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The Story Behind Arsenic & Old Lace

  As the blizzard approaches, here’s a recent chilling release to curl up with detailing the real-life serial killer who inspired the well-loved Cary Grant feature, Arsenic and Old Lace.  The real saga, however, was not light-hearted and comic, but rather horrifying in its scope and as unbelievable as the carnage inflicted in Chicago by H.H. Holmes at his “Murder Castle” in the 1890’s. Whoever said a woman could not do such things never met Amy.  She makes the charges against Lizzie Borden pale in comparison.  The motive?  GREED.

” In 1911, Amy Archer-Gilligan was known to her neighbors in Windsor, Connecticut as “Sister Amy.” Seemingly a kind, devoutly Christian woman, she took the frail and elderly into her home to live out the rest of their days. In reality, “Sister Amy” was a calculating murderer who poisoned her residents (and two husbands) with a brew of lemonade and arsenic. She is believed to have murdered sixty-six residents during the early twentieth century. M. William Phelps details the story of Amy’s greed and deception, which led to her becoming America’s most deadly female serial killer. This shocking true tale inspired the play and film Arsenic and Old Lace. ”

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