Not only are these stories creepy, they have had remarkable implications on our everyday lives.
Let’s dive in.
Chicago Tylenol Murders
30 September, 1982 – Chicago Illinois – seven young and healthy people all died seemingly randomly in various parts of the windy city.
Investigators found all seven victims did one similar thing during the 24 hour period before they all died. They had a tylenol tablet – a common pain relief pill.
Autopsies showed lethal doses of cyanide in their systems.
A few days later, 31 million bottles of Tylenol were pulled from the shelves and Chicago as well as the rest of America went into a panic.
100,000 article were written about the deaths, hospitals were overwhelmed by worried citizens thinking they were going to die and police went through the streets with speakers telling people to throw away Tylenol bottles.
Meanwhile the investigation continued and police were perplexed by the fact that the bottles were bought at different stores and furthermore, they were made at different manufacturing plants.
While it is still a mystery today of who carried out the murders there is a generally accepted theory of how they did it.
It is believed the murderer purchased a large amount of Tylenol, brought it home, contaminated it with Cyanide and returned it to different stores around the city.
This led to a government reform of anti-tampering laws which is why you’ll see plastic anti-tamper wrapping on pill bottles today.
The landmark case of Miranda vs. Arizona
3 March, 1963 – Phoenix, Arizona – An 18 year old girl was leaving the theater she worked at to go home when she was kidnapped, brought to the desert and raped.
She gave police and her family a description of the man who raped her and the vehicle he drove.
10 days later, her brother was driving through Phoenix and saw a truck which matched her description to which he called the police.
The man, Ernesto Miranda, was brought into police custody.
Here, he was subjected to a police lineup and was intensely interrogated for two hours before finally confessing to the rape.
This confession would later be used against him in court.
His lawyer argued that this confessions should not be used in court as Miranda was not aware of his rights to remain silent or his right ot have a lawyer present during an interrogation.
After the claim was dismissed, Miranda’s lawyer appealed it to the supreme court which turned out to be a landmark case.
The supreme court agreed Miranda should have been aware of his rights and this is why to today police need to read ‘Miranda rights’ to anyone they arrest. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Miranda did go to prison for his crime but interestingly enough, once out, he started a business signing miranda cards.
He later died by stabbing in a bar fight.
Where Megan’s law comes from
29 July, 1994 – Hamilton Township, New Jersey
Seven-year-old Megan Kanka was riding her bike in the driveway of her family home.
The man who lived across the road from Megan, Jesse K. Timmendequas, who had two previous charges of sexually assaulting young girls, lured Megan into his home.
Megan was raped, strangled with a belt and her body left in a nearby park.
The next day, he confessed to the crime.
Megan’s parents were outraged that they lived next to a sex offender unknowingly and lobbied the government for change arguing they would have been able to prevent their daughters death if they knew this.
A month after Megan’s murder the New Jersey General Assembly passed a series of bills that mandated a number of things including: a sex offender registry list which is available to the public, a database tracking the movements of sex offenders throughout the US and community notification when a sex offender moves into an area.