Shock (!): The most famous woman killer in US history

This American of Norwegian origin became the most famous woman-killer in the history of the United States.

She sent to the light of his two men, five children of their own, a few other people's children, and those who managed to lure her promise to marry, and those who are simply unaware of her crimes.It burns, grass poison choked, was cutting ... For several decades Gunnes Bell (nee Brunnhilde Stёrset) has killed more than 40 people.

Stёrset Brünnhilde was born November 11, 1859 in Norway, in a poor family of the mason.Brunnhilde was the youngest of eight children.

In 1877, when she was 18, she became pregnant for the first time.During the Norwegian national holiday, she participated in public dances, and at this time a man kicked her in the stomach.As a result, she suffered a miscarriage.This man was very rich, and it did not prosecute.But after a while, he suddenly died of stomach cancer.

Many who knew Brünnhilde, said that after this incident (loss of a child), it has changed a lot, her character became quite different.

Over the next three years, it is in the majors, and saving money for the trip to America, which has already moved to her older sister Nellie Larson.

In 1881, Brunnhilde, changing his name to a more "American" Bella, come to the United States and initially works as a maid.In 1884 in Chicago she married Mads Sёrensona, and two years later they opened a confectionery shop.However, the business was not successful: during the year the store for some mysterious reason burned.Husband and wife got insurance.

Bella and Mads had four children: Caroline, Axel, Lucy and Myrtle.The two older children (Carolina and Axel), whose life was insured, died in infancy, supposedly from acute colitis.Symptoms of acute colitis - abdominal pain, nausea, cramps, fever, diarrhea - and are also symptoms of poisoning.

In July 1900 Mads Sёrenson dies, and dies in one single day, when operated at the same time two insurance policies, insuring his life.The first doctor who witnessed the death, claimed that he died of strychnine poisoning, but the family doctor said that Mads had a heart condition and that he died of heart failure.Insurance companies awarded Bell $ 8500 (this is about $ 217,000 today), this sum she bought a farm on the outskirts of La Porte (Indiana).

in La Porte Bella meets Peter Gunnesom, a Norwegian living in the city and worked as a butcher.At Peter was a small daughter from his first marriage.In April 1902, they were married to Bella, the daughter of Peter and came to live with them.But she lived long ... just a week (!) After the wedding the girl died under mysterious circumstances.And in December 1902, and he died, Peter: he went to the barn, he and then his head dropped a huge butcher knife.Locals who knew Peter as an experienced butcher, refused to believe that it was an accident.

And Bella, meanwhile, received another $ 4,000 insurance.

14-year-old girl, Jennie Olsen stated that saw Bell knife killed Peter.Bell was arrested, but she was pregnant at that time (in 1903 her son Philip was born), and she was soon released.

In 1906 Bell, not being able to cope with the economy alone, hires Ray Lamfera to keep house on a farm.Soon, he becomes her lover.In the same year she had disappeared Jennie Olsen, who was then 18 years old.Much later found her body.

Around the same time, Bell has become all the newspapers in the columns for the marriage announcements to place a text here:

"Beauty widow, owner of a large farm in a blossoming area of ​​La Porte (Indiana) wants to get acquainted with a wealthy gentleman with a viewMarriage and associations of capital. I will answer only those who are willing to continue the acquaintance in person and bring the mortgage. trifles do not bother. "

few middle-aged men immediately responded to her ad.Among them was John Moe of Minnesota.He brought to the meeting with Bella thousand dollars in mortgages.Neighbors Bell introduced him as his cousin.A week later, he disappeared.

Then came George Anderson from Missouri, who, like Peter and John Moe Gunnes, too, was an immigrant from Norway.During the dinner, Bell raised the issue of the mortgage loan.George replied that he was willing to pay, if she would marry him.Late at night, Anderson suddenly woke up and saw Bella standing over him, holding a heavy candlestick with a candle, with a strange, sinister expression.Noticing that he woke up without saying a word, she ran from the room.In the morning Anderson immediately left her home and went back to Missouri.He was the only one of the suitors Bella departed from it alive.

Within a few years, many middle-aged men have disappeared without a trace, having arrived to meet with the "beauty-a widow."I will not list them all, except to say that Bell's "earned" a lot of money on this.

Around the same time, the problems began with Ray Lamferom.Lamfer was passionately in love with Bella and very jealous of the man she lured into their network.Jealous, more and more, he began to organize his mistress scene, and in February 1908 she shot him.In court, she said that her worker went mad and attacked her.Bella insisted on his arrest because he allegedly dangerous to society.However Lamfer was found sane and detain him did not.As usual, we go home and Bella Gunnes.A few days later the sheriff Bell complained that Lamfer rushed to her farm and threatened her.Lamfera arrested for trespassing.

