There are few serial killer biographies more disturbing, than the story of Belle Gunness. This female serial killer was not only the worst in Illinois history; she was also one of the worst American serial killers ever recorded. But she also became somewhat of a legend, shrouded in mystery, revenge and money. This is a story that will shock you more than most, because of the sheer horror of her crimes. A tragedy that rocked the county of La Porte, as one by one, more bodies were unearthed beneath the pig pen.
With an estimated 48 deaths at her hands, Belle Gunness poisoned, bludgeoned, and decapitated her victims, all so she could line her pockets with their savings and insurance policies. This lonely hearts killer was known as Lady Bluebeard, amongst other names, luring her victims with newspaper advertisements. Men thought they were coming to marry a wealthy woman – they had no idea the price they would pay.
Men, women and children all fell victim to this horrendously cruel woman. She showed no emotion, no empathy and certainly no mercy. In 1908, mystery surrounded a decapitated body in the burned ruins of her home, alongside the bodies of three of her children. Did Hell’s Belle finally meet her match in the form of Ray Lamphere, the man accused of the arson and murder, or did she fake her own death? Was she the woman arrested for murder decades later? This true crime serial killer biography may just have those answers.
I love reading and watching stuff on true crime. When I was younger, I had a pretty complete library of true crime books but unfortunately my apartment flooded in 2003 and ruined half of the books I had (which was a lot). Unfortunately, that included every single one of my true crime books and I never got a chance to replenish my books. So when I was approached to read this book about Belle Gunness, I jumped at it. See, I had seen the episode on ID Discovery last year and was fascinated by what I saw.
This book was a chilling look into a female serial killer. She had a deep need for money (due to a poverty stricken childhood) and a deep hatred of men (READ THE BOOK!!!)….which contributed to her killing 48 men, women and children.
What got me is that she killed her children. As a mother, I can’t even fathom WHY she did it. I mean, the book explain why, but still, you would think that she would have a smidgen of love for them (I know she didn’t but still….)
What got me is that she was positively identified after “dying” in the fire that blew everything wide open. I say “dying” because people saw her after her “death” and the body found was positively identified as not being her by a few people….including her seamstress.
The author did a great job of portraying all angles of this case…including the angle the Belle faked her own death and later died of tuberculosis under an assumed identity. But, unfortunately, we will never know the true story and can only go by what the evidence/facts have shown us.
Will I read this book again? Absolutely
Will I reccomend this book to family and friends? Yes but only if they like true crime
Age range? Late teen/adult.
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Disclaimer: I received Belle Gunness: The True Story of the Slaying Mother for free from Jack Rosewood for my honest review. I received no financial compensation for this review and all opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
Next book review:
Vasa and Vpres: A Mayfair Conundrum