Monday, March 2, 2009

Belle Gunness

I was introduced to the story of Belle Gunness (1859-1908?) at the AFI Silverdocs 2006 film festival. Norwegian filmmaker Anne Berit Vestby grew up in the same small town as the subject of her documentary, Only Belle: A Serial Killer from Selbu, and tells the disturbing tale in a most engaging way. Click on the photos for more details, but Belle carried out an unknown number of insurance frauds by killing her husband and foster children, among others, and buried them in the backyard of her home in La Porte, Indiana. Vestby interviews the family who lives on the property now, revealing that the family dog sometimes finds human bones in the backyard and that the youngest son talks to ghosts. Belle's own death date is in question because she quite possibly faked her own death and lived on in anonymity. She now lives on in infamy as one of the most notorious - and probably the most prolific of - female serial killers.

1 comment:

  1. My Mom used to work at a nursing home in LaPorte. This was 25 years ago. She had this patient who was in his 90's. He had dementia and he was sure Belle Gunness was going to hunt him down and kill him. He knew a few of the kids that had gone missing and remembered the bodies being exhumed. Right up until about 15 years ago the remnants of the burned house could still be seem from McLung Road.


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