(Myra May) Belle Starr was born near Carthage, Missouri in 1848. Legend would have us believe she was a romantic beautiful Bandit Queen but this source tells us otherwise
“She has been described as ‘bony and flat chested with a mean mouth; hatchet faced; gotch-toothed tart.’ In her later years, she was a companion to known thieves and felons, but it is doubtful she ever did more than steal horses and provide a haven for fugitives.
image found here
Belle’s first husband and father of her two children, John Reed, was shot escaping arrest for murder and robbery. Her second (or possibly third) husband was a handsome three quarter Cherokee Indian named Sam Starr, son of the outlaw Tom Starr.
The Starrs were attending a friend’s Christmas party on December 17, when Sam encountered an old enemy whom he shot him dead, but not before being fatally wounded himself. Belle then took up with an adopted son of old Tom Starr, 24-year-old Bill July (alias Jim Starr), a Creek Indian. July moved in with Belle, her daughter Pearl and her son Eddie; he was her last husband.
image of Pearl Starr found here
Shortly afterwards, Bill July Starr was arrested, indicted and released on bail for horse stealing. Then in July 1888, young Eddie was charged with horse theft, giving him something in common with his stepfathers.
Belle Starr was shot dead in February 1889 as she returned home from a party. The suspects were many and included a neighbour she had quarreled with, her husband who had a secret younger mistress, her daughter whom she had tricked into giving up her fiancé and her son whom she had disciplined with a bullwhip. No one was ever convicted.
A totally different Belle, but one who still had Indian associations, was Silver Belle.
Silver Belle was the ‘spirit guide’ of the American medium, Ethel Post-Parrish. In 1953, 81 people believed they witnessed ectoplasm materializing out of Ethel’s body in a smoky white cloud to form the shape of a beautiful woman.
“The ectoplasm will retract back into the medium’s body, however, not all of it will return; leaving the medium very exhausted. This is why Joshua did not leave the tent in Exodus 33:11. Joshua was the medium for Jehovah to materialize and “speak with Moses face to face.”
I have no idea what ectoplasmic Belle had in common with Joshua, Jehovah or Moses, but it’s a direct quote from the website and is possibly helps to explain why Ethel has such bad posture in all her photographs….
Our third Belle was a serial killer born in 1859.
It is estimated that she killed more than 40 people over several decades. Belle Gunness married a Norwegian man in Chicago and soon after they opened a confectionery store. The business venture was not a success and within a year the store had burnt down in mysterious circumstances. Insurance money was paid and the money was used to purchase a home in Austin. This was destroyed, again by a mysterious fire, in 1898; the couple collected insurance money and purchased yet another home. Within two years her husband had died, on July 30th 1900, the only day that two life insurance policies on him overlapped. She applied for insurance money of $8,500 dollars on the day after his funeral.
She used the money to buy a farm in Indiana and moved there with the couple’s three daughters, one of whom was adopted. It was later established that Gunness and Sorenson had four offspring together, but that two had died in infancy; suffice to say that those two children were also insured and that it is now believed that they too were poisoned.
Belle then met a Norwegian named Peter Gunness who lived in her village (it was then that she acquired her famous surname) and they married on April 1st 1902. By this stage she was working a lot quicker, within a week of the ceremony Peter’s infant daughter had died whilst in the house alone with Belle. By the end of the same year Peter had a “tragic accident”, this time a sausage grinding machine had fallen from a high shelf onto his head, killing him instantly.
Belle’s bridgework found here
In 1906 her adopted daughter Jennie fell out of sight, Gunness told curious villagers that Jennie had been sent to a finishing school in Los Angeles. Jennie had in fact been killed and her body was later to be found on Belle’s farm. At the same time Gunness placed an ad in the matrimonial columns of all Chicago daily newspapers and those of other cities, she stated that she was a widow who desired to make the acquaintance of a gentleman with equal wealth to join fortunes. The result was a train of suitors, armed with wallets full of cash and deeds to their properties. Each would never be seen again, whilst Belle would deposit regular large sums of money into her bank account……. read more about how the bodies were discovered here
image found here