THE CASE OF BELLE GUNNESS

By Tim Lambert

Belle Gunness was a female serial killer of the early 20th century. its not certain how many people she killed but she was certainly one of America's worst serial killers. Belle Gunness was born in Norway in 1859. She migrated to the USA in 1881. In 1884 she married Mads Albert Sorenson. Belle and her husband ran a candy store but it mysteriously burned down. The couple had four children but only two, Lucy and Myrtle survived infancy. Then in 1900 her husband died in mysterious circumstances. Belle moved to LaPorte, Indiana, where she bought a farm. In 1902 she married a man named Peter Gunness. However he died in 1903 in a mysterious 'accident' when a piece of meat grinder supposedly fell on his head. He left a son, named Philip in Belle's care.

Belle Gunness then advertised for men in the personal ads of Chicago newspapers. They were asked to bring some cash with them. Many men answered these ads and they were never seen again. It is believed that Belle Gunness poisoned her victims with strychnine. But on 28 April 1908 the Belle Gunness farm burned down.

Four bodies were found in the ashes. One was a headless woman. The others were the three children, Myrtle, Lucy and Philip Gunness. However the dead woman was a different height and weight to Belle Gunness and the authorities quickly ascertained it wasn't her. Furthermore one of her victims was a man named One of them was a man named Andrew Helgelien. His brother came and told the authorities he was certain his brother had been murdered by Belle Gunness. So they searched the farm and soon discovered the remains of 12 people buried there. However Belle Gunness was never caught and brought to justice.

Charlotte Bryant

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Marie Becker

Mary Ann Cotton

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