In the quiet town of La Porte, Indiana at the beginning of the 20th century lived a widow farmer with three children. Originally from Norway, Belle Sørenson Gunness was, like many widows in the period, in search of a husband to help work her lands and provide for her family--until one night, a tragic fire revealed that all was not as it appeared. In this week's episode, we examine the grisly tale of how the outwardly unassuming Belle killed at least nine male suitors and probably two husbands, and the terrible methods that she used to evade capture.
Paula Hinton. "'Come Prepared to Stay Forever': The Tale of a Murderess in Turn-of-the-Century America." PhD diss., Miami University, Miami, 2001.
Janet Langolais. "Belle Gunnes, the Lady Bluebeard: Community Legend as Metaphor." Journal of the Folklore Institute 15, no. 2 (1978): 147-160.
Ann Jones. Women Who Kill. New York: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2009.
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)
© 2013-2017 Footnoting History. All rights reserved.
Footnoting History operates under a SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement.