CHICAGO (CBS)– The prime suspect in the 1982was found dead.
Cambridge police say James Lewis was found unconscious just after 4pm on Sunday
Shortly afterwards he was pronounced dead. Police said his death was “determined not to be suspicious”.
seven people in the greater Chicago area died after taking Tylenol laced with cyanide.
Soon after, a man wrote an extortion letter to Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, the maker of Tylenol, demanding $1 million to stop the killings. The man who wrote that letter was James Lewis. He would later spend a dozen years in prison for attempted extortion.
Sources tell CBS 2 Chicago that this is a frustrating day for law enforcement officers who have been investigating the case for decades. CBS 2’s reporting indicated that Lewis was a prime suspect from day one, and officials believed they had enough circumstantial evidence to charge Lewis.
g the case in April; reporter Brad Edwards traveled to Massachusetts in 2022 to track down Lewis. Edwards interviewed him.
“I was hoping to see justice,” a source told CBS 2.
Lewis was never charged with the murders, but he was convicted of extorting $1 million from Johnson & Johnson in the days after the cyanide-laced pills hit store shelves.
He lived in the same Cambridge apartment he moved into after his release from prison.
He was really the only living known person of interest and had not been seen or heard from for over a decade.
CBS Chicago interviewed family members, attorneys and law enforcement officials whose lives were forever impacted by the murders. During the interviews, the last moments of the victims and stories from the internal investigation are documented.
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