Belle Aileen Wuornos: The Phenomenon Of Female Serial Killers

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The phenomenon of a female serial killer is rare. When people think of female serial killers they often think Aileen Wuornos was the first, and worst, with her multiple murders in 1989. However, that is untrue. Many female serial killers came before Wuornos, including Belle Gunness. Belle began her crimes of arson in the late 1880’s and escalated to murder by 1900 (Rosewood & Lo, 8-10). She transitioned from a young immigrant, to an organized serial killer driven by her motive of profit. What separates Belle from other serial killers is the fact that she was never caught for her heinous crimes. While she is surely dead now, her crimes still haunt the town of La Porte, Indiana where a majority of her murders took place. Belle Gunness was born …show more content…
Ray was Belle’s farm hand for a period of time and supposedly fell in love with her. The feelings were not mutual, and when Ray started to become jealous of all of Belle’s suitors, Belle fired him. Documents and sources are unclear on whether or not Ray was actually being a nuisance to Belle, but she filed for a restraining order and also made the authorities hold a trial questioning Ray’s sanity. This was surprising considering the way Belle treated other men by poisoning them. If Ray had actually been an issue or caused any type of fear for her life, Belle most likely would have just disposed of him like her suitors. The day before the fire, Belle went into town and told to everyone that Ray was threatening her life and children. The next day, the house caught fire and Ray was charged with the four murders and arson. However, the jury found him only guilty of arson (Kelleher & Kelleher, 26-27). Ray “persistently claimed that Belle was still alive,” he even told “police that he helped her escape by driving her to the railway station in Stillwell, Indiana, where she boarded a train for the East Coast” (Kelleher & Kelleher, 26). Most people discounted what Ray said, thinking that he was only speaking to benefit himself as he was on trial for Belle’s

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