The Devil's Rooming House

The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer

By M. William Phelps
(Lyons Press, Paperback, 9780762770250, 303pp.)

Publication Date: June 2011

List Price: $14.95*
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Description
A silent, simmering killer terrorized New England in 1911. A heat wave unlike any that had come before killed people in the streets, caused others to drown in the waters where they sought relief, and drove still others to suicide. As more than 2,000 people died during the natural disaster, another silent killer began her own murderous spree. Amy Archer-Gilligan operated the Archer Home for Elderly People and Chronic Invalids in Windsor, Connecticut. What was thought to be a respectable business run by a pioneering woman was exposed as little more than a murder factory. Amy would be accused of murdering both her husbands and dozens (as many as sixty) of her elderly patients with cocktails of lemonade and arsenic all for money. She would be convicted and sentenced to hang, and her story would shock turn-of-the-century America and provide the inspiration for the Broadway sensation and classic film Arsenic and Old Lace. Acclaimed crime writer and New York Times bestselling author M. William Phelps has written the first book to tell the true story of greed and murder even more shocking than its fictional counterpart.Readers will enter a kind of Twilight Zone where a Bible-thumping caretaker and entrepreneur of the nursing home industry became one of history's most evil female serial killers. With first-hand accounts from Amy's "inmates," riveting trial transcripts, and accounts from the investigative journalists who covered the case, Phelps puts readers face-to-face with a woman who was both a Black Widow and an Angel of Death. And Phelps paints a vivid, spine-chilling portrait of turn-of-the-century New England.This is historical true crime at its best.



About the Author
Crime writer and investigative journalist M. William Phelps is the author of twenty-four nonfiction books and the novel The Dead Soul. He consulted on the first season of the Showtime series Dexter, has been profiled in Writer s Digest, Connecticut Magazine, NY Daily News, NY Post, Newsday, Suspense Magazine, and the Hartford Courant, and has written for Connecticut Magazine. Winner of the New England Book Festival Award for I ll Be Watching You and the Editor s Choice Award from True Crime Book Reviews for Death Trap, Phelps has appeared on nearly 100 television shows, including CBS s Early Show, ABC s Good Morning America, NBC s Today Show, The View, TLC, BIO Channel, and History Channel. Phelps created, produces and stars in the hit Investigation Discovery series Dark Minds, now in its third season; and is one of the stars of ID s Deadly Women. Radio America called him the nation s leading authority on the mind of the female murderer. Touched by tragedy himself, due to the unsolved murder of his pregnant sister-in-law, Phelps is able to enter the hearts and minds of his subjects like no one else. He lives in a small Connecticut farming community and can be reached at his website, www.mwilliamphelps.com.
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