Out of many books that I’ve recommended in the past, I have to say that Hell’s Princess is by far the only one that has a grim subtitle.
That is saying something when the subtitle has The Butcher of Men in it, don’t you think?
So, what got this Belle Gunness lady to butcher men as if they were no different from livestock?
Does she hate men so much that she wants to rid the world of them?
Or does she hunt them because they’re saying hurtful things to her?
As you can see from the picture of Belle Gunness here, you can tell that she’s not the kind of woman who fits into the beauty standard mold.
So, it’s hardly surprising that men died in her hand because they were making fun of the way she looks.
But here’s the kicker about Belle Gunness: She didn’t butcher these men because they were saying nasty things about her look.
Rather, they died for a different reason. And believe it or not, those men who died in her hand were actually her lovers.
Why would someone like her murder the men who wanted to be with her? And what did she do that got these men flocking to her without knowing that their days were numbered?
You can get all that in this book.
What Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, The Butcher of Men, is all about
Here’s the book description that I got from Amazon:
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.
What got me to read the book
I won’t deny that what got me to read the book is that it was on sale at the time.
But even if it’s not, I will still give this book a try since I find the premise of the book intriguing.
As you can see here, we have a female serial killer instead the usual male ones.
And it’s even more intriguing when Belle Gunness herself can achieve all these on her own despite not being the epitome of beauty.
Can’t say for sure what the beauty standard was at the time. But I won’t be surprised at all that it’s not that much different from what we have now.
What makes Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, The Butcher of Men worth reading
When you think about a book of this nature, you may think that Hell’s Princess isn’t that much different in this sense.
Yes, the book dives deeper into Belle’s Gunness upbringing as a child, her siblings, her marriage, and how everything about her fun and games comes unearthed.
But what makes the book different from the other books in a similar fashion is that you’re in for a ride when it comes to the fate of Belle Gunness herself.
Say what? How come the fate of Belle Gunness herself hangs in the air?
Didn’t people eventually discover her evil deeds and prosecuted her in the end?
Well, you’re halfway there when it comes to how people uncover her evil deeds.
But here’s the kicker: They’re not unfolding the way you thought they would.
It was because of this incident that got people discovered her dirty little secret, along with the people who went missing after they came to her farm.
What happened to her since then has been a mystery, even to this day.
Was she still alive after all the incidents that took place on her farm? Or did she bring her honest confession to the grave with her?
You’re in for a ride when the prosecutors and everyone in town trying to figure out what actually happened to Belle Gunness after that.
What I didn’t expect when I read the book
When you think of a murder scene, you tend to associate it with a tragic incident. And that holds true with the incident that took place on Belle Gunness’ farm.
Where did she hide the men that she killed? It was none other than on her farm, of course.
What comes as a shock to me isn’t so much to do with her dumping the remains on her farm.
Rather, it’s more to do with people’s reaction toward the case in general.
Yes, it’s terrifying to know that someone they knew was capable of something this gruesome.
But it doesn’t stop them from seeing this tragic event as something spectacular.
Just like the investigators, they were also waiting with bated breath for what else the investigators would discover when they search for the remains on the farm.
Will they uncover more victims than they anticipated? Or will they find any clues that can give them a clear picture of Belle Gunness’ fate?
The mystery surrounding Belle Gunness doesn’t just attract journalists and people of La Porte who are eager to know how everything will unfold.
But the case also attracts people outside of La Porte, so much so that the area around the farm itself turns into a carnival of some sort.
Who would have imagined that the case revolved around Belle Gunness can garner this many people’s interest in the case?
But it sure did, considering that it’s something that they don’t expect to happen in their backyard.
Who should read the book?
If you’re into reading true crime books, especially the ones that took place in the past, then you’ll find Hell’s Princess to be an interesting read.
Don’t worry about the book having a lot of chapters in it.
Yes, the book has 43 chapters in total, 44 if you include the notes. But they’re all pretty short, with some of them containing photos, art, and animation features.
That is if you buy the Kindle version of the book, of course.
Unlike any other Kindle books that I have, this one contains dynamic content as opposed to having the usual block of text all across the book.
On a side note, if you’d like to buy books on Kindle but don’t have a credit card, you can read this post right here if you want to know how you can buy Kindle books without using a credit card.
Where to buy the book
As you can expect, you can get the book in print, digital, and audio formats from none other than Amazon.
That’s where I got mine, in case you’re wondering.
Find the book interesting? You can get it right here on Amazon:
Over to you
What do you think about Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, The Butcher of Men? Are you interested in giving the book a try after reading about it on my blog?
Let me know in the comment section below.
P.S. If you’re someone who prefers to read crime fiction instead, then you may enjoy reading my thriller light novel series, Trigger Locked.
Curious about the book? You can take a look at the first book of the series right here on my Payhip store:
Use the coupon code SEKINAMAYUBLOG to receive 25% off your purchase.
Just to let you know that the book is available in print and also on other retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple Books.
But you can only get a discount when you buy the book on my Payhip store, though.
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