Hell's Princess

In the pantheon of serial killers, Belle Gunness stands alone. She was the rarest of female psychopaths, a woman who engaged in wholesale slaughter, partly out of greed but mostly for the sheer joy of it. Between 1902 and 1908, she lured a succession of unsuspecting victims to her Indiana “murder farm.” Some were hired hands. Others were well-to-do bachelors. All of them vanished without a trace. When their bodies were dug up, they hadn’t merely been poisoned, like victims of other female killers. They’d been butchered.

Hell’s Princess is a riveting account of one of the most sensational killing sprees in the annals of American crime: the shocking series of murders committed by the woman who came to be known as Lady Bluebeard. The only definitive book on this notorious case and the first to reveal previously unknown information about its subject, Harold Schechter’s gripping, suspenseful narrative has all the elements of a classic mystery—and all the gruesome twists of a nightmare.

My Review

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.


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