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World's Youngest Serial Killers

Updated on February 5, 2015

Mary Bell

The former Mary Bell, born May 26, 1957, and who is now living under a new name, is deemed one of the world's youngest serial killers in history. Although not a serial killer by definition, many feel that the killings would have continued had she not been captured. She had a tough start in lifeā€”her mother tried to kill her on multiple occasions during the beginning years of her life, allegedly trying to make it look like an accident.

Abuse was no stranger to Mary Bell. Her mother, who had Mary at the age of 17, was a prostitute who traveled to Glasgow to work. She was absent from home, spending little to no time with her daughter. When she was there she forced the young child to engage in adult activities with men. The only interaction Mary Bell had with her mother was this abuse.

At the tender age of just 10, a day before her 11th birthday, Mary Bell would commit her first murder. Martin Brown was her first victim, whom she murdered by strangling him to death. Soon after she claimed the life of Brown, Mary and a 13-year-old friend Norma Flora Bell (no relation) broke into and vandalized a nursery in Scottwood. They allegedly littered the nursery with letters claiming they were Martin Brown's murderer. This was simply dismissed as a prank, as "kids will be kids." Soon after the vandalism incident, young potential serial killer Mary strangled three year old Brian Howe to death. After the toddler died, she carved the letter N into his chest with a razorblade, which she would later change to the letter M. Mary then came back to cut parts of his hair off with scissors and used it to partially castrate him.

Mary and Norma would eventually become captured August in 1968. The trial was set against them, charging them both with two counts of manslaughter. Norma was acquitted of the charges but Mary Bell was convicted of both counts of manslaughter. Prison was deemed inappropriate because of her age and she was too dangerous for a girl's home, so she was sent to a boy's home indefinitely.

After serving her time in the boy's home and some time in prison, she was released to the world with a new, unknown identity in 1980. She had a daughter in 1984. When people found out her identity on two separate occasions, she was driven from her location both times. Finally settling in at an unknown location, her daughter grew up and had children. She now lives as a grandmother.

Jesse Pomeroy, "The Boy Fiend"

Jesse Pomeroy is the youngest serial killer in Masachusetts history.
Jesse Pomeroy is the youngest serial killer in Masachusetts history.

Jesse Pomeroy (November 29, 1859 - September 29, 1932) is regarded as the youngest serial killer in American history. Known as "The Boy Fiend," he is an incantation of pure evil. This young murderer lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There was no mention of Jesse suffering from any mental illness(s), but the reaction he had when cops asked him about the murders should be enough to say he was a psychopath.

Jesse Pomeroy was born to a working family in Boston as the youngest of two other children, Charlie Pomeroy Jr., his older brother, and Jesse Pomery, the second oldest. The boy fiend had a hard time when he was young. The older kids would pick on him because he was born with an all-white right eye. His own father could barely stand looking at him.

Jesse Pomeroy's father was an alcoholic and had a very bad temper. He once used a horse whip on Jesse when he was playing traunt. The abuse ended when his father was caught by his mother beating Jesse. Ruth, his mother, chased Charlie Sr. out the home with a kitchen knife and he never returned after that.

Pets that were brought into the home were suffering from violent acts when no one was looking. His mother once returned home to find two birds in the home dead. The heads were twisted completely off the bodies of the birds. Jesse Pomeroy was eventually caught when he was spotted torturing a neighbor's cat.

Jesse Pomeroy
Jesse Pomeroy

Jesse Pomeroy: Torturing from Chelsea to South Boston

Torturing animals wasn't satisfying enough so Jesse moved on to human subjects.

  1. Four year old William Paine was his first victim. Two men who lumbered up Powder Horn Hill near Chelsea Creek responded to low cries when they discovered Paine. He was hanging by his wrist from a rope in the center of an outhouse. He had been stripped, whipped, and beaten but managed to survive.
  2. Seven year old Tracy Hayden was the second victim found beaten. With the promise of seeing soldiers, Jesse had the victim. Once alone, Jesse stripped the victim naked, used switches for whipping, knocked the victim's front teeth out, and left the young child with a black eye. Jesse also had an assailant who threatened to cut off the victim's private area.
  3. Eight year old Robert Maier was the third victim, during early spring of 1872. Maier was brought to the same location as previous victims and stripped, beat with a stick, and forced to curse while being tortured. Robert told the police that Jesse "explored" himself as he continue to beat him. After achieving a release, he threatened the victim and ran off.
  4. On July 1872, the fourth victim, an unknown seven year old was stripped, whipped, and beaten until Jesse Pomeroy once again managed to be released via sadism.

As the news about the attacks were spread, Ruth Pomeroy moved to South Boston. It's unknown whether she moved because she feared Jesse was doing it or because economic times were better. The attacks continued.

Jesse Pomeroy: From Torturer to Murderer

Eventually, Massachusetts' youngest serial killer would go from sadist to murderer. Pomeroy killed for the first time in March 1874. His victim was a ten year old girl who found herself alone downstairs with Jesse in his mother's dress shop. After luring her down there, he tortured her. Then, he got bored with his victim and killed her. Her body was carelessly hidden in an ash heap.

