The Generation Why Podcast released its first episode in 2012 and pioneered the true crime genre in the podcasting world. Two friends, Aaron & Justin, break down theories and give their opinions on unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries and conspiracies.
In this rerun of episode 118, Aaron interviewed Mike Morford about his Zodiac Killer research, the investigation, the suspects, and the case as it stood in 2014. Will the Zodiac ever be identified? Mike Morford hosts several true crime podcasts these days, including Criminology. This episode has been re-edited and remastered.
December 14, 2014. Sydney, Australia. In Martin Place, a Lindt Cafe's employees and patrons were held hostage by an armed man. As the manager of the cafe tried to keep things calm, the armed man became more paranoid. The cafe was surrounded by police and a psychiatrist was brought in to aid authorities in managing the situation. What happened from there on out would almost defy belief. Join us as we discuss one of the most frustrating cases that we have ever covered.
/// This is our 400th episode and our 8th year working on this podcast. We are very grateful for the support you all have shown us. Seriously, thank you. - Justin & Aaron ///
December 31, 1993. Richardson County, Nebraska. In the fall of 1993, Brandon Teena, a transgender man from Lincoln, moved to Falls City, Nebraska to avoid legal trouble and make a fresh start. While there, he befriended a small group of friends and dated multiple women. On Christmas Eve 1993, John Lotter and Thomas Nissen, two of those friends, confronted Brandon about his gender identity. Bigotry and hate defined what followed. Join us as we discuss a triple murder that could have been prevented and the life of the young man who was targeted. This case was the basis of the 1999 movie Boys Don?t Cry and a centerpiece of trans rights in the 1990s, 2000's and beyond.
June 02, 2007. San Francisco, California. A French-American citizen enjoyed a night out with friends before heading back to his apartment before 2am. When he was discovered deceased the next day in his locked apartment an investigation was launched to discover what had happened and why. It wasn't long before the lead detective seemed to satisfy these questions in his own mind, but friends and family of Hugues had a different theory of his death. Join us as we discuss a locked room death case that remains open to this day.
San Jose, California. October 7, 2019. We were going to take this week off, but Justin wanted to record an episode on a death that he became very interested in. How did Tinker Ventures' CEO Erin Valenti die? Erin went missing while visiting California in October of 2019 and her body was found in her rental car five days later. Join us as we discuss how a young and healthy tech CEO might have met her end and why.
If someone you love is diagnosed with cancer you want them to get the best treatment from the best doctors. In 2013, patients in Michigan thought Farid Fata was that doctor. Between his prestigious education, years of experience and pleasant bedside manner, Fata was everything you could want in a doctor. But he was not who he appeared to be. From Wondery, this is the story of hundreds of patients in Michigan, a doctor, and a poisonous secret.
Laura Beil, returns with a second season of the award-winning series ?Dr Death.?
Click to listen to Dr. Death Season 2: wondery.fm/DrDeathS2_GenWhy
October 3, 2016. Flintstone, Georgia. A 27 year old man named DJ Fickey and his high school sweetheart and wife, Brandy, wrestled with drug addiction and a volatile relationship. A series of alarming text messages preceded a 911 call that was reporting the suicide of DJ. The caller was a mutual acquaintance of DJ and Brandy who may have had a motive to kill. Join us as we discuss a tragic case that doesn't need to remain a mystery.
June 19, 1995. Virginia Beach, Virginia. 21 year old Jennifer Evans went to The Bayou, a nightclub, with two friends. Sometime after midnight, she met Dustin Turner, a Navy SEAL trainee. He was at the club with his buddy and fellow SEAL trainee, Billy Brown. Dusty and Jennifer seemed to hit it off and went to his car to talk. The next day, Jennifer was reported missing by her friends. Detectives worked a tip that said Jennifer was last seen with Dustin Turner and questioned him. Did Turner hold the key to the entire case? Join us as we discuss a case that is very divisive and that is being challenged to this very day.
