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1982 Tylenol killings investigated again

Sept. 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in the Chicago area are considering calling a grand jury to investigate the 1982 Tylenol killings, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said its sources say the state's attorneys in Cook and DuPage counties have received reports on the findings of a task force led by the FBI. FBI spokesman Ross Rice said the task force used new forensic techniques on the 30-year-old evidence and re-interviewed witnesses.

"You're either at the point where you can charge someone or you're not. We are obviously not in the position to charge right now but we are farther along," Rice said. "The task force is still in place, they're still actively reinvestigating the case. "

A grand jury investigation could force potential witnesses to testify.

Seven people in Cook and DuPage counties died after taking Extra Strength Tylenol laced with cyanide. The killings led to changes in medicine and food packaging.

James W. Lewis, a former accountant who now lives in the Boston area, remains a prime suspect in the case. Lewis served 13 years for trying to extort $1 million from Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol.

Lewis was also suspected in the 1970s of killing a former client. The charges were dropped after a judge ruled Lewis' home had been searched illegally.

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