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FBI probes Tylenol contamination

By Compiled From Wire Service Dispatches With Analysis From Monitor Correspondents Around The World, Edited By Annne Shutt / October 4, 1982



Chicago

Over a hundred Illinois state and Federal agents are trying to reconstruct the route of cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol.

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Investigators reportedly believe the contamination occurred close to the retail outlet. They are trying to trace the capsules back to one of a number of distributing companies that handle the product between its manufacture in Pennsylvania and Texas and its sale. So far, all seven confirmed deaths from poisoning were in the Chicago area. Officials say they believe the poisoning was a willful act and not a manufacturing accident.

The makers of Extra-Strength Tylenol, a division of Johnson & Johnson Company , have offered $100,000 for information leading to a conviction of those responsible for the sabotage.

Illinois Attorney General Tyrone Fahner said the reward and a telephone hotline had resulted in some workable tips that are under active investigation, but he did not say what the tips were.

The Food and Drug Administration said its investigators found seven cyanide filled capsules in bottles of Tylenol at a drug store in nearby Schaumberg, Ill. , the first which have been recovered from a store shelf. The drug, the US's biggest-selling over-the-counter pain reliever, is not sold in sealed bottles.