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May 19, 1999. Akron, OH. After 18 year old Hannah Hill was found dead in the trunk of her own car, detectives questioned her abusive boyfriend to see if he was involved in her murder. But as information was gathered, a second suspect was identified. Could Hannah's case get solved? Join us as we discuss a case that was debated for years before a more definitive case could be brought against one of the men. ///
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August 14th, 2010. Surrey, United Kingdom. In 2010, Sally Challen had been married to her husband Richard for 31 years. After cooking him a meal of bacon and eggs, she took a hammer and beat him to death. But why did she do it? It would take time and treatment to get to the bottom of a most unexpected murder.
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January 10th, 2013. Valdosta, Georgia. Lowndes High School student Kendrick Johnson went missing while at school soon after Christmas break. Later that night, Kendrick's mother called authorities. The next day, however, some students made a discovery that would shock everyone. "KJ" was discovered in a rolled up mat that was one of many stored in the corner of a gymnasium at the school. It didn't take long for detectives to announce that Johnson's death was an accident. But as the family and others looked into the situation, suspicions grew that the student may have been murdered.
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November 3, 1998. Jacksonville, Florida. An 8 year old girl disappeared while playing outside of her home. Despite a massive effort by many volunteers, her whereabouts wouldn't be known for six days. A terrible discovery by a woman in her 14 year old son's room led police to a terrible truth: a teenager had killed the child and kept her body in his room. But why did he do it? Join us as we discuss the murder of Maddie Clifton and the trial of Joshua Phillips.
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February 26, 2014. Meridian, Mississippi. The death of 21-year-old Christian Andreacchio has been described as bizarre at best and suspicious at worst. On February 26, 2014, Christian was found slumped in a bathtub in his apartment with a gunshot wound in his right temple. The police quickly ruled his death a suicide. However, Christian?s parents, Rae and Todd, immediately knew that their son did not take his own life. Over the next five years, they would hire private investigators, attorneys, forensic pathologists, forensic labs, and more. They all agreed that the evidence surrounding Christian?s death pointed to homicide. So what were the true circumstances surrounding Christian?s death? Did he die by suicide or homicide?
June 7th, 1998, Barberton, Summit County, Ohio. A woman and her granddaughter are brutally attacked by an intruder early one morning. The granddaughter, Brooke, survived the attack and provided a description of the man who killed her grandmother. She said he looked like her Uncle Clarence. But over time there were doubts about the case against Brooke's uncle, Clarence Elkins. Was there any proof, though, that he didn't kill his mother-in-law who he had threatened just a week before?
October 22, 2018. Salt Lake City, UT. University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey began seeking help from authorities after she discovered that her controlling boyfriend had been lying about his identity and had a criminal past. It's the events that happened after she sought help that will have you questioning everything. Join us as we discuss one of the most infuriating cases you'll ever hear about.
November 22, 1990. Fairfield, Maine. A rented farmhouse was occupied by Hubert Hartley, his girlfriend, Tammy Theriault, and Hubert's good friend, Morris Martin. Tammy was pregnant and brought along a 20 month old child from a previous relationship. The farmhouse was in a great location for hunting which both men enjoyed. Just one week after renting the place, two other men had moved in with them. And by Thanksgiving Day, two of the men from the house would disappear. Join us as we discuss a strange case with a few surprising turns.
July 2017. Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Over the course of three days in early July 2017, four young men, Jimi Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Mark Sturgis, and Tom Meo, went missing in the Philadelphia suburb of Bucks County. The investigation quickly led to a 90-acre farm owned by the DiNardo family. The son, Cosmo, seemed to be connected to the missing men and detectives and the county district attorney knew they would have to play their cards right to close this case and achieve justice for four families.
May 17, 2001. Phoenix, Arizona. 17 year old Alissa Turney was spending her last day as a Junior at Paradise High before summer break. Her sister, Sarah, expected their father, Michael, to pick her up from school but he didn't show. She went on to a friend's house where, later, her dad finally arrived. But he was concerned. Alissa was missing. Phone calls and visits to neighboring homes on their street revealed nothing but in Alissa's room they found her phone and a note. Join us as we discuss the disturbing case of Alissa Turney and the incredible push for justice led by her sister Sarah (Voices For Justice).