One month after this, he found someone else to torture and kill. Horace Mullin was helpless to the damned soul of 14 year old Pomeroy. Jesse took the boy outside of the city, viciously stabbing him until he died. Mullin's body was badly mutilated.

Massachusetts' youngest murderer was eventually caught. At the end of the trial, he was convicted of first degree murder and the youngest person in Massachusetts history to be guilty of this charge. He was sentenced to death by hanging, although then spared because the governor refused to sign the death warrant. He would spend the rest of his life in prison. Jesse Pomeroy would eventually die in the Bridgewater Hospital for the Criminally Insane.


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    • Buddy678 profile image


      2 years ago

      Jesse Pomeroy (November 29, 1859 - September 29, 1932)

      Well, we can't blame the violence on TV and we can't blame the pesticides in the food, for the violence of Jesse Pomeroy!

      But we can blame cruel, evil parents"

      A child who doesn't know love and is made fun of, has the makings of a criminal.

      People should read Alice Miller's books on childhood.

      The Drama of Being a Child, should be given to ALL newly weds. GIGO = Garbage in - Garbage out! Just like a computer, a child's brain stores all that it experiences and when it grows up, it begins to manifest what it experienced as a child, to the world around them.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is horrible and most all of it comes from child abuse and it's all cycles truly saddening

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      What was his reaction when the cops asked him about the murders?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A match made on hell

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      5 years ago

      Creepy to think kids so young could come to this... I was abused but it made me even more squeamish about hurting others weaker than me. I can't imagine what drives a person to kill for pleasure.

    • profile image

      katherine murray 

      6 years ago

      I too as a child had a neglectful, prostitute mother that beat me and had men do unspeakable things to me. I understand how Mary felt. I went through problems like biting my pets etc all because of the hurt caused on me. I thought it was normal to hurt or be hurt by others. It gives back the pleasure stolen from us as children. So to mary bell the grandmother out there that still has flashbacks of her childhood you are not alone.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      it is sad that we humans have to have people that live amongst us killing and destroying others. i wish there was a way to find these people and take them out of society before they turn into horrific murdering machines.

    • profile image

      Sophia Belladonna 

      6 years ago

      I endured severe abuse by grandfather over many years and was kidnapped and held in the woods for 4 days before getting free. It never made me want to abuse another.

    • Louise Lately profile image

      Louise Lately 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Wow very scary!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How old was Jesse? When he killed his 1st victim?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Mary's parents should be the responsible of all these murders. They shouldn't even be called parents. They should go to jail, because of neglect and bad parenting. However they instead made the mum a favor GETTING RID OF the daughter as she always wished. Not fair for the parents who are free and don't care about Mary. I'm so angry. Hope in the future law change.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image

      Mazzy Bolero 

      7 years ago from the U.K.

      It appears when children are subjected to severe abuse and violence by adults when very young and defenceless, some of them do the same to others who are similarly defenceless. The parents taught them that. That doesn't absolve them from blame, but it's not as simple as a child being "born evil".

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 

      7 years ago from Mason City

      Its hard to believe that young children could be serial killers, or close to it, but they sure can be. Its too bad that Mary Bell was so abused, no wonder.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is the most interesting article on a random topic that I've ever read.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      depending on the definition you use of serial killer - three or more murders committed by one person over the span of a month usually done as a result of some psychological issue vs. a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dude... neither of these people were serial killers. They don't meet the requirements.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have the same surname as him and do hope i am not related to him, what do you think?

    • profile image

      Johhny E 

      7 years ago

      jesse pomeroy kinda looks like tobey maguire also. spiderman a killer?! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I can't believe a little girl would cut off someones...... Well you get the point

    • zoey24 profile image


      7 years ago from South England

      Interesting hub, i am in the middle of an essay about Mary Bell, and have always been fascinated by her story. Scary to think a young girl can be so dangerous. Voted up and interesting :)

      P.S. Does anyone else think Jesse Pomeroy looks like Robbie Williams from Take That?? Scary!!

    • Leighsue profile image


      7 years ago

      Very scary what people can become.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow i love this stuff

    • Themodernyou profile image

      Max Turner 

      8 years ago

      very interesting and didn't think a girl as a threat, or little boy for that matter.

      Very interesting article

    • Invisiblestats profile image


      8 years ago from london

      Great hub and great information. I find the question of nature verse nurture when it comes to crime fascinating..looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just show,s how evil she is and what sought of power she,s got in her .

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Terrible tale regarding Mary Bell and the life she had to endure. Tragic.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Never heard that in my criminology class when we talked about serial killers.

    • Edoka Writes profile image

      Edoka Writes 

      8 years ago

      Interesting material.

    • RunAbstract profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the added info. These stories are tragic, horrific, and sad.

    • mr williams profile imageAUTHOR

      mr williams 

      8 years ago from Norfolk, Virginia

      Yes he was arrested and found guilty of two counts of first degree murder. Jesse Pomeroy was sentenced to life in solitary confinement. He died September 29, 1932. Forgot to add that part, thanks.

    • RunAbstract profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Was Jesse Pomeroy convicted and sentenced?

    • sameerk profile image


      8 years ago from India

      oops so scary hub


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