The Paramount+ docuseries “Painkiller: The Tylenol Murders” offers a compelling five-part investigation into the 1982 poisonings, which tragically claimed the lives of seven individuals in the Chicago metropolitan area. Among the seven victims were three members of the Janus family, and their descendants recollect how they lost their loved ones in quick succession. If you’re interested in learning more about Monica and Isabel Janus recounting their lost relatives, we’ve you covered. Let’s begin then, shall we?
Who Are Monica and Isabel Janus?
The program highlights the Janus family’s tragic narrative, marked by the loss of three of their loved ones, all of whom had ingested Tylenol from the same bottle. On September 29, 1982, 27-year-old postal worker Adam Janus was urgently transported to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, where medical professionals declared him deceased at 3:15 pm. Despite Adam’s excellent health and the absence of any known heart conditions, doctors logically deduced that his passing resulted from a heart attack.
At that time, Charles Kramer, a lieutenant in the Arlington Heights Fire Department, recollects receiving a call to respond to Adam’s residence. The extended Janus family had convened there, which included Adam’s 25-year-old brother, Stanley, along with Stanley’s 19-year-old wife, Theresa. Charles recalled, “There was a young man … on the floor. … This is Stanley. The paramedics were working on him. … A young girl came up, she was hysterical, her newlywed husband was on the floor … and she was grabbing onto my arm.”
He added, “The next thing I knew, she groaned and collapsed right next to me …” Adam Janus was born in Tarnow, Poland, and emigrated to the United States with his family at a young age. He and his wife, Teresa, raised their two children, Kathy and Thomas, in Arlington Heights, Cook County, Illinois. He worked as a postal supervisor and enjoyed tinkering with clocks. On September 29, 1982, the 27-year-old Adam purchased a 50-count bottle of Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules from a Jewel store on Vail Avenue at around 11:00 am.
Later that day, Adam was transported to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights at 2:33 pm and pronounced dead at 3:15 pm. Stanley Janus was born in Tarnow, Poland, on April 6, 1957. He came to the United States with his family in 1963 and quickly adapted to life in the Midwest. Stanley married Theresa Tarasewicz on June 19, 1982, and they honeymooned in Hawaii. Theresa “Terri” Janus was born on June 23, 1962. The married couple resided in Lisle, Illinois. Terri was adored by Stanley’s nieces, including Monica and Isabel Janus.
Where Are Monica and Isabel Janus Now?
On September 29, 1982, at 5:40 pm, Stanley and Terri Janus took at least one capsule of Extra-Strength Tylenol at his brother Adam’s home in Arlington Heights. They both experienced chest pains. Both Stanley, 25, and Terri, 20, were rushed to Northwest Community Hospital at 6:30 pm. Stanley was pronounced dead at 8:15 pm the same day, and Terri passed away at 1:15 pm on October 1. Monica was eight when her uncles and aunt consumed the Tylenol capsules with cyanide from the tainted bottles on the shelves of stores in the Chicago area.
Monica recalled, “When I see this bottle, it takes me back to the most tragic moment of my family’s life.” Monica’s 12-year-old daughter, Isabel, recollected, “It was everywhere because Tylenol is a thing that everyone uses.” Her mother added, “It was very scary and sad to think, wow, our family is just falling and dying. It was just scary because everybody was sobbing and crying.” Isabel described the devastating impact of the Tylenol murders on her family in a recent school essay. Adam and Stanley Janus were Isabel’s great-uncle.
She expressed that she believed only an individual devoid of empathy and care for others could carry out such a heinous crime. Monica said, “When they told my family that he died from a heart attack, they couldn’t believe it. They were like, why would he die from a heart attack?” At first, the Janus family was told Adam’s heart failed. After they wept over his body, they left the hospital. The tainted bottle of Tylenol was still there, and Stanley and Terri weren’t feeling well, so they reached for pills, not knowing yet what had caused Adam’s death.
Isabel recounted, “Then Stanley and Theresa took it because they had a headache – later on [they] passed.” She read her school report on the show and stated, “The world now has new packaging [and] safety seals for protection. … I will continue to try to find answers to this horrible tragedy. I truly believe that justice will be done, if not in this lifetime, then in the next. In loving memory of Adam Janus, Stanley Janus, and Theresa Janus.” The family continues to live in Chicago and hopes for justice with arrests yet to be made in the Tylenol deaths.
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