Copy of Chicago Cyanide Murders - Name(s Delia Picone...

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Name(s): Delia PiconeChicago Cyanide Murders: A Case Study on Cellular RespirationPart 1: BackgroundIn September of 1982 ,Mary Kellerman gave her 12year old daughter a painkiller when she awoke duringthe night complaining of a sore throat. At 7 am thenext morning, her daughter was found collapsed onthe bathroom floor, and later pronounced dead.Adam Janus, a postal worker in another Chicagosuburb also died unexpectedly, though originally itwas thought he had suffered from a heart attack.While his family gathered to mourn their loss, hisbrother and sister became ill and later died.In the days that followed, three more unexplaineddeaths occurred in nearby Chicago suburbs.Investigators found that all of the victims had takenan extra strength Tylenol hours before their death.They suspected that someone had tampered with themedication.Symptoms exhibited by each of the victims included:weakness, dizziness, sleepinessflushed, bright red, skin toneheadacheshortness of breath and rapid breathingvomitingconfusion and disorientationQuestions:1. In your opinion, are the five deaths connected? What additional information would you need to determine if they are connected?Yes, you would need autopsy and investigation into more exact cause of death/connections2. If poison is suspected in the deaths, how would you proceed with the investigation?testing/autopsyPart 2: Autopsy report
The medical examiner concluded that each of the victims had died of hypoxia. Hypoxia means that the person suffered from a lack of oxygen, or they were suffocated. The reason for the hypoxia is not always clear at the first examination.The medical examiner also showed the tissue samples from the heart, lungs, and liver showed massive cell death. On further investigation, it was shown that the tissues had major mitochondrial damage.Even though the victims died of hypoxia, their level of oxygen in their blood was approximately 110 mm Hg. The normal range is 75-100 mm Hg.3. Recall your knowledge of the function of organelles. What function of the cells was interrupted in these patients?cellular respiration4. While poison is the main suspect in the case, what are other ways a person could die of hypoxia?suffocating5. Analyze the oxygen levels of the victims. Were the levels higher or lower than normal?higherHow can you reconcile this observation with the cause of death being hypoxia?not being used in respirationToxicology reports show that the victims had been poisoned with cyanide. The poisonwas traced back to extra strength tylenol where the murderer had opened thecapsules and replaced acetaminophen (a pain killer) with cyanide. Cyanide acts veryquickly, often killing within minutes of ingestion and authorities were slow to identifythe cause of the deaths. Once the cause as identified, stores removed Tylenol andother drugs from shelves. While there were many suspects, no one was ever chargedwith the crime and it is still an ongoing investigation. Since the Chicago Tylenolmurders, drug companies have drastically changed how medicines are packaged.

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