Sunday, June 9, 2013

World’s Dumbest Guy

William Gaertner. Okay, there have probably been a few dumber, but this guy deserves to be well up on the list.

Doesn't look much like Catherine
Zeta-Jones, does she?
Today, I was reading something that reminded me of the musical/movie Chicago, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, and ended up following links to the two women who inspired the principal stage characters. The character called Velma Kelly (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the movie) was based on a woman named Belva Gaertner.

Belva was 32 or 33 in 1917, already married and divorced once, when she met William, who is described as “20 years her elder and a wealthy industrialist.”

(An aside: They were married in Crown Point, Indiana. I saw a Facebook posting by my friend Vanessa the other day mentioning that her parents were married there. Apparently, according to her posting, Indiana had no waiting period for marriage, and Chicagoans frequently crossed the line into Crown Point to marry).

William subsequently had the marriage annulled, because Belva’s divorce was not final, then remarried her. They then separated, and Belva proceeded to murder a boyfriend, Walter Law.

So William Gaertner should be wiping his brow at this point and saying, "Boy, I dodged a bullet (almost literally) that time," right?

Nope, after her acquittal, Wikipedia tells us that Belva and William were married again in 1925. Whether they had been divorced or just separated is unclear. Anyway, they’re back together. But a year later, William divorces her again, saying that she is alcoholic and abusive (he apparently had not noticed this previously).

So now he's finally through with her? No again. By 1930, they are back together (whether married a third, or fourth, time we don’t know).

Some guys are slow learners, I guess.

Update (15 July): Added a picture of Belva.


  1. Did she look like Catherine?

  2. Not even close. I guess I should add a pic to this posting.

    Of course, Bonnie Parker didn't look much like Faye Dunaway, either (to say nothing of Clyde Barrow/Warren Beatty).