February 5, 2007. Orlando, Florida. Lisa Nowak, a NASA astronaut, drove nearly 1000 miles from Houston, Texas to Orlando, Florida so that she could confront another woman. The other woman was Colleen Shipman, A U.S. Navy Captain, who was dating astronaut Bill Oefelein and who Lisa still had strong feelings for. Colleen was attacked in her car and was lucky to get away. Lisa Nowak's intentions and what happened at the Orlando International Airport brought up many questions about NASA's astronaut program and how the agency evaluates candidates. Join us as we discuss a true story that many have joked about but is no laughing matter.
Justin & I give our thoughts on the Rey Rivera case that is covered on the first episode of the new Unsolved Mysteries show on Netflix. It concerns a missing man later found deceased and his wife's mission to uncover the truth of what happened. The latter half of this episode is an interview that Justin did with Terry Dunn Meurer, one of the executive producers of Unsolved Mysteries. They discuss the new season, some of the cases it covers, give some background information on how they launched the new series and more. I haven't watched beyond episode one myself yet, but be aware that they discuss the series and so if you want to watch it first, we encourage you to do so. If you don't have Netflix then just listen to this episode. Justin & I are longtime fans of Unsolved Mysteries and we were excited to discuss a case that currently has many people talking.
June 7, 1998. Jasper, Texas. James Byrd Jr, 49, had spent the day at different parties with family and friends and was walking home when he was picked up by white supremacists who had offered him a ride. James couldn't drive due to a condition that prevented him from having a driver's license. What these three did to him after picking him up was beyond shocking. In other words, this is one of the most brutal crimes you'll ever hear about. But at the core of this case are questions about justice and about the fairness of our justice system. How far have we come as a nation when it comes to dealing with crimes motivated by hate?
June 9, 2017. Urbana, Illinois. In April 2017, Yingying Zhang came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an International Scholar from China. On June 9, 2017, she failed to return to work after lunch and a search was launched for her. Through video surveillance, investigators were able to piece together her whereabouts until she got into a black Saturn Astra. As the authorities zeroed in on the killer, the truth of what had happened was revealed by an unexpected source and the details of the crime dealt a devastating blow to all who loved Yingying.
June 01, 1989. Tampa Bay, Florida. A woman named Joan Rogers and her two teenaged daughters, Michelle and Christe, left Ohio for Florida on a much needed vacation. Hal Rogers, father and husband, stayed back at the dairy farm they owned to keep it going. But when his family failed to return when they were expected, Hal could sense something was terribly wrong. The Rogers family had already been through a lot, but the news that was to come would be even worse. In a case that required great detective work and dedication, the truth of what occurred and who was behind it would finally be answered.
Tioga County, New York. September 11, 2001. Michele Harris and her husband, Cal, were in the midst of a divorce. Despite this, they continued to live in the same house with their four children. Still, it was no secret that there were serious issues between them. After Michele went missing, detectives were suspicious of Cal due to his actions around that time and his perceived lack of interest in her whereabouts. But as time went on, the case would take some turns that no one expected. Did Cal murder Michele? Or was there another person behind her disappearance?
March 3rd, 2011. Ridgely, Tennessee. Clarence & Sue Shell were brutally stabbed to death in their home. Their family was devastated. Detectives quickly got a lead and arrested a suspect. But a surprising claim was made at trial that created questions about who might have truly been involved and why.
February 12, 2014. Tyabb, Australia. Eleven year old Luke Batty was at cricket practice when he spotted his father. He was excited because his parents had split and he didn't see his dad that much. Rosie Batty, his mom, had ensured that any visits Greg Anderson had with Luke were supervised. Greg had been an abusive partner but had not been abusive towards Luke. But on February 12th, 2014, Greg Anderson would do the unthinkable in a public place with a number of witnesses looking on. Join us as we discuss a heartbreaking case involving family violence, a mother's drive to protect her son, and a story that reminds us of just how little control we really have.
July 10, 1982. Lindau, Germany. The morning after enjoying the waters at Lake Constance, 14 year old Kalinka Bamberski remained in her room. Her stepfather, Dieter Krombach, went to check on her before he left to go horseback riding. He found her deceased. Authorities accepted Dieter's account of what happened as did his wife, But Kalinka's father was not convinced that foul play wasn't involved and as troubling details came to light of what had happened to his daughter, Andre Bamberski set out to ensure that no matter the cost, her death would not go unpunished.
