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Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle…
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Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men

by Harold Schechter

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Belle Gunness, a Norwegian-American serial killer, may have killed as many as 40 people between the years 1884 and 1908. When the Gunness farmhouse in La Porte, Indiana burned to the ground in April 1908, her crimes were literally unearthed. Mainly men were lured to her home, then never seen again. An interesting (and disturbing) account of Belle and her horrific crimes. Some things that I felt were missing from the story: 1). Detail of the evidence that the woman near the end of the book was not Belle. 2). Investigation into disappearances of women before the fire at Belle's house - did another women fitting her description disappear? - the body (if not Belle's) had to come from somewhere? 3) a detailed list of her known victims and a bit about them would have been a good addition 4) where were the photographs? I was disappointed that not one photograph was included. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Sep 8, 2018 |
The concept of a female serial killer is low. Mostly, serial killers are male. Yet, to have a female serial killer back I this time period is very rare. The fact that Belle lured and killed dozens of men not only for money but pleasure is a horrific thought.

Yet, as I read about the many disappearances and the concerns of neighbors, I could not help but wonder why authorities did not investigate Belle sooner. Yeah, she hide the bodies and had stories for the disappearances but the stories still drew questions. It was not until a fire broke out at Belle's farm that authorities dug up tons of graves with butchered body parts.

If you are a fan of true crime, than you will appreciate this book. Mr. Schechter does not gushy up the story of Belle but lays down the facts of Belle and her reign of bodies left behind. Just when I thought I would grow weary of all of the facts I would read something that just intrigued me. ( )
  Cherylk | May 21, 2018 |
Another great book by Harold Schechter. I was a little hesitant to buy this book about Belle Gunness , a well known serial killer, as I worried there would be no new information. But yes there is! Appears to me plenty of research put into writing this book. Lots I didn't know. ( )
  loraineo | May 7, 2018 |
After disposing of two husbands, Belle Gunness lured men to her farm through newspaper advertisements and letters. Once the men arrived, they were slaughtered and buried around the farm. When her past began to catch up with her, her farmhouse mysteriously burnt down, and a headless corpse, found with her children. To this day, it is still debated whether she died in the fire.

This was a quick read. The book was interesting and well organized. It contained a good blend of fact and storytelling. Overall, highly recommended. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Apr 11, 2018 |
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"The shocking true story of one of the twentieth century's most prolific female serial killers." -- book jacket.

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