After liberation Lamfer came to her again and again, but every time she runs it.Then Lamfer threatened Bella that will tell you about Andrew Helgeleyne she forcibly holds related to the farm.Bella went to a lawyer M. Leliteru and told him that Ray Lamfer threatened to set fire to her house, and she fears for her life and the lives of their children.However, the police "criminal plan" Lamfera she said, apparently because she was preparing arson.

Early morning April 28, 1908 Joe Maxon, an employee hired in February 1908 instead Lamfera, woke up in his room on the second floor of the strong smell of smoke and fumes.Opening the door, he saw that the house was engulfed in flames.Maxon started to shout and call the mistress and her children, but no one answered.Then he slammed the door, and as he was in his underwear, jumped out of a second story window.He ran to the city for help, but until help arrived in time, from the farm there were only smoking ruins.In the basement, four bodies were found.Over the bodies lay collapsed on top of the piano.Bodies of children were separated from their bodies.The woman's body was headless, and therefore it can not be immediately recognizable as the body of Bella Gunnes.The head was never found.

Leliter lawyer recalled how Gunnes told him about the threats Lamfera.Lamfera arrested and charged with arson and murder.

decapitated body of a woman has caused great interest among the residents of La Porte.Many residents, examining the charred corpse, argued that it does not the body of Bella Gunnes.Doctors who examined the remains, concluded that, firstly, this woman was much smaller than the height and weight than Bella (that at that time was a very large woman - 173 cm in height and 91 kg), and secondly,in her stomach were found traces of strychnine, which meant that she had died from poisoning with poison, not the fire.As a result, the authorities concluded that the decapitated body of a woman is not a body of Bella Gunnes.

worker Joe Maxon testified, saying that the mistress often orders him to take back cars with debris over a large vacant lot where there was a lot of holes.The sheriff brought to the farm Gunnes dozen people, and began to dig in a vacant lot these pits.So found the body of Jennie Olsen, Andrew Helgeleyna and many unfortunate men who came to try their luck with a loving widow.Many of the remains could not be identified.Total were found the remains of about 40 people.

Perhaps we should say a few words about the fate of Ray Lamfera.He was arrested on May 22, 1908 and charged with arson and murder.He pleaded guilty to arson, but denied involvement in the murder.As a result, Lamfer was convicted of arson, but not guilty of murder.November 26, 1908 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.He died of tuberculosis on 30 December 1909.

priest who confessed before his death, said that Lamfer swore that Bell Gunnes alive.He said that he did not kill anyone, but Gunnes helped bury the victims.Lamfer said that Bella had learned from her second husband, the butcher, the art of butchering carcasses, dismembered corpses and she fed them some of the pigs.Other Lamfer dug in a vacant lot.Sometimes she poisoned the victim sometimes has cut a huge butcher knife sometimes slipped in coffee chloroform, and when a person switches off, choked him.

Lamfer spoke also about the mysterious woman's headless corpse found at the smoldering ruins of the house of Bella Gunnes.It turned out that only a few days before the fire, Bell has hired a housekeeper from Chicago.Lamfer argued that Gunnes poisoned the woman, then decapitated her and drowned her head in a swamp in a deep place, and on the headless corpse was wearing his old clothes.Then she drugged with chloroform, their children, strangled them and drag their corpses along with the decapitated body housekeeper to the basement, and then set fire to the house and fled.Lamfer argued that waiting for her on the way to the appointed place, but she had betrayed him, and did not come.Lamfer said that Gunness was a very rich woman, and that, according to his calculations, it killed 42 people, and possibly more.

For many years, killing people, Bella has accumulated more than $ 250,000 - a huge fortune at the time (approx. $ 6.3 million. Dollars today).Local banks reported that shortly before the fire Gunnes withdrew most of its funds from the accounts.Subsequently, the image

Bella Gunnes became part of American folklore thieves.For several decades, from time to time there are reports that Bella saw it here and there.She was nicknamed "woman - Blue Beard."

In 1931, a lady named Esther Carlson was arrested in Los Angeles for poisoning her husband in August Lindstrom to obtain insurance.Two people who remembered Gunness, claimed to have learned it from photographs, but of course, it can not serve as a sufficient basis for identification.Esther Carlson died awaiting trial.

5 November 2007 the headless woman's body was exhumed from the grave in the cemetery Forest Gunness Home group of students of the Faculty of Forensic Anthropology of the University of Indianapolis.They hoped that the flap Gunnes clothes found on the farm, will contain enough DNA to compare it with the DNA of the body.Unfortunately, the DNA material was not enough for identification.

Anna Livia

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