Arsenic and Old Lace Killer's Privacy to Be Protected

Court rules against release of her records
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2015 1:42 PM CDT
Arsenic and Old Lace Killer's Privacy to Be Protected

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that records related to the incarceration in a mental hospital of a serial killer who inspired the 1944 play and movie Arsenic and Old Lace do not have to be made public. In a decision released today, the justices ruled unanimously that a trial court improperly backed the Freedom of Information Commission, which said Amy Archer Gilligan's privacy rights ended with her death in 1962. Author Ron Robillard requested public records in 2010 about her years in the psychiatric hospital where she was confined after poisoning a resident of her nursing home with arsenic. The Supreme Court cited a "broad veil of secrecy" of psychiatrist-patient privilege exempt from disclosure by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. (More arsenic stories.)

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