1. The Chicago Tylenol Murders
Occurring in 1982 in the Chicago metro are, the intentional poisoning of a number of people (seven died) resulted in federal anti-tamper packaging being required on all over the counter drugs.
The method of the murders was to place potassium cyanide into bottles of extra strength Tylenol. A very simple idea to be sure but in the 80s doing such a thing was considered such a violation of the social contract that almost no one would have thought to do such a thing. Leave it up to the mentally deranged to expand the public’s imagination for depravity.
It is believed by many that the person who committed the murders acquired the bottles of Tylenol over time from various stores and placed the cyanide tablets in the bottles before then returning them to store shelves.
Once Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the Tylenol, realized their product had been tampered with, their outreach to raise awareness was incredible. It included pulling all the product and running television ads warning that their product could contain cyanide. Police even ran warnings over loudspeakers in Chicago neighborhoods. This quick action likely saved lives.
However for the seven who died it was too late. Afterwards there were a couple of copycat actions including poisoned Excedrin capsules in 1986 which killed two. However, that turned out to be a woman killing her husband and one other and was not widespread.
The ultimate source of the Chicago Tylenol poisonings is still unknown today. The case was briefly reopened in 2009 but the suspect at the time was later cleared.
In more recent years, a whistleblower at J&J has claimed that the poisonings originated from within the Tylenol packaging facility but this allegation hasn’t gotten anyone any closer to finding exactly who did it.
2. The 2004 Jenner, California Double Murder
By all accounts, Jason S. Allen (26) and his fiancee Lindsay Cutshall (22) were an adventurous couple and devout. The two had met in 2002 while Cutshall was enrolled at Appalachian Bible College in West Virginia. In the Summer of 2004, the two were also serving as camp counsellors at a Christian camp in El Dorado.
Deciding on a weekend away, they took their red Ford Tempo and went on a road trip that finally ended up at River’s End restaurant and inn where they found there were no rooms to be rented out. Figuring this was all part of the roadtrip experience, the couple decided to sleep overnight on a nearby state beach and shared a sleeping bag. It was a terrible mistake.
At some point during the night, a killer found the couple asleep and murdered them using a .45 Caliber Marlin Model 1894 rifle. The couple’s bodies were spotted the next day by a helicopter and reported to authorities.
While some evidence was found, including DNA, it has never matched any in the national database. Additionally, the rifle used to kill the couple while they slept is an unusual caliber from a high end rifle maker. Used Marlin rifles of this model regularly command $1,000 on auction.
For years after the murder, Cutshall’s father, a preacher, used underlined passages from his daughter’s bible to plan his sermons. In one sermon, he is quoted as telling his congregation the following: “Did you know that Kathy and I, we pray for the man who killed our kids?… He’s our enemy, but he’s a person in need.”
The authorities released additional information about the murders in 2006 but no evidence has surfaced.
3. Lauria And Ashley
In 1999 in Oklahoma, Ashley Freeman, and her best friend, Lauria Bible were having a sleepover at Ashley’s parents mobile home to celebrate Ashley’s birthday.
The next day the mobile home was found burned to the ground with the bodies of Ashley’s deceased parents inside. Ashley and Lauria, however, were nowhere to be found. Authorities scoured the U.S., Canada, and Mexico looking for the two girls but were unable to find any trace of them.
They did, however, come up with a theory of what they believe happened, home invasion. Forensic evidence indicates that both of Ashley’s parents were shot close range with a shotgun. The father’s face was nearly unrecognizable. However, oddly the only things missing from the couple’s trailer were the father’s extensive arrow head collection and the two girls. The father’s guns were left alone.
One wrinkle is that Ashley’s father was apparently involved in marijuana sales and had had trouble recently with unnamed friends of his coming by and bothering him, including some heated arguments.
Initially authorities believed that convicted killer Jeremy Jones was involved in the death and kidnapping and he originally wove an extensive tale to police when they took him into custody. He later recanted, however, and none of the details he’d given authorities panned out anyway and so he was released.
He later raped and murdered a woman in Alabama, was convicted and placed on death row.
As of 2016, the murders and kidnappings remain unsolved although Lauria Bible’s parents continue to hold out hope that they’re daughter is alive somewhere.