January 4, 1989. Emory, Texas. At 12:34 p.m., Debbie Loveless makes a desperate call to 911. Her four-year-old daughter, April Tucker, has a gaping wound in her thigh and a severed femoral artery. April is rushed to the hospital but dies on the operating table. Both Debbie and her common-law husband John Miller tell the sheriff?s office the same thing April told them: The dogs did it. However, investigators think the dogs are harmless and suspect that John and Debbie are in fact responsible for April?s death. What happened to April Tucker? Was she the victim of a rare and vicious dog attack? Or did her stepfather and mother concoct the story to get away with murder?
June 1, 2001. Kathmandu, Nepal. The Nepalese Royal Family was gathered at the Narayanhity Royal Palace for one of it's bi-monthly reunion parties when King Birendra was gunned down by his son, Crown Prince Dipendra. While those around them and in the palace were shocked, none could have foreseen the violence that would follow. Join us as we discuss a tragic mass shooting that claimed many lives and forever altered a nation.
On this episode of Generation Why, we revisit the Holly Bobo case. We originally spoke about her case on episode #203 which was before Zach Adams' trial. Now we look back at the trial and discuss what happened as well as the questions that we continue to have despite the State having made its case and getting a conviction. Did Zach Adams kidnap and murder Holly Bobo in 2011? If you haven't listened to our episode yet (or are unfamiliar with the case) we would suggest that you do so as this is a followup episode.
On this bonus episode, Aaron interviewed Marc M. Howard, a professor at Georgetown University, and Marty Tankleff, a man who was exonerated after a wrongful conviction that sent him to prison for 18 years, about their work re-investigating possible wrongful convictions.
June 23, 2018. Randle, Washington. Benjamin Eastman III, or Ben as his friends and family liked to call him, went missing after leaving his house early one morning. His father, BJ, and other family and friends worked to get the word out to find Ben and to bring him home. Just days later, though, his body was located. Based on his injuries, he had been cruelly assaulted before being killed. Detectives on the case didn't have much trouble figuring out who had killed the 16 year old. Who did was surprising as it turned out to be a lifelong friend and his older brother. The real question was why they did it and who was in on the plot. Join us as we discuss a surprising case of family bonds and brutality from the northwestern United States.
December 11, 2007. Quitman, Texas. A call to 911 was made at at 9am by Jason Payne who reported that his wife and his stepson were dead. He had been away from the home with his two youngest kids and had discovered their bodies in their bedrooms. Emergency personnel and law enforcement were dispatched and arrived to find Nichole Payne and her son, Austin Taylor Wages, dead in the home. Both had died as the result of gunshot wounds. Early on in the investigation, though, there was a disagreement as to the manner of these deaths. Was it a double homicide or a suicide & homicide? Join us as we discuss a case that divided both family and law enforcement.
May 20-21, 2016. Green Bay, Wisconsin. 31 year old Nicole "Nikki" VanderHeyden went out for an evening with her boyfriend, Doug, and some other friends. But after Nicole's battered nude body was discovered in a field the following afternoon, detectives were very interested in Doug Detrie in connection with the murder. As interviews were conducted, it became apparent that the couple had not been getting along. Could Doug have gone too far and murdered Nicole? Good detective work would reveal the truth of what happened to the well-liked mother of three.
February 20, 2009. Wampum, Pennsylvania. Kenzie Houk, a pregnant mother of two, was asleep in her bed when someone shot her in the back of the head. Both Kenzie and her unborn son died. At the time, she was engaged to Chris Brown, who had a son named Jordan. When detectives investigated the home they could only come to one conclusion. That Jordan Brown was responsible for the crime. Their theory was that Jordan did not like how his life was disrupted by having a woman and her two daughters join his family with a little brother on the way. But was Jordan truly a murderer? Or could someone else have had a motive to kill Kenzie Houk?
