Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Cyanide Killer

Anonymously Yours, my debut novel from The Wild Rose Press was loosely based on the cyanide murders of the eighties. If you've never heard of these horrific crimes, read below. Could a copycat murderer be involved in Angelica Belmont's death? Read below to find out more about the actual cyanide killer. Then read Anonymously Yours to see if it's happening again.


On the morning of September 29, 1982, twelve-year-old Mary Kellerman of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, died after taking a capsule of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Adam Janus of Arlington Heights, Illinois, died in the hospital shortly after. Adam's brother Stanley of Lisle, Illinois, and wife Theresa died after gathering to mourn his death, having taken pills from the same bottle. Soon afterward, Mary McFarland of Elmhurst, Illinois, Paula Prince of Chicago, and Mary Reiner of Winfield also died in similar incidents.[2][3] Investigators soon discovered the Tylenol link. Urgent warnings were broadcast, and police drove through Chicago neighborhoods issuing warnings over loudspeakers.
As the tampered-with bottles came from different factories, and the seven deaths had all occurred in the Chicago area, the possibility of sabotage during production was ruled out. Instead, the culprit was believed to have entered various supermarkets and drug stores over a period of several weeks, grabbed several bottles of Tylenol capsules from the shelves, removed them from the stores and took them to another location. Once there, the poisoner opened the bottles, took the capsules out, added the cyanide, then put the now-laced capsules back in the bottles and returned to the stores to place the bottles back on the shelves. In addition to the five bottles which led to the victims' deaths, three other tampered-with bottles were discovered.
Johnson & Johnson distributed warnings to hospitals and distributors and halted Tylenol production and advertising. On October 5, 1982, it issued a nationwide recall of Tylenol products; an estimated 31 million bottles were in circulation, with a retail value of over US $100 million.[4] The company also advertised in the national media for individuals not to consume any products that contained acetaminophen. When it was determined that only capsules were tampered with, Johnson & Johnson offered to exchange all Tylenol capsules already purchased by the public with solid tablets.

During the initial investigations, a man named James William Lewis sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson demanding $1 million to stop the cyanide-induced murders. Police were unable to link him with the crimes, as he and his wife were living in New York City at the time. He was convicted of extortion, served 13 years of a 20-year sentence, and was released in 1995 on parole. WCVB Channel 5 of Boston reported that court documents, released in early 2009, "show Department of Justice investigators concluded Lewis was responsible for the poisonings, despite the fact that they did not have enough evidence to charge him". Lewis has denied responsibility for the poisonings for several years.[5][6]

A second man, Roger Arnold, was investigated and cleared of the killings. He had a nervous breakdown due to the media attention, which he blamed on Marty Sinclair, a bar owner. In the summer of 1983, Arnold shot and killed John Stanisha, whom he mistook for Sinclair. Stanisha was an unrelated man who did not know Arnold.[7] Arnold was convicted in January 1984 and served 15 years of a 30-year sentence for second-degree murder. He died in June 2008.
Laurie Dann, who poisoned and shot people in a May 1988 rampage in and around Winnetka, Illinois, was briefly considered as a suspect, but no direct connection was found.[8]

Taken from

Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Hop

My PhotoI want to thank Ginger Hanson for inviting me to participate in this Meet Your Character Blog Hop. Ginger is a writer whose credentials include all types of writing from personal essays, short stories, articles and novels to FAA handbooks. She's jumping on the Indie publishing train with her micro publishing company, Saderra Publishing


Meet my Character Denise Thomas

1) What is the name of your character?  Is he/she fictional or a historic person?   Denise Thomas. Definitely a fictional character.  Not sure where the name came from. Just one of those things that popped into my head and it seemed to fit the character very well.

2) When and where is the story set? The story is set in a fictional town of Clayfield, Missouri. Totally made up, although I did have an image of the neighborhood.  I used to live there, although many of the characteristics of that neighborhood are fictional as well.  I replaced the school that was actually there with the diner to suit my story.

3) What should we know about him/her? She’s a fighter. She knows what she wants and she goes after it.  But she also has a heart of gold, especially when it comes to her family.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? The main conflict for her is that her parents and her boyfriend are afraid for her to work in the law enforcement area.  It’s something she has to prove to them, that she is capable of taking care of herself in dangerous situations.  They realize this when through no fault of her own, she is suddenly thrust into a dangerous situation that she has to figure out herself. Because no one else will believe her.

5) What is the personal goal of the character? To be able to make her own choices in life and still have the support of those she loves.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? It’s called Anonymously Yours. It’s available now in print and ebook. And right now I’m  doing a promotional thing where I’ll be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who writes a review on Amazon.  Drawing will be held October 1st.

7) When can we expect the book to be published? As mentioned above. GET YOUR COPY NOW!  I’d love to hear your response.



Next week, Sept. 8th, be sure and check out these four authors and see what they're working on.

Viney Loretta Moore/Loretta Moore-penname

I am an African American female writer of many genres, residing in Dover, Delaware. I’m a married, the mother of three, and grandmother of eight. I’m a multi-published author with several novels to my credit. Other published works include poetry, essays, and short stories in several magazines and journals. I also contribute to a church newsletter.


     I am also a playwright and several of her dramas and musicals have been full productions. Ghostwriting is another area in which I work. I have a college degree in English and have received literary and theatrical recognition and awards. I belong to an honor society and other laudable organizations. My interests include writing, reading, music, and attending theatre and concerts, as well as some involvement with outdoor activities. My next writing project keeps me very busy.




VJ Schultz
VJ Schultz wanted to write books ever since she could read them by herself. Her latest book is a collection of romance short stories, UNDERCOVER LOVE & OTHER TALES. She enjoys writing in multiple genres including mystery, romance, and fantasy.
She and her husband live in Missouri with three spoiled inside cats, one less-spoiled outside cat, and one happy parakeet. When she isn’t writing or teaching writing, she takes photos, reads, and does Tai Chi.  A member of Sisters in Crime, VJ is also one of the founding members of Sleuths' Ink, a mystery and suspense writing group.
link to VJ’s blog:

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Book Buy Links:
Death of Bigfoot & Other Tales
Truth or Dare & Other Tales
Undercover Love & Other Tales 

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi is an emergency physician trained in the crumbling corridors of Montreal. Her latest Hope Sze medical mystery, TERMINALLY ILL, hit the Kobo Top 50 eBook List after Publishers Weekly hailed it as “entertaining and insightful.” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine concluded, “Hope Sze is an utterly likeable character.” As Melissa Yuan-Innes, she won Writers of the Future and wrote THE MOST UNFEELING DOCTOR IN THE WORLD AND OTHER TRUE TALES FROM THE EMERGENCY ROOM. She’s cheerfully married, with two loud children and a Rottweiler shepherd, and just learned how to salsa.

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