Belle Gunness was born in 1859 in Norway. She moved to the United States in 1881, following a sister who had moved here. Belle learned a lot about specific aspects of American law: insurance, probate, inheritance, and murder. She was able to poison her first husband and collect proceeds from two life insurance policies. The fellow died on the one day coverage of the two policies overlapped. She moved from Chicago, after she experienced difficulties in collection of the proceeds of the second policy. She moved across the state line and purchased a farm near LaPorte, Indiana.
Gunness began to solicit suitors in Scandinavian-American newspapers. She insisted a suitor bring all his money with him so the two could begin life together on her farm. The man soon would disappear. Grave sites were discovered in her hog lot, after a fire burned her house to the ground. In the graves were the remains of men, some of whom could be identified. In the house were the decapitated remains of a woman roughly five feet three inches tall who weighed 150 pounds, at most. Gunness was six feet tall and weighed almost 200 pounds.
Andi Simmons is a lawyer who also earned her master's degree in history. She has researched the Gunness case. She also was on a team of researchers who received grant money to investigate what possibly are Gunness's remains in California. Andi will be our guest on Saturday, when the focal topic for The Show will be Belle Gunness.