Belle Gunness is a woman whom history has not yet found the right niche. A quick search of the internet will tell you, that the “Bluebeard of LaPorte” was America’s first female serial killer (and one of the most prolific). A more thorough search, and in depth reading will find accounts from LaPorte Indiana’s 100th Anniversary of the Belle Gunness Murders which have people describing her as a prolific foster mother. Indeed, Jennie Olson (one of her foster children), eventually ended up returning to live (and ultimately die) with Ms. Gunness.
The Belle of Northwest Indiana was one of the first and most notorious “black widows”. Her first husband, Mads Sorenson, died of “natural causes” which earned her $8,000 in insurance money (equivalent to $217,000 in modern currency). His family was sure that she had poisoned him, but it was never proven. She then moved to LaPorte and ran an ad that she was looking for a husband. Many suitors responded, and she milked cash from many of them. Young Jennie Olson would see them come in during the day but they always “left at night”. Jennie suspected foul play and eventually confronted her about it. In the end, this beloved foster child was one of the first bodies discovered on the property.
All of the above is easily learned on the internet and is the information that has piqued my interest. I will be conducting more research, hopefully including a visit to the farm land (if I can secure permission) as well as some LaPorte are stores which she is still thought to frequent. Additionally, I will be looking at other possible killers that are thought to have been her “post mortem” (her death was thought contrived). What have you heard about Belle Gunness? Have you ever been to any of the locations? Most importantly, do you have any northwest Indiana ghost stories about Belle Gunness?