Johann Hoch was a debonair bigamist and wife killer who boasted of having perfected a scientific technique to romance and seduction. Belle Gunness was a nesting Black Widow whose sprawling farm in Northwest Indiana was a fatal lure for lonely bachelors seeking the comforts of middle-age security by answering matrimonial advertisements placed by Gunness.
Notorious in his own day, Hoch had faded into the dark background of Chicago crime history. But, in Heartland Serial Killers, Richard Lindberg brings back vividly the horrors of one of Chicago’s first celebrity criminals and uncovers new evidence of a close connection between Hoch and H.H. Holmes, the “Devil in the White City”.
Unlike Hoch, Belle Gunness, likely the most prolific and infamous female serial killer of the 20th century, has remained fascinating to the public. Here, Lindberg presents the most comprehensive and compelling study of the Gunness case to date, including new information regarding ongoing DNA testing of remains found at the site of Gunness’s farm in LaPorte, Indiana, which may serve to resolve once and for all the mystery surrounding Gunness’s death.
Told in alternating sections and rapidly paced, this audiobook is true crime at its best – gripping, pulpy, and full of sharp historical tidbits. True crime fans, history buffs, and those interested in local lore will delight in this chilling tale of two ruthless killers.
The book is published by Northern Illinois University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.