TYLENOL MAN: A 30-Year Quest to Close the Tylenol Murders Case (TYMURS, Book 2)by Scott Bartz
The man who led the investigation into the 1982 Tylenol murders says James Lewis - convicted in 1983 of writing an extortion letter demanding $1 million to stop the killings - is probably the Tylenol killer. The U.S. Parole Commission declared that James Lewis was indeed the Tylenol killer. In 2009, the Tylenol murders investigation was reactivated and the FBI… See more details below
The man who led the investigation into the 1982 Tylenol murders says James Lewis - convicted in 1983 of writing an extortion letter demanding $1 million to stop the killings - is probably the Tylenol killer. The U.S. Parole Commission declared that James Lewis was indeed the Tylenol killer. In 2009, the Tylenol murders investigation was reactivated and the FBI searched Lewis's apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Is Lewis a legitimate suspect? Or, has he been unjustly vilified by frustrated investigators seeking a scapegoat? Lewis has repeatedly refused to be interviewed about the Tylenol case - until now. Drawing on personal interviews with Lewis, thousands of archived news articles, court documents, and dozens of emails between Lewis and the FBI agent who spent much of his career trying to solve the Tylenol murders, this compelling narrative provides a behind-the-scenes account of the 30-year investigation that targeted James Lewis as the prime suspect for the Tylenol murders.
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Tylenol Man is much like the first book, in that it reveals the astounding amount of bias and incompetency that prevented a fair investigation from taking place. The first book in the series focused a lot on the broader events of the tylenol murder case, while this book focuses more on the investigation/trial. As such, I have to recommend reading the first book or doing some other research, as Tylenol Man assumes you know a lot about the case already. The writing is good enough; informative and to the point while still being written with enough of a flourish to keep it from sounding dry. A good portion of the tail-end of the book is reference material, so the actual "story" is pretty short. Still, the tylenol murder case is a particularly interesting and baffling event that I hadn't even heard of prior to reading this series. People with an interest in true-life crime novels or a specific interest in this case will probably find this to be an engaging read. I feel that this novel exposes a great injustice in our law system.
Tylenol Man by Scott Bartz is a true crime story about the 1982 Tylenol murders. For thirty years, numerous branches of law enforcement have been trying to find the person who poisoned Tylenol capsules with cyanide, killing seven Chicago area residents. Bartz’s novel concentrates on one aspect of the case in particular—Jim Lewis, who was labeled “The Tylenol Man.” Lewis became tied to the Tylenol murders in 1982 when he sent an extortion letter to Johnson & Johnson, asking them to deposit one million dollars into a bank account belonging to his wife’s ex-boss to “stop the killings.” Lewis admitted to writing the letter as a ploy to expose fraud in the company that swindled his wife, but denied actually committing the murders. Even so, for the next thirty years, law enforcement attempted to pin the murders on Lewis—causing him to be falsely accused of many things and be in and out of jail. They were using Lewis as a scapegoat, as they had no physical evidence to tie him to the murders. Bartz writes an enthralling mystery. In the beginning, the reader thinks that maybe Lewis is the guilty party because of certain events that happen. However, Bartz makes it clear throughout the story that things do not add up and the whole process is suspicious. The investigation that unravels is fascinating and horrifying all at once—the reader will not know whom to believe at times. At some points, the timeline may be a little hard to follow as Bartz jumps back and forth in an attempt to explain fully key figures and their roles. Nevertheless, the sheer amount of detail about the case is amazing. Bartz keeps the reader hooked until the very last page, and she will be compelled to read his other two novels on the subject. If the reader is expecting an answer to the mystery, however, she will be disappointed, as the case has not been solved to this day…
Tylenol Man: A 30 Year Quest to Close the Tylenol Murders Case by Scott Bartz is non-fiction and the second book in the TYMURS Series (TYMURS: The 1982 Tylenol Murders is book one in the series). I suggest you read book one since you would not make too much sense out of this book unless you are familiar with the case and all the botched investigations that went on from the beginning. I don't feel this is a stand alone book even if you remember the Tylenol Murders in 1982. Much of what was revealed and continues into this book was not told to the general public either on the news or by newspaper reports as the full account. One station may have one piece of information while another reporter has another and a family member yet another and the book puts it all together to get a better picture of what really happened and what was being done or not done in the case. In this book the FBI continue to try and blame Jim Lewis for the murders even though the evidence doesn't support it. They stuck him with the "Tylenol Man" name even though they couldn't bring him to trial due to lack of