Belle Gunness: The True Story
Through the eyes of director Edward Bass
After spending three years researching and writing the script, for the life of Belle Gunness, while in the midst of directing a documentary. I, like many others, feel that I know her. In actuality, there was only one man that really had an insight to the young Belle Gunness. Hans Jorgensen. He was someone that really knew her as a teen, and lived to tell her story. This is one of the key scenes that depict who this person turns into over a course of many years.
Many perceive that Belle’s first murder was that of her husband Peter Gunness, but that might not be completely true. Hans Jorgensen, a man from Norway, shed more light into the youth of the killer that is most notably known as “Belle Gunness.” In his statement, he said, that belle, at the tender age of 17, became pregnant by a boy from a farm in Selbu, where she had been employed. The farm was a ways away from her home. Her family was poor, and she had all of the intentions of buying a ticket, so she could move to the United States. The boy was a rich man’s son, and she, was just a mere hand on the farm. One night, they went to local dance together, following that, they had a walk on the beach. At some point in their relationship, Belle must have revealed to him that she was pregnant. The boy, scared he would have to commit, beat her severely, causing her to miscarry, and lose the child. No one one had known how far she was in the pregnancy, which must have meant that she wasn’t showing at the time. With no help around, and her home far away, she had to fend for herself.
She was frightened, but as common as it is in human nature, fear can turn to violence. They say she was never the same from that day fourth, that her personality changed drastically. In a tiny place like Selbu, Jorgensen says, “this was of course something people talked about, like a fire in the woods.” Time passed, and a month later, the boy was dead. It was believed that he died from stomach cancer, but with the quality of medical care and the state of diagnostics at the time, also shedding light to the future events that took place in LaPorte, Indiana, we could speculate, that it may have been her that poisoned the boy. Noting that, we can say that this might have been her first murder. The boy’s brutal treatment may have opened a window of rage that was uncontrollable in her.
Violence, rejection, and unwanted poverty, could have been fuel to the fire that was Belle Gunness. As the story tells it, nothing is sure, in the case of Belle. Her case, to this day, remains a mystery. The whereabouts of the notorious pig farmer is unknown. Who else might’ve known her? How many other bodies are out there, that have yet to be discovered. As I close, all I can hear are the reminiscent words of her lips, whisper; “what we have between us, no one else needs know.