Interest Research Essay
The Tyneside Strangler
When you think of a murderer, you expect a certain age range. A “typical killer” in our society also has a certain look. No one would expect a 10 year old girl to be the face of a killer. Normal little girls worry about combing their dolls hair or playing tea with their teddy bears. Mary Bell on the other hand had another motive. Mary’s motive was to kill. She had the ruthlessness of a soldier and the boldness of a grown man.
Known as the “Tyneside Strangler” at 10 years old Mary was a monster in a little girl’s body. Mary Flora Bell was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Her mother Betty Bell was a seventeen year old prostitute and though his identity was questionable, her father was a career criminal and an armed robber. Growing up Mary did not have the best childhood life. As most children are showed love and affection, she was being tossed around like a hot potato and being abused by her own birth mother. Mary’s mother forced her to have sex with men as young as the age of four and made several attempts to kill Mary while making the deeds seem accidental. Betty being seventeen also often left her daughter with relatives or acquaintances. Once, it was reported that Betty gave Mary to a woman she met on the street, outside an abortion clinic. Her mother Mary never got the proper love that children should get therefore she didn’t know what love was. All Mary felt growing up was hate and abuse and that would take a huge toll on her growing up. Betty being young didn’t know how to care for her and her father was never really was around. Bell also grew up in the Scotswood area of Newcastle which was an economically depressed area where domestic violence and criminal behavior was a commonplace. This morphed her behavior and would affect her childhood drastically. As she grew older and able to articulate, she had begun to voice her desire “to hurt people.” At school she began attacking other children, vandalism and theft. Mary developed a reputation of a “show off” and made proclamations at her school saying “I am a murderer” but people looked upon those things and idle boasts rather than taking her seriously like they should have.
On May 11th, 1968 a little boy was found behind some sheds near a pub bleeding from the head. Norma and Mary Bell were at the scene and claimed he had “fallen off the ledge.” Police did not charge either girls with this and ruled this as accidental. That boy was Mary’s cousin. May 12th, 1968 the mothers of three young girls reported to the police that Mary had attacked and choked their daughters. Though she was interviewed no charges were filed against her. On May 25th the body of four year old Martin Brown was discovered by two little boys playing in an abandoned house. His corpse was lying in an upstairs room. Police assumed his death was caused by swallowed pills found in a discarded bottle nearby because there was no obvious cause of death. On May 26th Norma Belles father caught Mary choking his eleven year old daughter. He sent her home and later that day a local nursery was vandalized. As police searched the premises they found little notes on the walls saying things such as, “I murder so THAT I may come back”, “fuch of we murder watch out Fanny and Faggot” and other notes confessing to Martin Browns death such as, “we did murder Martain brown F*** of you Bastard”. Cops thought of the notes as a sick joke and didn’t take it seriously .Since no evidence was found in order to connect it to Mary Bell so she continued to feed that urge to kill that she has been having for so long. A couple of days after the vandilizing, Mary showed up to the Browns residence asking to see Martin. When reminded of the tragedy, she uttered “Oh I know he’s dead I just wanted to see him in his coffin.” Her next victim was three-year old Brian Howe. This time she looked for the help of this murder from her…