Real life mysteries: Belle Gunness

Suzanne Kaiser

As Halloween gets even closer, it is once again time to learn about a real life mystery.

One of the biggest strange thing that has happened in our country’s history, has happened right here in LaPorte County.

Belle Gunness: America’s not so-sweetheart. Gunness, nicknamed Lady Bluebeard, lived in LaPorte, Indiana on a county road. She lived in a farm house that mysteriously burned down. Coincidentally, all of her previous spouse disappeared as well.

When people think of Gunness they typically think of insurance fraud, fire, and murder. This is typically how her story goes:

“Standing six feet tall (183 cm)tall and weighing over 200 pounds (91 kg), she was a physically strong woman. She killed most of her suitors and boyfriends, and her two daughters, Myrtle and Lucy. She may also have killed both of her husbands and all of her children, on different occasions. Her apparent motives involved collecting life insurance, cash and other valuables, and eliminating witnesses. Reports estimate that she killed between 25 and 40 people over several decades.”

Painted as one of society’s most menacing women, Gunness lived not very far away from Michigan City. Rumors have it that her spirit still haunts the LaPorte County area.



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