This 11-Year-Old Girl Is One Of The Most Infamous Murderers Of All Time

Mary Flora Bell was an 11-year-old British child who killed two young boys in 1968 before finally being imprisoned for her entire adolescence. The public was shocked and found it incredible that a young child could be such a monster. On the other hand, was Bell actually a victim herself? Or was she just a manipulative and cold-hearted child who was coincidentally saddled with a call girl mother, an unknown father, and an extremely tumultuous childhood? Perhaps she was reenacting the maltreatment she experienced in her early life.


Regardless, Mary Bell has since been released from prison and has spent the last several decades shrouded behind a veil of mystery; her identity has been kept secret for all these years. She has not re-offended since her childhood and some say that she is very repentant. The world may never know if she is truly sorry for what she has done - or just sorry enough to keep the limelight off her adult life.

  • Authorities Found The Body Of A 4-Year-Old Boy In An Abandoned House

    On May 25, 1968, the body of 4-year-old Martin Brown was found in an abandoned home. The toddler had been strangled by Mary Bell and her 13-year-old friend Norma Bell, who was no relation to Mary but reportedly had a mental handicap. The police had no leads, but several days later, the two girls broke into a nursery school and left several notes on the wall, indicating that they had been involved in Brown's demise.

    One message read, "WE did murder Martin Brown, F*ckof you B*stArd." The notes were so strange that the police assumed it had been a hoax.

  • Mary Bell Carved An 'M' Into Brian Howe's Abdomen

    Two months after authorities found Martin Brown's body, 3-year-old Brian Howe was discovered strangled on a playground with puncture wounds, mutilated genitals, and an "M" carved into his abdomen. Since the incident took place on a playground, the police interviewed the local children. Two of the children seemed to be acting very strangely: Mary Bell and her friend Norma.

    The two seemed to be reacting to the news differently than the rest of the children - they were more interested and eager, and showed a hint of amusement. In addition, the coroner suspected that a child might be responsible - his conclusion was the result of how little force was used.

  • Mary Bell Showed Up On Her Victim's Family's Doorstep And Asked To See Him In His Coffin

    As a child, Bell reportedly often partook in violent interactions with other children, including attempting to strangle kids on the playground and stubbing out a cigarette on another girl's cheek. Her detachment and coldness toward others were evident after Brown's passing.


    Bell showed up on the doorstep of Brown's home and asked his mother if she could see him. When Brown's mother replied that he had passed and was in a coffin, Bell reiterated her desire to see him - in the coffin.

  • Bell's Mother Never Wanted Her

    Betty Bell was only 16 herself when she gave birth to Mary. She was not prepared for motherhood and reportedly didn't want to be saddled with a child. At the time of Mary's birth, Betty Bell reportedly exclaimed, "Take the thing away from me!" She later told her daughter point-blank that she was "the devil's spawn." Bell also claimed that her mother attempted to end her many times throughout her youth, using various methods. 


    Psychiatrists believe that Bell's mother suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a disease in which you ideate illnesses onto someone else in order to have attention for yourself. Although her father is unknown, Mary took the surname Bell after one of her mother's boyfriends, Billy Bell. Betty was a prostitute and also an alleged alcoholic.

  • Norma Joyce Bell Assisted Mary, But Fully Blamed Her

    During the culprits' questioning by authorities, 13-year-old Norma Bell cracked first and implicated Mary Bell. She claimed that it was Mary who was the aggressor and that she was merely a witness. Mary Bell was convicted and imprisoned in a children's ward. At trial, psychiatrists described Bell as "intelligent, manipulative, and dangerous."


    Her prison stay was fairly uneventful, save for a brief three-day escape, after which she was returned to prison. During her escape, the government claimed that she was no longer in a position to hurt others and that she had matured.

  • Bell Made An Escape From Prison And Had An Affair With A Prison Guard

    While she was incarcerated, Bell and a friend escaped from Moor Court and were on the lam for a few days. Later, she reportedly had an affair with a married man, and then had an abortion. She told her biographer in the 1998 book Cries Unheard:

    So I had an abortion. But if I think that almost the first thing I did after 12 years in prison for [ending] two babes, was to [terminate] the baby in me... But, I mean, it was the only thing to do... wasn't it.