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Mary and Norma Bell.

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MARY AND NORMA BELL Betty Bell gave birth to her daughter Mary Flora Bell in 1957 in the north of England. At eleven years old Mary Bell was already a murderer. Despite her young age, Mary enjoyed the satisfaction of killing something so small and helpless, she almost killed her victims in a 'playful' manner, as she cut there hair and made them 'baldy'. I have decided to do my study on Mary and Norma Bell (no relation) and have used a number of sources to research their crimes, this included www.crimelibrary.co.uk and a book called "When kids kill". I will discuss Mary's background, the crimes she committed and how she committed them, the trial and how she was punished by the law. I will also write about her family life and upbringing and see how this may have affected her and encouraged her to kill. I will look into how Mary and Norma would have been treated by the law today if they had committed the same crime and I will find out if the same methods would have been used to catch them today as in 1968. Betty Bell gave birth to Mary in Newcastle, England on 26 May 1957, Betty kept Mary's father a secret, but it was clear that Mary was not conceived out of romance or love. ...read more.


His body also had several light stab wounds including cuts to the genitals. A pair of broken scissors lay near by. The body was inspected and the came to the conclusion that the tentative way in which the cuts had been inflicted strongly suggested that it had been the work of a child. Mary and Norma were both interviewed along with over a thousand other children. The police recall Norma as not being peculiar and she did not mention seeing Mary on the day that Brian had died. The police also recall Mary's home as being a 'cold shell with no emotion.' Mary and Norma's stories were very similar. DC Kerr interviewed Norma again and this time she added that she had been with Mary from 2.30 pm until 5.00 pm 'but as far as I know, Mary ... just went into her house' she stated. Mary was interviewed again and her story also changed in small details and, gradually, things were mentioned that she ought not to have known if she had been telling the truth. Mary mentioned the scissors, which had not been mentioned in any of the press reports; this meant that if she was not the killer herself, Mary Bell must have at least seen Brian's body before his discovery. ...read more.


Justice Cusack pronounced a sentence of 'Detention to life' while Mary cried uncomforted by her family. Norma later received three years probation for breaking and entering the Woodlands Nursery, and placed under psychiatric supervision. There was no connection between the two murders, as shown in the table below: This shows that Mary did not have a motive for her murders and that they were not planned. I do think that if Mary had not been caught then she would have carried on killing. Whereas criminals of the late 1960's had little chance of being caught due to lack of equipment to prove they caused that crime. The James Bulgar case proves that forensics have changed since then. Two ten year old boys killed a four year old toddler but were caught very quickly due to a lot of evidence. The boys were seen on CCTV cameras with the young boy and the fingerprints that were at the seen of the crime were tested and matched the two young boys. The equipment of today could tell the exact time that James was killed and how the wounds were caused on his body. They were both found guilty and held at Her Majesty's Pleasure. This was due to the evidence they had. In comparison to Mary and Norma Bells case the scientific equipment has developed so much since the 1960's that criminals of today would have a hard chance not being caught. Samantha Stimpson 1 ...read more.

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