In the 1960s, people in Scotswood, England could not believe that a child killer lived among them. The city was still recovering after the war, and it was considered a neglected and harsh neighborhood. Many children were left alone for hours unattended to play, finish schoolwork and fend for themselves.
Among such children with the lock key was Mary Bell. The young girl had a reputation for violent outbursts and unruly behavior. In some cases, parents had called the police because she had tried to strangle their children.
At the age of eleven, Mary Bell killed two young boys with her bare hands. Within three months in a row, four-year-old Martin Brown and three-year-old Brian Howe were found dead.
In the hands of Mary
On May 25, 1968, Martin Brown was found in an abandoned house lying next to a bottle of pills. His cause of death was left indefinite for quite some time as the police did not make much or no progress in the case.
Brian Howe, who died on July 31, 1968, was found on the ground in rubble and dirt. His legs had unusual marks, and experts determined he was strangled by a child.
Mary Bell and her friend Norma Bell (no relationship) had bragged on the playground about murdering a boy some time after the deaths. During the ongoing investigation, notes written in children’s handwriting with cryptic messages, “I murder so I can come back,” were sent to police.
When the trail of evidence eventually led to Mary & Norma, police tried to talk to Mary in her house. Her father, William ‘Billy’ Bell, refused to let them in and threatened to release dogs on them if they returned.
Child killer found guilty
Unable to speak to Mary directly, police interviewed a young boy who witnessed the murder of Brian Howe. The boy explained that Mary had convinced the toddler that he had a sore throat where she could help make it better. She began by massaging his neck and tightening his grip until he suffocated.
This was proof enough to detain Mary Bell. The trial took nine days and she was found guilty of manslaughter due to less responsibility. Norma Bell was acquitted and considered to have been under the control and manipulation of Mary Bell.
The justice system was not used to detaining young girls, so authorities were unsure where to place Mary Bell. After some confusion, they decided to place her in a secure facility called Red Bank. She spent six years there and was later transferred to Moore Court open jail.
According to The Guardian, Mary Bell was “the only girl among about 20 boys at an approved school in Merseyside, she was allegedly sexually abused by a member of staff and also by other inmates whom the rest of the staff turned a blind eye to. . “
Where is she now?
Mary Bell was released at the age of twenty-three and gained anonymity under the Mary Bell Order. This allowed her to change her name and start a new life.
As a young adult, Mary gave birth to a daughter and lived a quiet life. Until people became interested in her story, wondering Where is Mary Bell now? Tabloids and journalists began following Mary and her family, trying their best to get an updated scoop.
The Guardian states, “The child killer Mary Bell was. . . in hiding after being chased out of the home by the sea, where she had lived anonymously with her 14-year-old daughter. ”
Much of the media madness stemmed from a 1998 biography called Cries Unheard: The Story of Mary Bell written by journalist Gitta Sereny. Sereny received public criticism and backlash due to the fact that Mary Bell now received remnants from the book.
Sereny said, “I felt I wanted to give her some of the money … because I could not use her like everyone else has done.”
To revive Mary Bell
Bell’s profits created tumult and opened old wounds for those related to the victims. People agreed that Mary should not be allowed to receive money based on the murders she committed as a child.
A mother of the victim spoke out against Sereny & Bell in an interview with the Observer, “Mary Bell died when she left prison and assumed a new identity. I thought of her as dead. I was trying to have a decent life. I started learning not to hate her because she was dead and became someone else. Now Gitta Sereny has revived her. Why? “
Mary and her daughter moved from town to town and sometimes went out with sheets over their heads to escape the public. Mary Bell Order continued to protect her daughter’s anonymity and was eventually extended to her granddaughter. Their names will be protected throughout their lives.
Mary’s mother and her life partner were not pale in providing information to the press.
The Guardian says: “Bell’s partner – a 40-year-old Geordie with a ponytail, tattoos and an empathetic look – certainly gave reporters value for money… Mary was the most gentle person he had ever met, he loved her so much, that it hurt to be divorced, she had always wanted to work with children. “
Mary Bell’s upbringing
Mary Bell was born in 1957 to a teenage sex worker, Betty McCrickett in Scotswood England. She had been sexually abused by her mother and was “pimped out” at the age of ten.
Sereny’s biography of Mary claimed that children do not murder innately. Violent crimes against children are often the result of not being taught empathy and love within the first few years of life. Sereny says Mary Bell herself had been a victim of child abuse and an obscene environment.
Mary Bell never pleaded guilty to her childhood crimes, but is said to be a completely different person now. Her biggest concern is living a normal life.
Disclaimers for mcutimes.com
All the information on this website - https://mcutimes.com - is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. mcutimes.com does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (mcutimes.com), is strictly at your own risk. mcutimes.com will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.