Friday, February 06, 2009

Key Dates

Key dates in life of Tylenol poisonings suspect

BYLINE: By The Associated Press


LENGTH: 421 words

Some key dates in the life of James W. Lewis, suspected in the 1982 Tylenol cyanide deaths in the Chicago area:

Mid-1940s Born Theodore Elmer Wilson in Missouri; adopted at age 3.

1973, 1974 Arrested after physical confrontations with his stepfather.

1974 Daughter Toni, who had a congenital heart defect, dies at age 5.

1978 Accused in the dismemberment slaying of a 72-year-old former accounting client in Kansas City, Mo. The case was dismissed after a judge ruled that seizure of property from his apartment was illegal.

December 1981 Moves with his wife, Leann, to Chicago from Kansas City. They assume aliases and Lewis gets a job as a tax preparer. He is fired after what his employer called a violent outburst.

Sept. 6, 1982 Couple moves to New York.

Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 1982 Seven people in Chicago and suburbs die after taking cyanide-laced Tylenol.

Oct. 6, 1982 Authorities say Lewis writes extortion letter to Johnson & Johnson, parent of Tylenol manufacturer McNeil Consumer Products Co., demanding $1 million "to stop the killing." The next week, the FBI identifies Lewis as the writer and obtains a warrant for his arrest.

Dec. 12, 1982 Arrested at a New York City library after a nationwide manhunt.

May 26, 1983 Convicted of six counts of mail fraud after a four-day trial in a 1981 credit card scheme in Kansas City. Lewis was accused of using the name and background of a former tax client to obtain 13 credit cards.

July 12, 1983 Sentenced to 10 years in prison for mail fraud. Police described Lewis as a "chameleon" who lived in several states, used at least 20 aliases and held many jobs, including computer specialist, tax accountant, importer of Indian tapestries and salesman of jewelry, pharmaceutical machinery and real estate.

Oct. 28, 1983 Federal jury convicts Lewis of extortion in the Tylenol case.

June 14, 1984 Sentenced to 10 years for extortion. He also serves more than two years of a 10-year sentence for an unrelated tax-fraud charge. Lewis represents himself at sentencing hearing.

June 20, 1986 U.S. Court of Appeals upholds extortion conviction, dismissing his claim he didn't receive a fair trial.

Oct. 13, 1995 Released from the federal prison in El Reno, Okla. Arrives at Boston's Logan International Airport with his wife; they settle in Cambridge, Mass.

2004 Accused of rape in Cambridge; spends three years in jail awaiting trial before the charge is dropped when the victim refuses to testify.

Feb. 4, 2009 FBI agents from Chicago and Boston raid his Cambridge condo and take boxes and a computer.

No comments: