Crime history: Wife kills husband, stranger with cyanide-laced Excedrin

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Crime History

On this day, May 9, in 1988, a Seattle woman was found guilty of killing her husband and another person by lacing Excedrin capsules with cyanide.

Stella Nickell, 44, had plotted to kill her husband Bruce Nickell for years, checking out library books about poison and talking about hiring a hit man. She hoped to collect $176,000 in insurance.

To make it look like her husband's death was random, Nickell planted cyanide-laced bottles in a neighborhood store. A 40-year-old mother of two ingested a tainted pill and also died.

Nickell became the Þrst person convicted under the Federal Anti-Tampering Act, created after seven Chicago residents died in1982 after taking poisoned Tylenol.

Nickell was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

-- Scott McCabe

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