In 1900 Chicago, a husband dies under the most suspicious of circumstances. Anton Sorenson had a $2,000 life-insurance policy set to expire and took out a new policy for $3,000. For just one day - July 30, 1900 - both policies were in effect.
Sorenson dies of a cerebral hemorrhage on that very day. According to his wife, Belle Gunness, he had come home from work with a terrible headache. She said she gave him quinine powder, a common remedy, and went to prepare dinner. When she returned to check on him, she said, he was dead.
Belle remarries, this time to a much-younger man. Eight months later, Peter Gunness is also dead, the back of his skull smashed in.
In 1906, a series of personal ads begin to appear in a local Midwest newspaper. Belle is looking for investors for her farm. None of the men who answer her ad are ever seen again . . .