James Lewis, the main suspect in the Tylenol tampering case, has died at the age of 76

James Lewis, the prime suspect in the 1982 Tylenol poisoning, has died.

Lewis, 76, was found dead Sunday afternoon at his residence in Cambridge, Mass., according to the Cambridge Police Department.

“Following an investigation, Lewis' death has been determined not to be suspicious,” according to a statement from the police department.

The story of the Tylenol poisoning is one that has gripped the nation, and particularly the Chicago area. Seven people in the Chicago area died in September 1982, after taking tablets laced with cyanide.

Stores are sweeping Tylenol from their shelves.

Johnson & Johnson is recalling every Tylenol capsule and pill and creating more tamper-resistant drugs and packaging.

The police task force interviewed dozens of people, including Lewis.

Lewis, an out-of-work accountant, was arrested on extortion charges in December 1982, at a New York library after a two-month manhunt.

He gave investigators a detailed account of how the killer might have operated, explaining how someone could buy the drug from a store, use a special method to add cyanide to the capsule and then return it to the store shelf.

“I did what I would do for a corporate client, listing possible scenarios,” Lewis said in a 1992 interview.

He admitted to sending a letter to Johnson & Johnson asking for $1 million, but said he never intended to collect it. He said he wanted to embarrass his wife's former employer by sending money to her employer's bank account.

Although Lewis was re-interviewed as recently as last year, according to media reports, he was never charged in the murders and has denied any involvement.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 1983 for demanding $1 million from Johnson & Johnson, “to stop the killings.” He also served more than two years of a 10-year sentence for unrelated tax fraud charges.

Lewis was released from prison in 1995.


Theresa and Stanley Janus

Lisle's couple went to the house of Stanley's brother Adam after he died. After complaining of headaches, they drank the capsules from a bottle of Adam's Tylenol and died. She's 25, he's 19.

Adam Janus

The postal worker stayed home from work on September 29, 1982. He bought Tylenol at Jewel near his home in Arlington Heights in the morning and died in a local hospital that afternoon. He is 27 years old.

Mary Ann Kellerman

The 12-year-old Elk Grove Village girl has been skipping school due to illness. He took a capsule from a bottle his mother had bought at the local Jewel the day before. He collapsed and died on his bathroom floor, where his parents found him, on September 29. He was the first resident to die in the Tylenol killings.

Mary McFarland

The 31-year-old Elmhurst woman works for the Illinois Bell at the Yorktown Mall. He took pills after lunch on September 29 and died the next morning.

Prince Paula

The 35-year-old airline worker buys pills at a Walgreens near her Old Town apartment. He died on the night of September 29.

Mary “Lynn” Reiner

A mother of four, 27, she fell ill on September 29. He bought pills at Frank's Finer Foods on his way to his home in Winfield. He died the next morning.