THE 1986 TYLENOL MURDER WILL BE SOLVED IN THE SPRING OF 2011
Westchester District Attorney Carl Vergari was close to single-handedly
Acetaminophen is not ordinarily amenable to
by the same methods as aspirin. These materials have significantly different properties. Crystalline aspirin is easily tableting , since the crystals are quite soft and exhibit good plasticity/elasticity when compacted to tablets. Further, cohesive/adhesive bonding within the aspirin tablet is strong and the aspirin, itself, provides good lubricity to the formula. tabletedIn contrast, acetaminophen crystals are very hard and brittle and fracture very easily. The crystals have essentially no plasticity/elasticity and can be by the normal aspirin tableted methods only by using high levels of tableting and large crystalline grade acetaminophen. Furthermore, at least 25% more excipients are required in addition to high levels of lubricant. The large acetaminophen crystals have the disadvantage of being slowly dissolved in the body and require additional excipients aids to increase the rate of dissolution. tableting
Johnson & Johnson immediately sent representatives to Yonkers to attempt to learn more and to assist in the investigation. J&J also began conferring by telephone with the FDA and FBI, both in Washington and at the respective field offices.
How is it possible that the FDA determined on the very same day they learned about the poisoning that “there were no indications that it (the contamination) could be the result of the manufacturing”?
”Everyone involved believes that this is a local situation,” said Grigg.
“Cyanide would eat through a gelatin capsule in 8 to 10 days,” meaning it had been added since the Tylenol left the plant, and that therefore the poison presumably was placed in the bottles within the last 10 days, said Dr. Millard Hyland, Westchester County’s chief medical examiner.
J&J spokesman James Murray said that based on Hyland’s finding that the cyanide would have eaten through the capsules, the company feels the tampering “did not take place at the factory.”
At a February 11 news conference held at Johnson & Johnson headquarters,
” that none of the poison was put in the capsules by a worker at the plant. He added that cyanide breaks down the gelatin-based capsules and that the deterioration becomes evident ”in less than a month.” conviction
FDA spokesman William Grigg, at a separate press conference, said:
that none of the poison was put in the capsules by a worker at the plant.” Cyanide breaks down the gelatin based capsules and deterioration becomes evident “in less than a month.” conviction
Countering the statements made by Hyland, Murray, Chiesa, and Grigg, was Westchester District Attorney Carl Vergari, who said he’d learned from federal authorities that the cyanide laced Tylenol capsules would not show signs of deterioration in 8 to 10 days; that they may have an indefinite shelf life.
Then, on February 14, federal authorities admitted that the cyanide found in a Tylenol capsule that killed a woman could have been put there months ago.
“The work we
no time restrictions such as were previously reported,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Frank Young. did showed
The evidence cited by Officials as proof that the Tylenol had been adulterated very recently, after it reached the local stores, was soundly refuted. The cyanide laced Tylenol capsules had an indefinite shelf-life, just as Carl Vergari had said. Therefore, the Tylenol capsules could have been poisoned weeks, months, or even a year earlier. They could have been poisoned at the local distribution center or they could have been poisoned while sitting in Johnson & Johnson’s regional distribution facility in Montgomeryville, PA.
Much of the evidence made public after the 1986 Tylenol tampering conflicted with evidence from the 1982 Tylenol
“The bottles were tampered with locally, at the retail store” aspect of the approved theory – the most important component of the cover up – was exposed as a fraud after the 1986 Tylenol murder and then very sloppily covered up by the FBI.
Westchester District Attorney Carl Vergari revealed evidence about the tampering that officials from the FBI, FDA, and J&J did not want publicized.
THE VERGARI PROBLEM
The cornerstone of the approved theory of the Tylenol murders deception ran into trouble when on February 18, 1986 Carl Vergari held a press conference and reiterated findings revealed to him by FBI scientists.
The two bottles that contained contaminated capsules were sent to the FBI labs to determine “to a reasonable degree of certainty” through microscopic examination “whether the metal foil that’s heat-welded to the top of the bottle has been tampered with after it left the factory.”
“And they say in both cases that their laboratory examination reveals that it was not,” he said, ”that these bottles were not tampered with after they left the factory; that, ergo, the contamination was done at some time during the manufacturing process before the seal was placed on it.”
