Case of Mary Bell. A Portrait of a Child Who Murdered by Gitta Sereny

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By Gitta Sereny

In December 1968 ladies who lived round the corner to one another - Mary, elderly 11, and Norma, 13 - stood ahead of a felony courtroom in Newcastle, accused of strangling little boys; Martin Brown, 4 years previous, and Brian Howe, 3.

Norma used to be acquitted. Mary Bell, the more youthful yet infinitely extra refined and cooler of the 2, used to be discovered to blame of manslaughter. She avoided being branded as a assassin because of what the courtroom governed as 'diminished responsibility', yet she used to be sentenced to 'detention' for all times.

Step by means of step, Gitta Sereny items jointly a gripping and infrequent learn of a scary crime; the murders, the occasions surrounding them, the alternately bizzare and nonchalant behaviour of the 2 ladies, their brazen bargains to aid the distraught households of the useless boys, the police paintings that ended in their apprehension, and at last the trial itself. What emerges from this extraorindary case is the shortcoming of society to count on such occasions and to take sufficient steps as soon as catastrophe has struck.

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Extra resources for Case of Mary Bell. A Portrait of a Child Who Murdered

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CONTENTS Cover About the Book About the Author Dedication Title Page Preface to the Pimlico Edition Prologue PART ONE: Summer 1968 1. Scotswood 2. Martin Brown: 25 May 1968: Four Years and Two Months Old 3. Brian Howe: 31 July 1968: Three Years and Four Months Old 4. Remand: “I Hope Me Mum Won’t Have to Pay a Fine” PART TWO: The Trial: A Guilty Mind PART THREE: The Past: “Take the Thing Away from Me” PART FOUR: The Present: “The Guilty One Is You Not Me” Postscript Author’s Note Appendix: Mary Bell—Documents Appendix: The Murder of James Bulger Acknowledgments Copyright About the Book In December 1968 two girls – Mary Bell, eleven, and Norma Bell, thirteen (neighbours, but not related) – stood before a criminal court in Newcastle, accused of strangling, within a six-week period, Martin Brown, four years old, and Brian Howe, three.

What emerges with equal force is the inability of society to anticipate such events and to take adequate steps once disaster has struck. About the Author Gitta Sereny is of Hungarian-Austrian extraction and is trilingual in English, French and German. During the Second World War she became a social worker, caring for war damaged children in France. She gave hundreds of lectures in schools and colleges in America and, when the war ended, she worked as a Child Welfare Officer in UNRRA displaced persons’ camps in Germany.

Step by step, the extraordinary murders, the events surrounding them, the alternately bizzare and nonchalant behaviour of the two girls, their brazen offers to help the distraught families of the dead boys, the police work that led to their apprehension, and the trial itself are grippingly re-created in this rare-study of the wanton murder of child by child. What emerges with equal force is the inability of society to anticipate such events and to take adequate steps once disaster has struck. About the Author Gitta Sereny is of Hungarian-Austrian extraction and is trilingual in English, French and German.

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