The state of Connecticut was rocked to its core in 1916 when Amy Archer Gilligan, proprietor of Windsor's Archer Home for the Elderly and Infirm, was charged with the killing five men, including her husband, Michael Gilligan.
She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison -- a sentence she would end up serving at what is now the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown after having been found to be insane.
While convicted of killing five men, Gilligan was suspected of killing about 20. The exact number of Gilligan's victims is not known, and thanks to a law that went into effect on October 1, the number may never be known.
Matthew Warshauser, history professor at Central Connecticut State University, called the law "an avalanche on historical study," according to a report from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP).
"Every historian will not gain access to certain information because of that amendment because it’s so broadly worded. It will hit every social historian, religious historian, legal historian, medical historian.” Warshauser told RCFP.
As pointed out in an editorial from The Day, the law, supported by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, "bars access to the records of Gilligan and other figures of historic interest whose relationship with doctors and others were protected while they were alive - and even those whose relationships weren't."
The law has the ability to hamper the future of one of America's most enthralling murder cases -- one which has come to captivate readers and audiences for nearly a century.
In April, the Windsor Chamber of Commerce auctioned off an "Arsenic and Old Lace" Dinner -- a dinner and retelling of the crimes, told by author and journalist Ron Robillard.
The dinner's title, "Arsenic and Old Lace," is taken from the Broadway play and movie of the same name.
In May 2011, Robillard requested that the Freedom of Information Commission review Connecticut Valley Hospital's response to a request for Gilligan's records, according to CT Mirror.
While conducting research for a book on Gilligan, CT Mirror reported in May, Robillard was told that Gilligan's records were destroyed, were locked in a safe and were lost.
The Amy Archer house currently stands at 37 Prospect Street in Windsor.