In December 1968, Mary Bell only age 11, was taken into custody. Mary was accused of suffocating two young boys, age three, named Martin and Brian Howe. Once she was in police custody Mary stated that “she strangled her 3-year-old victim to death solely for the pleasure and excitement of killing.” Martin was found in a run-down house strangled to death. Only a few months later, 3-year-old Brian Howe was also found strangled to death. Two young girls, including Mary, were charged with the killings of the young boys. Police settled on Mary Bell, because she already had a history of attacking other children. Mary was released from a prison in 1980 under a new identity; she later won a court ruling to protect her anonymity as well as her daughter and grandchildren.

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