Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Christmas Gift To You

I always make my own powdered Chai in the winter time. Nothing tastes or smells better than a hot cup of instant Chai.  I know I've posted this before, but it's been a few years, so for those of you who share my addiction, here goes.  BTW, it's not original. I got it online, and adjusted it to suit my own personal taste.



1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1. In a large bow, combine all ingredients. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is consistency of fine powder.
2. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai mixture into a mug of hot water. (You can serve it over ice if you'd like)

(I've done this with sugar substitute and it does work, but still leaves that awful taste. Indulge yourself. You deserve it. 

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