CHICAGO -- Cyanide-laced Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules were blamed Friday for killing six people and authorities expanded their search for the 'mad Tylenol killer' who put poison in the pain reliever.
The manufacturer of the capsules, McNeil Consumers Products Co., offered a $100,000 reward for information that would lead to conviction of the person who tampered with the drug.
Boxes of the pain reliever were pulled off shelves in Chicago area stores and hauled to a Lemont warehouse. Authorities pored over reports in hopes of finding clues to the deaths in a 40-mile arc of Chicago.
Investigators formed a task force that included 26 FBI agents, local officials and state officials.
Late Friday, the Food and Drug Administration said its tests 'found cyanide in seven capsules' from a bottle picked up at a suburban Schaumburg drug store. It was the first time the FDA isolated the poison before someone took the capsules.
Two women in the Chicago area and one in Cleveland were hospitalized with with cyanide poisoning. Pain-sufferers across the nation were urged not to take any of the Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules until the mystery was solved.
McNeil has recalled two batches of the pain reliever, lots MC2880 and 1910MD. In all, the batches amount to 264,000 bottles nationwide.
Gov. James R. Thompson said his administration was pouring millions of dollars into the 'hunt for the mad Tylenol killer, a killer or killers who is putting a state, indeed a nation, into fear.'
'Somewhere out there, we have a madman,' the governor said.
The sixth death, reported Friday, Theresa Janus, 19, of Lisle, the third member of one family to die from cyanide poisoning.
Five others, including her husband and brother-in-law, died Wednesday and Thursday.
Lorraine Barnwell, 49, of Westmont, was in good condition at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove with a very mild case of cyanide poisoning. She told her doctor she took Extra-Strength Tylenol the day before.
Nadine O'Dell, 62, of Xenia, Ill., was admitted to Delnor Hospital in St. Charles and blood tests confirmed cyanide poisoning. She was listed in good condition.
She took six capsules from lot MC2880 between Tuesday and Thursday.
In Cleveland, an unidentified woman was hospitalized in satisfactory condition with cyanide poisoning that apparently resulted from taking Tylenol capsules, authorities said.
The woman came into Parma General Hospital Friday complaining of a severe headache, a hospital spokesman said. Dr. Theodore Marsh said tests showed 'a very small amount of cyanide in her blood.'
Marsh said the woman told him she had taken 10 capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol since Saturday and the bottle was from one of the two lots identified as contaminated by the FDA.
Bob Fletcher, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement Division of Criminal Investigation, said investigators questioned store and warehouse employees of various Chicago area distributors.
'You're dealing here with an absolutely monstrous crime,' he said. 'Whether it's a psychotic individual, whether it's targeted at one particular person... whether a perverted juvenile prank. There's simply a universe of possibilities in the case.'
In Washington, FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Tucker said, 'We're advising consumers not to use Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules until a series of deaths in the Chicago area can be clarified.'
The FDA also sent an investigator to Cuba City, Wis., where a woman and her daughter became ill after taking Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules a week ago from a bottle marked with the lot number MC2880.
'I couldn't move my head I was so dizzy,' said Darlene Riley, 38, who purchased the capsules in nearby Dubuque, Iowa. 'At times I couldn't breathe. I have never been that sick before in my life.'
Mary Kellerman, 12, Elk Grove Village, had been sick with a cold and sore throat for two days. She was found unconscious Wednesday morning and died that night at Alexian Brothers Medical Center.
Adam Janus, 27, Arlington Heights, died hours later at Northwest Community Hospital.
'He wasn't feeling too good. He stopped somewhere, purchased a bottle of Tylenol, came home and took a few and promptly died. And then the family all got together. They were shocked by the sudden death. They went to the house and apparently they took some Tylenol also.'
His brother, Stanley, 25, Lisle, also died. Stanley's wife, Theresa, died Friday. Eight members of the family were admitted for observation and released Thursday.
Mary Reiner, 27, Winfield, died Thursday at Central DuPage Hospital - where she left Sunday after delivering her fourth child. Police recovered a bottle of regular Tylenol at her home that contained six capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol, but assume she switched bottles.
Mary McFarland, 31, Elmhurst, a mother of two children, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grover 'after she complained of having a headache and not feeling well,' Elmhurst police commander Jack Lange said. She died Thursday.
'Apparently a very sophisticated, very malicious person is at large who had to spend a lot of time and a lot of effort to lace these capsules with cyanide,' Winfield Police Chief Carl Sosta said.
On Thursday, McNeil recalled 93,000 bottles of 50 capsules under the code MC2880 which was distributed in the East and in several Western states.
NcNeil later recalled a second lot of 171,000 bottles of 50 capsules under the control number 1910MD manufactured in Round Rock, Texas, and distributed in the western United States and the Chicago area.