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Child Abuse Outcome Part 1

Updated on August 13, 2012
Mary Bell
Mary Bell

When abused children become murderers: Mary Bell

Mary Bell (born May 26, 1957)is a british woman, whom is still alive to this day, who was convicted of murdering two young boys. She began killing at the tender age of 10. Her first victim was a four year old by the name of Martin Brown. The next child she murdered was a three year old named Brian Howe, when she was 11 years old.

Mary Bell was born to a prostitute mother named Betty (nee McCrickett). She was absent from the family scene regularly, usually out earning money by being an acquaintance to desperate men. Her favorite location to find work was located in Glasgow. Betty gave birth to Mary when she was 17 years old.

To this day, no one knows who Mary Bell's biological father is. All her life, she believed her father was a habitual criminal by the name of Billy Bell, who married Betty after Mary was born. He would later be convicted of armed robbery, so he wasn't around either. This left Mary Bell in the care of her dangerous mother and the strangers she brought to the home.

Betty did not want to take care of Mary Bell. On multiple occasions she attempted to kill her, according to accounts from close family members. The attempts were made to seem accidental, so she could avoid prosecution. Her mother also subjected her to repeated sexual abuse by strangers.


Betty brought all types of clients to the home. It was during these times she forced Mary Bell to perform sexual acts on these men. This sexual abuse happened when Mary Bell was just four years old. This information was shared to law enforcement and psychiatrists by Mary herself.

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    • Mazzy Bolero profile image

      Mazzy Bolero 

      6 years ago from the U.K.

      Mary Bell was released with a new identity and had a child of her own. She does not appear to have re-offended.

    • mr williams profile imageAUTHOR

      mr williams 

      6 years ago from Norfolk, Virginia

      Nope she's a free woman

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Yikes...I am hoping she is still incarcerated? That's a sad but scary story. I have never heard of anyone murdering at that young an age.

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