LAPORTE – Harold Schecter’s bestseller “Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men” has been optioned by SERA Films for a limited television series adaptation.
Actor Joseph Cross and SERA Films founder Austin Francalancia are developing and producing the series on the woman known as the “female Bluebeard,” who lured men to her Indiana farm — and to their deaths.
Cross made his acting debut in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Wide Awake” in 1998 and recently starred in HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”
Schechter, who has authored several historical true crime novels, delves deep into the life of one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.
In May 1908, after a fire destroyed a LaPorte farmhouse, police made a gruesome discovery. In addition to three bodies found inside the house — one of them headless — investigators found the remains of several more buried on the property of Belle Gunness. The Norwegian immigrant lured unsuspecting men to her “murder farm” through newspaper ads and separated them from their money, poisoned them, cut them up and buried them on her farm.
Francalancia, a Warsaw, native and 2009 Indiana University graduate, said he would love to film in Indiana but said the project is still in the development stage. The star role has yet to be cast, but Francalancia notes, “We have a top 10 list of potential people to star as Belle and we think all would love to be a part of the project in some capacity. We’re eyeing a couple female directors and writers at the moment but we’re moving quickly.”
The series will tell Belle’s story from Norway to Chicago and LaPorte.
Source: Indy Star