Expert Reveals Facts Behind Murders in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’

Robert Hull of Los Alamos Technical Associates enlightened the Rotary Club of Los Alamos on poisons Tuesday, specifically those used in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’, the murder comedy playing at the Los Alamos Little Theatre. The play was based on an actual series of murders performed by Amy Archer-Gilligan on at least 20 victims at her convalescent home, Hull said. The recipe used by the Brewster sisters in the play, arsenic, strychnine, and ‘just a pinch’ of cyanide in elderberry wine would indeed have caused the demise of the victims, but not in the nearly instantaneous fashion depicted in the play, Hull told the Rotarians. Photo by bonnie J. Gordon/
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