Widow, daughter of Chicago Tylenol murders victim share memories in Barrington

Liz Nagy Image
Saturday, November 19, 2022
Widow, daughter of Tylenol murders victim share memories
Theresa Janus lost her husband Adam in the 1982 Tylenol Murders in Chicago. She and their daughter Kathy shared memories in Barrington Friday.

BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Teresa Janus still can't believe it's been 40 years since her husband Adam died suddenly from what they would come to find out was cyanide-laced Tylenol.

That day in September 1982 was as normal as can be, she recounted Friday.

Chicago Tylenol murders: New optimism for charges 40 years after cyanide-laced painkiller deaths

"My husband went to pick up my daughter from school and he topped at Jewel to buy something for lunch," she said. "It happened that he had a headache."

Thinking back, Janus said not long after her husband swallowed a seemingly normal store-bought painkiller, things started to go wrong.

"In just a coupe seconds he said, 'I don't feel good I have to lay down,'" she recalled.

Pills from the same pack killed her husband's brother and his wife, leaving Janus to raise her then-4-year-old daughter Kathy and her brother on her own.

"After my dad died my mom just didn't want to come home right away," Kathy Janus said. "With a tragedy like this, she persevered."

Now, four decades later, Teresa and Kathy Janus were recognized for that perseverance by an Arlington Heights-based nonprofit. The mother and daughter shared their personal grief from the still-unsolved murder spree that captivated the Chicago area and confounded investigators since 1982.

The ABC7 I-Team learned in September 2022 that investigators are now reviewing old circumstantial evidence and newly obtained evidence, but the Januses made no reference to the criminal investigation at Friday night's event.