Period 4 – Criminal Behavior Lesson Plan (5-12-2017)

Criminal Behavior HeaderTopic:

Cold Case – Tylenol Murders



Today’s Objective:

Students will research the Tylenol Murders and develop a criminal profile for who law enforcement should be looking for.

*Lesson objective written with this downloadable guide -> Writing Learning Objectives Guide


Circumspect, Blithe, Comprehension, Enmity, Tribulation

Online Resources for Today:

Mr. Tyler’s Google Criminal Behavior Student Toolbox 


Warm Up:

*No warm up today*

Task #1 ( Tylenol Murders Psychological Evaluation)


Looking over our work from yesterday I want us to get some more practice time in profiling. Today you will be looking over the Tylenol Murders. I have given you information and links below about it. You each will individually go through and fill out a criminal profile attempting to figure out who authorities should be looking for with regards to this crime. The format is below for reference.

Case Resources: 

Original Newspaper (Click to to Enlarge):

Summary of Tylenol Murder Case:

In late September/early October 1982, seven Chicago-area people died from popping Tylenol pills laced with cyanide. Adam Janus was experiencing chest pain. He popped a few Extra-Strength Tylenol and collapsed an hour later. He died. That night, Janus’ younger brother and sister-in-law, grief-stricken and achey, popped a few of Adam’s Tylenol pills. They died. A 12-year old girl with a cold took some Extra-Strength Tylenol on account of a cold. Dead. All in all, seven were felled by the poisoned pills. Hysteria followed. A 1982 TIME story reports, “Police cruisers, rolling through Chicago streets Thursday afternoon and evening, blared warnings over loudspeakers.” The drug was removed from shelves. Vague copycat incidents — pins and needles discovered in candy bars — led several communities to ban Halloween trick-or-treating. A gentleman was arrested after trying to extort Johnson & Johnson for $100,000, though he was never charged with the murders. Tamper-proof seals became the norm.

Links to Case Information:

Information Web Link -> Tylenol Murder Case


Name:                                     Name of the case

Referred by:                           Mr. Tyler

Psychologists:                           Your names

Place of Examination:            Cesar Chavez High School

Date of Examination:             5-12-2017

Date of Report:                        5-12-2017

Investigative Techniques:

List the methods you will use to research and analyze this  killer in order. Feel free to use bullet format in this section.

Background Information:

Start with several important  facts of the case. Which of the seven key theories do you think explains why this killer murdered? What evidence do you have to support your belief? Do you think the killer served any jail/prison time before? Why? What is your evidence? What job do you think the killer had? Blue collar or white collar? Why?

Behavioral Observations:

Was the killer organized or disorganized? What evidence do you have to support your belief? Use your organized/disorganized killer chart. What signs of stalking do you think the killer had? In other words, how do you think the killer acted like a stalker? 

Cognitive Functioning:

What psychiatric (mental) disorders do you think the killer suffered from if any? What evidence do you have to support your belief?


Briefly summarize the report as a whole.  Some audiences (judges, busy psychiatrists) read only the summary, so you must be succinct, clear, and direct. 

Recommendations:  Who specifically should law enforcement be looking for? Be descriptive as possible. What type of job? What type of personality? Make sure to explain your claims.


Respectfully submitted,


Names (Print)



Names (Signature)


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