evidence. They needed an escape goat and Lewis was it. What surprised me the most were the lies and resistance Michelle Rosen (her mother was a victim) met in 2008 when she inquired about details in the case and if she can see the records. She asked the hospital for her mother's records and was told they were destroyed years ago. She went to the police station and asked if she could see the documents from their investigation into her mother's death and was told whatever documents they had were destroyed in a flood. Michelle found out the flood happened in mid 1990s and there was a photo taken in 2002 of someone standing in front of boxes and boxes of documents all on the Tylenol Murders in the evidence room of the police station. Even when she submitted FOIA requests they were denied and the reason stating they were destroyed in the flood. I can tell you that after reading the first book in the series, it really opened my eyes about some crime 'investigations' and not only politicians but those in law. After reading this book, it angers me. First off, I don't recall ever hearing about the case being re-opened. I guess it was hush, hush this time so no extra attention is drawn. Secondly, of the lies told by those who are suppose to "serve and protect" even when there is proof they are lies but nothing can be done. Here is the proof he is lying in black and white, on the front page of a newspaper no less. Lets not forget to mention the J&J was active in their own investigation of the murders or the fact that it doesn't matter who the real murderer is/was, all that mattered was to pin it on someone and just to close the case so they look good. I can go on and on about the things uncovered in the book as it was full of interesting information on the case, most of which I never heard before. Although I must admit I did think that maybe the author was just seeking revenge for a nasty termination of employment but even that thought was put to rest. But...keep in mind that is just what this book is, a research and report of the findings. If you are looking for a story where you get close to the main characters and have an adventure, this is not the book for you. There is no bonding with anyone in this book, the main character is a pill called Extra Strength Tylenol, and the plot or purpose is where and who done it.
Tylenol Man, written by Scott Bartz, is the fourth book in the Tymur series which is about the Tylenol poisonings that killed seven, maybe more, people. In this book Mr. Bartz tells the story of how the people investigating the murders, due to cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules, tried to find and bring those responsible to justice. On September 29, 1982, in Chicago, seven people died due to taking cyanide-laced capsules. The author covers all aspects of the murders in his series of books and they are all well worth reading. Tylenol Man looks at how law enforcement agencies tried to find, through various means including DNA, the person or persons responsible for the murders of September, 1982. The story becomes a bit scattered at times but this is due mainly to the fact that the investigation seems a bit scattered at times as any investigation that lasts over decades would tend to be. The story is engrossing with many twists and turns as the FBI try to pin the murders on one man in particular and become single-minded in their doggedness of this individual. Mr. Bartz obviously did a very thorough research job while writing this book as he did with the other ones in the series. He includes a lot of information, so much that it becomes a bit overloaded at times. This is the only thing about the book that I didn’t like but overall the story will keep you reading. Mr. Bartz also brings to light the fact that 1982’s Tylenol poisonings aren’t the only ones that have happened, information that the public don’t readily know about. This book is interesting and reawakens a case many have forgotten about. I would recommend reading the previous books in the series first before this one.
“Tylenol Man” is a true crime book that delves into the mystery of the 1982 Tylenol murders in Chicago, Illinois. Seven people died from taking Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide, and the perpetrator still has not been caught today—though for decades the FBI targeted one man in particular, Jim Lewis. This book is straightforward and filled with facts and quotes, and draws a portrait of its subject without bias. Lewis does seem like an unsavory character—over the years, he’s accused of not only the Tylenol murders, but also convicted of a credit card fraud scheme for which he served ten years. He’s implicated in the mysterious death of one of his clients, though the police can’t connect him to the crime, and he’s also accused of kidnapping and rape by a business partner. He and his wife change names and change locations over the year, but crime seems to follow Lewis, who also sends an extortion letter to Johnson & Johnson about the capsules (this is what originally leads the police to him). Even with all that, though, there just seems to be no link between the Tylenol murders and Lewis—which is what this book explores. The Tylenol murders remain a mystery, so those seeking a story with a resolution will be disappointed. However, those who want to know more about the facts and circumstances surrounding the case should find this well-written book worth their time. I would recommend it to fans of true crime books, mysteries, or procedural dramas.