In the late Spring of 1990, Martin Tankleff went on trial for the murders of his parents. Arlene & Seymour's deaths were brutal and prosecutors felt they had a solid case. But the Tankleff case wasn't over after a single trial. Martin's family held firm in their support for him and as time went on, he gained even more supporters. What was it about his case that produced so many believers in his innocence? Join us as we discuss Martin Tankleff's legal battles in his effort to win his freedom and exoneration.
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September 7th, 1988. Long Island, New York. A high school senior woke up one morning to discover that his parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff, had been brutally attacked in their home. His mother was dead and his father was just clinging to life. While that is Martin's account, the detectives who began an investigation saw things very differently. The Tankleffs were very wealthy and might their teenaged son have attacked them to get them out of his way so that he could have their money and live the life he truly dreamed of? Join us on this first episode of a two part series that covers an unbelievable case of greed, violence, and conflicting narratives.
April 02, 1993. Jamestown & Sonora, California. Parents often say that if anyone ever harmed their child they would take action. Ellie Nesler's son, William, returned from a bible camp one summer but was almost a different person. His demeanor and his actions caused his mother concern but she could not get him to talk with her about it. One year later, William confided in an aunt and the truth came out. A dishwasher at the camp had sexually abused the six year old. Daniel Driver, who had encouraged William to go to the camp, had molested and raped children in the past but had only gotten a slap on the wrist. Little did he know that Ellie Nesler wasn't going to let him get away with his crime this time. Join us as we discuss vigilantism and the case of a family that would never seem to be at peace.
August 25th, 2008. Springfield, Georgia. A 911 operator had difficulty understanding a woman who called for help. After a number of minutes, police and emergency personnel are dispatched to the home of the respected Heidt family. The details were disturbing. Someone had entered the home while Philip, Linda, and their adult son, Carey, would be asleep. Linda was actually awake, though, and was disturbed by the sound of a shotgun. Her son, her husband, as well as herself were all shot. Only Linda survived the attack. Detectives found only a few clues but they would lead them to their prime suspect. But an arrest wasn't made right away. They wanted to wait and see if Linda, who was recovering from a shotgun blast to her face and neck, would be able to identify the one who had done this to her and her family. Join us as we discuss a disturbing crime that was difficult for most of the family members to come to terms with.
January 7, 2006. Grundy County, Tennessee. Police are called to a house after a woman is violently attacked. Becky Hill's son, Kirk Braden, had made the call after chasing the perpetrator from the home they shared with her brother, Malcolm Burrows. He also said that Malcolm had left the house earlier with the attacker to help him with his car. Hill survived her injuries but her brother was discovered murdered down the road. As part of the investigation, interviews are conducted and someone gives the name Adam Braseel to a detective. This young man fit the description and the car he drove seemed pretty similar to the car spotted by Hill. After Braseel's trial, though, evidence would mount suggesting that Adam was not involved. Would his guilty verdict stand? Or would another suspect surface? Join us as we discuss this unbelievable case of similarities and possible corruption.
July 6, 1988. Bowdoin, Maine. 12 year old Sarah Cherry was babysitting John & Jennifer Henkel's 10 month old daughter. Before she was taken to the Henkel's home her mother reminded her not to tell anyone that she was alone at the house and not to answer the door. Later that afternoon, Jennifer Henkel arrived home and noticed some strange things in the driveway, doors to the house ajar, and inside her home she found the tv on and some of Sarah's things. But no sign of Sarah herself. Jennifer's daughter was safe in her crib. A check of the rest of the house and outside told her it was time to call the police and then Sarah's mother. Over the next two days the police had a suspect and the body of Sarah Cherry, which had been covered by a pile of brush and just hundreds of feet from the suspect's truck. As the evidence mounted and the case moved forward, the question of what happened to Sarah Cherry was publicly debated.
September 1, 2015. Fox Lake, Illinois. On the morning of September 1st, Police Lt. Gliniewicz radioed dispatch a number of times after he saw some suspicious men. Before 8am he acknowledged that he would like a second unit sent to his location; off a gravel road by an old concrete plant. Officers in three different cars raced to the location and arrived in minutes only to find Lt Gliniewicz face down and deceased. Authorities began a manhunt for the three men the downed officer had radioed dispatch about. But as time went by, the narrative of the situation began to change and hidden truths began to be revealed. What exactly happened that morning and what really happened to Lt. Joe Gliniewicz? Join us as we discuss a strange case where appearances can be deceiving.