“What could be clearer than that?” Vergari said.
FBI spokesman Jack French declined to confirm or deny Vergari’s assertion. But the fact remained; the FBI’s own evidence didn’t fit the approved theory. Since
Although the evidence made it crystal clear that the Tylenol had not been adulterated at the local retail stores, the FBI refused to deviate from their story. Milt Ahlerich, chief of public affairs for the FBI, said the lack of evidence “does not mean that the tampering did not occur.”
Here again, despite the FBI’s own evidence showing otherwise, it
Some FBI lab guy had obviously not been brought into the loop regarding the approved theory of the Tylenol murders.
J&J and FDA officials quickly weighed in on the discussion by making public statements intended to discredit Vergari. Their erroneous statements were considered facts in the minds of the media and the public. Officials from the FDA and J&J said, “The weight of evidence suggested that the crime was a local one.”
James Burke appeared on “The Donahue Show”
“We do not have any proof it didn’t happen in the plant or the warehouse, but all logic tells us it didn’t.”
Burke went on to note the ”considerable amount of confusion” in the case that may have led to an opinion held by Carl Vergari, the Westchester County District Attorney, who had said he believes the pills were probably adulterated at the manufacturing plants.
What confusion was Burke talking about? There wasn’t any question that the FBI found absolutely no evidence that any of the tamper resistant seals had been tampered with. If there was any confusion, it was created because of deceptive statements made by Burke, Ahlerich, and FDA Commissioner Frank Young. Statements made by these individuals had no basis in fact and conflicted with the very simple truth that the Tylenol capsules had been adulterated during distribution before any of the deadly capsules were delivered to the local retail stores.
The all out marketing blitz to deceive the public didn’t change the fact that Vergari had spilled the beans. The packaging
To rectify this
The FBI’s second inspection wasn’t really done with the help of some top secret ultra hi-tech equipment. In fact, there was no second inspection; it wasn’t needed. The only equipment needed to get the desired results from the second inspection
THE TAMPER-RESISTANT INSPECTION SCAM
On February 26, in response to questions about the progress of the case over the previous few weeks, Milt Ahlerich, chief of public affairs for the FBI held a press conference in which he issued this statement:
“Previously undetected signs of tampering have now been discovered using sophisticated scientific examinations. Our examinations have further determined it was possible to invade the bottles after
A spokesman for Johnson & Johnson jumped all over the FBI’s
“The company has contended that it was extremely unlikely that the capsules were tainted during the manufacturing process,” said J&J spokesman, James Murray. “We were puzzled all along as to how someone could have breached the three safety seals on the bottle and carton without being detected. We find the FBI statement very interesting.”
In my days at Johnson & Johnson, I learned that when J&J employees replied to my emails with statements like – “Your findings are very interesting,” or, “I’m puzzled by these results”, or, “This is very interesting, what does ‘so-and-so’ think about this?” – I knew what they really meant was, “I’m not going to confirm or deny anything because I don’t want my
Officials Inspect J&J’s Manufacturing Facility
Days before Ahlerich’s press conference, Carl Vergari said he planned to inspect the McNeil plant in Fort Washington, PA to “look into the possibility that the adulteration had occurred there.” Vergari said, “their review would examine manufacturing processes and might include employee personnel files.”
Prior to Ahlerich’s press conference, a team of investigators, including officials from Vergari’s office, visited the McNeil plant. Afterward, Vergari said that the tour by a team of investigators “suggested additional broad areas of inquiries.”
Shortly after Vergari determined there were still “broad areas of inquiries” at the factory, and it appeared he would intensify his investigation of McNeil Consumer Products, FBI Director Milt Ahlerich came out with an official FBI statement designed to convince the public that the Tylenol bottles had been tampered with at the local retail stores.
One day after Vergari said he hadn’t excluded tampering at the McNeil factory, the FBI reversed their initial findings regarding the tamper-resistant packaging. Accordingly, there would be no need for upstart Carl Vergari to pursue his investigation.
Never again would Carl Vergari be heard from with regard to the 1986 Tylenol murder investigation.
Two weeks after FDA official William Grigg stated, “Everyone involved believes that this is a local situation,” he’d gotten everybody in line. With the truth obscured, authorities could now focus the public’s attention back on the search for a fictitious unemployed psychopath.