10 Facts Surrounding The Murderous Gunness Farm Case

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Belle Gunness, born Brynhild Paulsdatter Storseth, was not the typical Norwegian immigrant who came to the United States. Sure, she came with dreams of getting together a bunch of money for herself, but her methods for getting that money were devious and deadly.

In total, she is believed to have murdered anywhere from 17 to 180 people between 1884 and 1908. At the end of her killing spree, she mysteriously disappeared. Belle Gunness lived a dangerous life, and rumors surrounding her sudden disappearance continue into the present day.

10. Husband Number One

Shortly after arriving in the US, Gunness married Mads Albert Sorenson for his money in 1884. Not long after the marriage, both their home and their store burned down. Together, they claimed the insurance money for the mysterious disaster.

But it must not have been enough for Gunness because her husband died shortly afterward of heart failure in 1900. It just so happened that he died on the one day that both of his life insurances overlapped. Gunness walked away from the whole ordeal with a pretty penny. The woman had plans.[1]

9. The Second Husband

With the insurance money she got from the death of her first husband, Gunness bought a run-down farm in Indiana. She invested much of the money into fixing up her property. However, she must have needed a new source of income because she met her second husband, Peter Gunness, by 1902.

The couple and his daughter from a previous marriage lived on the farm. But the marriage did not last very long because he died nine months later. The circumstances of his death raised numerous eyebrows.[2]

According to Mrs. Gunness, Peter had a deadly klutz moment when he banged into the hot stove while reaching for a shoe and then knocked a crock of scalding hot water onto himself. If that was not horrible enough, the meat grinder overhead fell off a shelf and hit him between the eyes.

Peter’s death was listed as a terrible accident, and Mrs. Gunness collected on the insurance she had taken out against his life.

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