IN IN - "Lady Bluebeard" Belle Gunness - 100 year mystery

Discussion in 'Serial Killers' started by Pharlap, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Pharlap

    Pharlap Former Member

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  3. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    I am unconvinced, frankly. Does anyone remember how Patricia Cornwell said she'd identified Jack the Ripper from DNA on the envelope flaps of letters? Well the problem is that back during that time period, a lot of people did not lick their own envelopes. They used a damp sponge or got others to lick their envelopes for them. Why don't they test the DNA of Belle's children as well? That would be a more reliable source.
     
  4. Pharlap

    Pharlap Former Member

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    Your right about the damp sponge, however some did lick their envelopes...

    My one grandmother came over to the states in 1912, at the age of 22, granddad in 1910, at the age of 30.
    Boy the stories she could tell...

    I agree with testing the Belle's children too.
     
  5. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-murderfarmfeb12,1,4579644.story

    For a hundred years, people have doubted whether a zinc-lined casket in a Forest Park cemetery really entombed the body of one of America's worst female serial killers.

    It definitely doesn't today.

    The headless skeleton that long occupied the deteriorating coffin now rests in an Indianapolis laboratory, where researchers hope to finally solve a lingering mystery.

    Did Belle Gunness, a La Porte, Ind., murderess known for killing Norwegian bachelors, stage her own death in 1908 by soaking her farmhouse with kerosene and burning it to the ground? (along with her three children)

    Suspicion that Gunness escaped the small town started to fester not long after the townspeople discovered at least 11 dismembered bodies buried on her farm.
     
  6. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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  7. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Jeana, did you catch that they're performing dna tests on the body that was purported to be hers?

    Fascinating reading!
     
  8. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I agree! Its a very eerie case. What do you want to bet that it wasn't her?? LOL:eek:
     
  9. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Even descendant's don't believe it's her. :eek:
     
  10. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Lamphere talked endlessly about the case, crediting Belle with 49 murders, netting more than $100,000 from her victims between 1903 and 1908.
     
  11. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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  12. CyberLaw

    CyberLaw Former Member

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    Apparently Belle was "seen" after the fire, but who knows if that is accurate.

    But I would be surprised if it was Belle in the grave. I just feel that she was too devious to die in this manner.
     
  13. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    From the Trib:

    Shepherd, who grew up in La Porte, said the most compelling evidence involves Esther Carlson, a Gunness look-alike who made news in 1931.

    If Simmons' initial tests don't prove that the body in the grave belonged to Gunness, she hopes to exhume the remains of Carlson, who was buried in California.

    Carlson died in Los Angeles while awaiting trial in the poisoning death of a wealthy man.


    I found a great entry at the Crime Library on Belle that really goes in depth into the history and trail. IMO, the forensics leads that it wasn't Belle who died in the fire.
     
  14. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    Thanks for that link Golfmom! I am so excited to be reading about a new(old) case.
     
  15. Beyond Belief

    Beyond Belief New Member

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    What a great mystery! Thank you so much for sharing it.
    I think Belle escaped and continued killing. I wonder where she went.
     
  16. Jolynna

    Jolynna Active Member

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    They say she went to California.

    This story is nostalgic for me. Belle was my first exposure to True Crime. I found a detective magazine under my father's bed. I snuck it into my room, read about Belle luring and doing away with her suitors and was hooked.

    However, I haven't found anything online yet backing up the part of the story that most shocked me. From what I read, Belle was a hog butcher who specialized in making outstanding sausage.

    My understanding from the article I read was that a lot of talk in La Porte was speculation about all that had gone into Belle's famous sausages.

    I also read that the townpeople were making fun of Belle for sending pictures of herself that looked so much better than she did.

    Ii is also possible that some of what I remember reading was actually local legend I heard. She a well known part Northern Indiana culture, where I grew up.

    I think DNA will show that someone other than Belle has been buried in the casket.
     
  17. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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  18. Boyz_Mum

    Boyz_Mum New Member

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    Thanks golfmom (for the link)!

    This story is really intriguing.
     
  19. Beyond Belief

    Beyond Belief New Member

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    ancestry.com is loaded with original newspapers articles right up til 1930.
     
  20. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    To me, the forensic evidence presented at trial is the strongest evidence that she survived. Apparently, whether Belle died or survived became a political hot potato between the democrats and republicans. The of arson/murder charges against Ray Lamphere, were more about proving Belle was indeed dead. If he was found guilty of her murder, then she must have been dead.

    I can't wait for the DNA to come back! I'm so curious if it was her or not.

    http://www.alco.org/libraries/lcpl/belle.html

    "Ray Lamphere was brought to trial in November of 1908. Although the coroner's inquest had declared the body found in the fire to be that of BelleGunness, the main defense was that the body was not Belle'. If this were the case, then Lamphere could not be guilty of murdering her. Lamphere's lawyer, Wirt Worden, brought forward evidence that contradicted Dr. Norton's identification of the teeth and bridgework. A local jeweler testified that while the gold in the bridgework had come through the fire almost completely unscathed, the gold plating on several pieces of gold jewelry and watches was melted away.

    In a rather spectacular experiment, two local doctors produced a human jaw bone, attached a similar piece of bridgework to it, placed it in a blacksmith's forge and burned it until the bone could easily be crushed. Remember, the head was never found, just the teeth and bridgework. The results of the experiment??? The teeth, being bone, crumbled, the porcelain bridgework was pitted and checked and the gold crowns were "somewhat melted". The condition of the original bridgework, discovered in the fire, was much better. The defense also produced Belle' hired hand, Joe Maxson, who testified that he had seen the person in charge of the sluicing, Klondike Schultz, pull the bridgework out of his pocket shortly before its "discovery" This testimony was corroborated by another witness, who saw much the same thing. "
     
  21. golfmom

    golfmom Former Member

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    Here's a couple more tidbits that lead me to believe she was alive after the fire. I can't find the link right now, but she saw an attorney and had her will drawn up the day before the fire.

    and . . .

    Lamphere said that Belle was a rich woman, that she had murdered forty-two men by his count, perhaps more, and had taken amounts from them ranging from $1,000 to $32,000. She had allegedly accumulated more than $250,000 through her lovelorn murder schemes over the years - a huge fortune for those days. She had also left a small amount in one of her savings accounts; but local banks later admitted that Belle had indeed withdrawn most of her funds shortly before the fire.

    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache...n"+August+Lindstrom&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=21&gl=us
     

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