Born Evil?

The Tragic Case of Mary Bell

A. Grace
4 min readAug 19, 2021


Photo by Tommy van Kessel 🤙 on Unsplash

What Happened to Martin Brown?

On May 25th, 1968, a child’s dead body was found in a derelict house by a group of boys, who notified the authorities. The boys were followed back into the building by two little girls, who had to be shooed out by police. They noticed no outward signs of trauma and an empty bottle of pills lying near the body during their investigation. The boy’s death was deemed accidental.

His name was Martin Brown, and he was just four years old at his time of death. His family held a service for him in their home. While grieving, they heard a knock at the door, which Martin’s mother answered.

A little girl stood in front of her, with a heart-shaped face and shiny, black hair. She smiled and asked if she could see Martin in his coffin. This same little girl reportedly laughed at the boy’s funeral.

Her name was Mary Bell.

Born on May 26th, 1957, to Betty McCrickett, Mary was just one day away from her 11th birthday when Martin died. Both children lived in the Scotswood district in Newcastle upon the Tyne in the United Kingdom. Her mother worked as a prostitute to make ends meet and was often traveling to see clients.

Mary was frequently in trouble at school and had a history of attacking other children. She once assaulted other girls in a sandbox and attempted to strangle them. No charges were pressed at the time.

A History of Abuse

Mary’s behavior appears now to have been learned from her mother. She has stated that McCrickett would hold her by her neck and allow clients to sexually assault her, starting at a young age. She fainted several times from this abuse.

McCrickett also allegedly attempted to kill Mary repeatedly by throwing her out the window, forcing her to eat sleeping pills, and choking her. Mary’s older sister had to retrieve Mary from an unstable woman after McCrickett sold the girl. So, this little girl, hurt beyond measure, learned to harm others.

The Death of Brian Howe

Shortly after Martin died, police were alerted to a break-in at the nursery school. Upon investigating, they found…



A. Grace

Grace writes fiction & articles on various topics in the western U.S. She is also a photographer, dog mom, and nature lover! Buy her a coffee: