Jesse Pomeroy claimed to have killed 27 people in his 14 years of life, and was left in solitary confinement for 41 years.
"Murder isn't that bad, we all die sometime anyway." -- Mary Bell to one of her guards
Mary Flora Bell was born on 26 May 1957 to a prostitute mother. From the age of four she was repeatedly forced, by her mother, to engage in sexual acts with men. This is no excuse for what she did when she was a little older, but it could perhaps be one of the reasons for her psychopathic behaviour.
The day before Mary turned 11; she took four year old Martin Brown into an old, derelict house, and strangled him to death. It was 25 May, 1968. Two boys found his body, and when the police turned up, they assumed the death was attributed to Martin consuming the discarded bottle of pills found nearby. The case was closed.
Just over two months later, on 31 July, 1968, Mary and a friend named Norma abducted three year old Brian Howe. They took to him to a wasteland in Scotswood and strangled him, before leaving the scene. Mary returned later on with scissors and a razor. She groomed him by cutting his hair, scratched and punctured his legs, and mutilated his penis. She also took the razor and carved an M into his stomach. Mary later said: "Brian Howe had no mother, so he won't be missed.
Both Mary and Norma were charged with two counts of manslaughter in August 1968. The trial was sensationalised and was all over the news in the United Kingdom. Norma was acquitted on both counts of manslaughter, but Mary was found guilty of “Manslaughter because of Diminished Responsibility” in both Martin and Brian’s death. She was sentenced to “Detention for Life”. She cried as her sentence was read out.
At the completion of the trial, Mary’s mother sold her story to whoever would pay for it. Mary was released from prison on 14 May 1980, at the age of 23. She gave birth to a daughter in 1984, and successfully won a High Court battle in 2003 to have her anonymity and that of her daughter, protected for life.
“I suppose I did” -- Jesse Pomeroy when asked if he killed four year old Horace Mullen.
Jesse Harding Pomeroy was the youngest person ever convicted of ‘Murder in the First Degree’ in the history of Massachusetts. At the age of 12 he was arrested for brutally mutilating seven boys – all of whom survived. Two years later he was arrested for two counts of murder.
Jesse was born on 29 November, 1859, and was raised by his widowed mother, who worked as a dressmaker. He suffered bullying as a child due to some striking physical abnormalities, they being a bad hair lip and one eye which was completely white. He was also said to have suffered from mild retardation.
When Jesse turned 11, he started bullying others, and taking it to a new level. He would take small children into the woods and would demand they take their clothes of. He would tie them up and beat them, poking them with sharp objects, cutting them etc. After hurting seven kids, he was arrested and sent to the West Borough Reform School. A year and a half later he was released, due to good behaviour. It seems that he formulated a better plan while he was in Reform School, which was basically that he couldn’t get into trouble with the police if the kids he hurt were dead.
Ten year old Mary Curren disappeared in March 1874. She disappeared without a trace, and the police had no leads.
When his body was found, Jesse’s name, as having a record as a child torturer, was at the top of the list. Jesse was 14 at that time. The police found a bloodstained knife in his trousers. While Jesse was locked up in preparation for trial, his mother moved house, to escape the press and censoring of her neighbours. Once she had vacated, the landlord decided to renovate. The basement was dug up, and the body of the missing Mary Curren was found.
When police asked Jesse about her body, he admitted to killing her, as well as 27 others, 12 of which he claimed he buried around his mother’s house.
At the trial, Jesse was found guilty of the two original murders, and despite the fact that he was a 14 year old boy with mild mental retardation, he was sentenced to death. This sentence was then reduced to life in prison, and he was to be kept in solitary confinement for the rest of his life.
Jesse spent 41 years in solitary confinement. He tried to kill himself many times, with no success. And he tried to escape repeatedly. He was finally moved to an asylum, and was permitted to mix with other inmates when he was 70. He died in the asylum only two years later in 1932, at age 72.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2014