In honor of International Women’s Day, I wanted to a quick write up of one of my favorite serial killers, Indiana’s own Belle Gunness. Belle, a Norwegian immigrant, lived in La Porte, Indiana in a farmhouse where three bodies were found (and several more found on the property itself). This weekend, Kristin and I will be traveling to La Porte to investigate a private residence with the rest of our Friday Night Paranormal team. It is unlikely that this alleged haunting has any relation to Belle Gunness, but she’s a local fascination and I was thrilled to learn we were going to be in her old hunting grounds. Literally.
Belle was something of a Black Widow. Biography.com reported “Not long after Gunness married Mads Albert Sorenson [her first husband] in 1884, their store and home mysteriously burned down. The couple claimed the insurance money for both. Soon after, Sorenson died of heart failure on the one day his two life insurance policies overlapped. Though her husband’s family demanded an inquiry, no charges were filed. It is believed the couple produced two children whom Gunness poisoned in infancy for the insurance money.”
These are certainly suspicious circumstances but foul play should have been expected after her second husband, their daughter and her adopted daughter all wound up dead. If it was, Belle was unaffected by the suspicions. She then started meeting suitors via personal ads in a local newspaper that read:
“Personal — comely widow who owns a large farm in one of the finest districts in La Porte County, Indiana, desires to make the acquaintance of gentleman equally well provided, with view of joining fortunes. No replies by letter considered unless sender is willing to follow answer with personal visit. Triflers need not apply.” (Source: IndyStar)
The lure worked and at least 10 men fell victim to the trap via personal ad, however, her total kill count is anywhere from 25-40! It’s safe to say that Belle Gunness was no trifler herself. Could the souls of her victims still wander La Porte? Stay tuned to see what, if anything, Kristin and I encounter this weekend!