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August 18. 1992. Somerville, Texas. A grandmother, her daughter, and four grandchildren were discovered dead in a home that was the scene of a fire. All six had been brutally murdered. Investigators got a big lead in the case at the funeral for the Davis family members and it ultimately resulted in the confession of one suspect and the identity of his accomplice. But the case wasn't that simple. As time went on, issues with the interrogation of their lead suspect and a review of the prosecution's case would cast serious doubts on their theory of the case and the trial itself. Join us as we discuss a case that shows the hunt for justice and the hunt for the truth aren't always part of the same mission.
April 5, 2015. South West England, UK. Victoria Cilliers decided to jump out of a plane as her husband suggested she should. She was an experienced parachutist and instructor. Parachuting might be just the thing to do for herself. But after she jumped, she realized soon after that something was wrong. Her parachute wasn't working and the reserve didn't work correctly, either. Victoria plummeted to the earth while her fellow parachutists watched in horror. Join us as we discuss a case involving love, betrayal, and devious plots.
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July 22-23, 2015. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 pm a call came in to 911. The caller was twelve year old David Bever who reported that his brother was killing his family. This disturbing call from a nice suburb prompted an immediate response to the Bever home. Police found the home locked and blood was on the porch. By the next morning, five family members were confirmed dead, one was badly wounded, and another was found unharmed. The two older sons were located and arrested. What happened to this family and why? Join us as we discuss a case that involves isolation, obsession, and blood lust.
November 14th, 2011. Lapeer County, Michigan. A young woman and her boyfriend, along with a friend of his, had been staying over at her Aunt's place over several days. Andrea had been house sitting while her relatives were away. On November 14th, she texted KC, her boyfriend, to have him meet her at the house. According to him, he arrived but the house was dark and he didn't see Andrea. Upset, he spent most of the evening with a friend from work. Friends and family became concerned for Andrea after she had gone missing since the 14th. Two days later her car was located. Then, a visit to her aunt's home resulted in Andrea being found. She was found dead in the laundry room as a result of a gunshot. Who had executed her? Police zeroed in on KC, but as the evidence in the case was collected and analyzed it seemed to point to someone else. Join us as we discuss the crime, possible motives and suspects in a case where timelines and evidence seem to lead to different theories of the crime.
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This is Part Two of our Oklahoma City Bombing coverage. In this episode we talk about McVeigh's life, the trials, and give our thoughts on this devastating act of domestic terrorism.
Happy Holidays, everyone. We'll be back in January of 2020.
April 19, 1995. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A Ryder truck was parked outside of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City before 9am on that Wednesday morning. Inside the truck was a homemade bomb that, after detonation, destroyed the building and ended the lives of 168 people, including nineteen children. More than 600 people were injured. What motivated the bombers to target this federal building? Join us as we discuss the OKC bombing and Timothy McVeigh, a former Gulf War soldier whose life once looked promising but who later opted to start a war against his own government.
1978-1995. USA. From 1978 through 1995, 16 bombs were either mailed or placed to terrorize the public. A government task force was formed and named UNABOM (University and Airline Bombing) after which the originally named Junkyard Bomber became known as The Unabomber. The bombs themselves were seemingly fashioned from stuff the individual had on hand. This mysterious figure behind the bombings also seemed to have a strong desire to speak to the public and in 1995 he revealed that if his essay was published that he would cease his terrorist activities. But was giving in to the demands of a terrorist the wrong course of action? Or was there good reasons to let him have his say? Join us as we discuss the case that changed not only how we operate our mail system, but also woke many people up to the fact that not all terrorists are from outside the nation.
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September, October 1982. Chicago Metropolitan Area, Illinois. A series of sudden deaths in the Chicago metropolitan area in 1982 resulted in an investigation that traced the deaths to tainted Tylenol capsules. At that time there was no tamper proof packaging on pain medication bottles which made it difficult to figure out where the capsules had been laced. Who would have done such a thing and why did they do it? Join us as we try to sort through this mysterious case that had a profound effect on the trust we put into the pills that we buy.
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