Martin Brown and Mary Bell In the summer of 1968, amidst the scenic expanse of Scotswood, a community situated to the north of London in England, the lifeless body of Martin Brown was discovered within the confines of a boarded-up, condemned house. Blood and saliva gently traced their way down his cheek, leaving a somber trail.
Initially devoid of evident signs of violence, the authorities, in the face of this heartrending incident involving a four-year-old, surmised his death to be a grievous accident.
Another Innocent Soul: Brian Howe A few weeks later, the lifeless form of three-year-old Brian Howe was unearthed in an industrial area where the local children often frolicked. Strangely, he bore various peculiar injuries, including puncture marks upon his thigh, partially mutilated genitalia, and patches of missing hair.
Subsequently, a new discovery emerged on his abdomen—an eerie marking resembling the letter “M,” etched onto his skin as if someone had attempted to etch it with a razor blade. Broken scissors lay nearby, in silent testimony.
The Curious Conduct of Mary Bell The community succumbed to panic, and the authorities embarked upon a fervent quest for answers. All the children residing in the vicinity were subjected to intense interrogation. Two youngsters, in particular, exhibited profoundly perplexing behavior.
Norma Bell, a thirteen-year-old, seemed inexplicably thrilled by the tragic incident, her countenance marked by an unrelenting smile that persisted throughout the questioning, as if the entire ordeal were naught but a colossal jest.
Eleven-year-old Mary Bell, too, displayed peculiar tendencies and evasiveness. Despite sharing a surname, Mary and Norma were not related.
As the police inquiry gained momentum, Mary’s behavior continued to deviate from the norm. On one occasion, she alleged having witnessed another eight-year-old boy in the company of Brian on the day of the latter’s demise. According to her account, the boy assailed Brian, toying with a pair of scissors at one juncture.
However, Mary’s tale ultimately unraveled, as the supposed boy provided an alibi, placing him at the airport during the fateful afternoon of Brian’s murder. Curiously, by alluding to the presence of scissors—a detail withheld from the public—Mary inadvertently implicated herself.
To the discerning eyes of the authorities, it gradually became evident that either one or both of the girls were entwined in the heinous crime. On the day of Brian Howe’s interment, a detective, witnessing Mary stationed outside the Howe family’s residence, was stricken with horror. He observed Mary’s callous gaze fixed upon the emergence of the coffin, her laughter resonating in the air as her hands gleefully intermingled. It was a chilling sight, prompting the detective to recognize the pressing need for immediate action, lest another innocent child meet a tragic fate.
Driven by this imperative, he summoned Norma Bell, Mary’s companion, for further questioning, prior to Brian’s funeral. What transpired during this interrogation left the police astounded.