Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
Hardcover – April 1, 2018
In the pantheon of serial killers, Belle Gunness stands alone. She was the rarest of female psychopaths, a woman who engaged in wholesale slaughter, partly out of greed but mostly for the sheer joy of it. Between 1902 and 1908, she lured a succession of unsuspecting victims to her Indiana “murder farm.” Some were hired hands. Others were well-to-do bachelors. All of them vanished without a trace. When their bodies were dug up, they hadn’t merely been poisoned, like victims of other female killers. They’d been butchered.
Hell’s Princess is a riveting account of one of the most sensational killing sprees in the annals of American crime: the shocking series of murders committed by the woman who came to be known as Lady Bluebeard. The only definitive book on this notorious case and the first to reveal previously unknown information about its subject, Harold Schechter’s gripping, suspenseful narrative has all the elements of a classic mystery—and all the gruesome twists of a nightmare.
“With riveting and thorough detail, Schechter tracks the mystery of Lamphere’s culpability in the arson and closes with a possibly related murder that took place decades after the 1908 house fire. True-crime fans will be hooked from the start.” —Publishers Weekly
“Featuring previously undiscovered details and rich historical context, this authoritative account firmly establishes Schechter as one of America’s leading crime chroniclers. A fascinating and dramatic page-turner that will be a new favorite among true-crime fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Schechter’s] goal is to help us understand not just what his subjects did but also why they did what they did—what internal torments and psychological traits drove them to become brutal killers. A sharply written, compelling account from a proven winner.” —Booklist
About the Author
Harold Schechter is an American true-crime writer who specializes in serial killers. Twice nominated for the Edgar Award, he is the author of the nonfiction books Fatal, Fiend, Bestial, Deviant, Deranged, Depraved, The Serial Killer Files, The Mad Sculptor, and Man-Eater. Schechter attended the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he earned his PhD under the direction of Leslie Fiedler. He is a professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College of the City University of New York. Schechter is married to poet Kimiko Hahn and has two daughters, the writer Lauren Oliver and professor of philosophy Elizabeth Schechter.