger Arnold, who worked as a dock at the Jewel warehouse in Melrose Park. Police initially learned about Arnold from the proprietor of a Lincoln Park pub, who informed investigators that two patrons said Arnold had bought a significant amount of cyanide around six months before the poisonings and had been acting strangely. On October 11, 1982, police searched Arnold’s residence and discovered five firearms, including a. 30-caliber pistol, a rifle, and ammunition. Seven months after the Tylenol murders, Arnold was charged with killing a man at a Chicago bar. Arnold was sentenced to 30 years in prison but was ruled out as a suspect in the Tylenol murders.

Authorities also voiced concern about Kevin Masterson, a 35-year-old resident of Lombard. According to reports, Masterson has a long-standing hated towards the Jewel supermarket company. His landlord de él stated the animosity was caused by an event in which Masterson claimed his wife de él was mistreated at a Jewel store while being detained for stealing. After a nationwide search, he turned himself in to the FBI in Los Angeles. He was subsequently detained over a marijuana possession warrant from DuPage County. But with regard to the Tylenol murders, Masterson was also later ruled out. He is now dead, just like Arnold and Lewis.

Cause of Death

Following the shocking deaths, Tylenol’s parent company Johnson & Johnson ordered shelves cleared of the medicine, with Mayor Jane Byrne banning the sale of the drug in Chicago.

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Police launched an extensive investigation into the murder and Lewis came under their radar after he sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson, demanding payment to “stop the killing.”


He was sentenced to federal prison after being found guilty of attempting to extort $1 million from the Pharmaceutical Company and for committing mail fraud in a Kansas City credit card scam in 1981. After his conviction, Lewis volunteered to aid the detectives in finding the murderer.