In December 1968, Mary Bell age 11, was apprehended for suffocating Martin and Brian Howe, three, in Newcastle. Martin was found strangled to death in a rundown house. Once she was apprehended stated that “she strangled her 4-year-old victim to death solely for the pleasure and excitement of killing.” A few months later, 3-year-old Brian Howe suffered the same fate.
Two girls were charged with the killings of the young children, but eventually authorities settled on Mary Bell, who already had a history of attacking other children. Bell was released from prison in 1980 under a new identity; she later won a court ruling to protect her anonymity as well as her daughter and grandchildren.