Thursday, April 5, 2018

Harold Schechter's "Hell's Princess"

Harold Schechter is an American true-crime writer who specializes in serial killers. Twice nominated for the Edgar Award, his nonfiction books include Fatal, Fiend, Bestial, Deviant, Deranged, Depraved, The Serial Killer Files, The Mad Sculptor, Man-Eater, and Killer Colt.

Schechter applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men, and reported the following:
Somewhat to my surprise, a reader limited to page 99 might actually get a fairly good idea of both the quality of my book and its subject matter. Hell's Princess recounts the ghastly crimes of the early-twentieth century serial murderer, Belle Gunness, aka “The Lady Bluebeard,” who, by means of matrimonial ads in Scandinavian-language newspapers, lured a string of lonely Norwegian bachelors to her farm in La Porte, Indiana, poisoned them, dismembered their corpses, and buried the parts in her hog lot. The page in question deals with the arrival of the sons of one of her victims, come to search for their missing father, or whatever was left of him. The last few paragraphs describe their viewing of the rank, rotten remains dug out of Belle’s makeshift cemetery and their identification of their murdered dad by the distinctive moustache on his decayed, decapitated skull.
Learn more about the book and author at Harold Schechter's website.

The Page 99 Test: Killer Colt.

--Marshal Zeringue