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The Devil-Child Mary Bell, who Became a Murderer at 11 Years Old

Antonia R.Antonia R.
Mary Bell

In 1968, the world was shocked by the crimes committed by Mary Bell, who was just 11 years old when she killed 2 other kids - 4-year-old Martin Brown and 3-year-old Brian Howe.

Mary Bell is the most notorious killer child in Great Britain. Her crimes have baffled thousands - how could a girl at such an innocent age be capable of such cruelty?

Mary Bell had grown up in a poor family, her mother a prostitute who specialized in S&M. She had no compunction about practicing her profession in front of her young daughter. Mary's mother was quite neurotic and on one occasion began to strangle her, nearly killing her.

Growing up with the conviction that violence was something completely normal, Mary Bell would eventually become a horrific murderer. On May 25, 1968, just 1 day before her birthday, Mary Bell led 4-year-old Martin Brown by his hand into an abandoned house, where she suffocated him to death.

However, she did not leave behind any incriminating evidence during her first murder and authorities believed it to be nothing more than an accident. Police had found a bottle of aspirin next to Martin's body and concluded it to be the cause of death.

Mary Bell the Killer

Having gotten away with it once, Mary Bell thought she would never get caught. Shortly after her birthday, she attacked her sister Norma Joyce, attempting to strangulate her. But their father saw and stopped her.

Then, Mary Bell decided not to kill her but to make her an accomplice instead. She told her how she had strangled young Martin and said she was ready to do it to other kids as well.

2 months after the funeral of the 4-year-old boy, Mary Bell was ready for her 2nd murder. She targeted 3-year-old Brian Howe, led him to the railroad tracks at Scotswood and attacked him with scissors.

She stabbed him 3 times, then strangulated him. Once dead, she cut off his hair, mutilated his genitals and carved the letter "M" on his stomach.

Mary Bell recounted the murder with fanatical excitement to her sister Norma. Their constant enthusiasm drew suspicion, which led to local police questioning them.

During questioning, Mary made the severe mistake of describing the scissors with which she had killed little Brian, in an attempt to put the blame on a boy from town. There was no way for her to know what the murder weapon was if she herself had not been the one to use it.

At the funeral of little Brian, detective Dobbson noticed the mischievous smile on the face of the young murderer and immediately knew she was the one they had been looking for. Initially, both Mary Bell and her sister Norma were accused of the murders but ultimately, Mary admitted to being responsible for both Brian and Martin's deaths.

She had been transferred to various youth detention centers until the age of 23, after which she was given a new identity and released. She gave birth to a daughter and became a grandmother several years ago.