Health: Parenting and Kids That Kill Without Conscience

Health: Parenting and Kids That Kill Without Conscience

These kids are creepy, although some were motivated by abuse.

Parenting can be challenging at times, but never a burden. Many of us want to believe children are born innocent. They only want to be loved and believed in. In 1962, the French historian Aries stated that while children are “present in all cultures their presence has been and still is differently regarded.

Mary Bell and Norma Joyce Bell (No relation)


On 17th December 1968 Norma Bell aged 13 and Mary Bell aged 11 (unrelated) stood before Judge and Jury at Newcastle Assizes awaiting their verdicts for the murders of 4-year-old Martin Brown and 3-year-old Brian Howe. Before entering the courtroom, Mary had asked the policewoman escorting her, the meaning of the word “immature”. Upon receiving the policewoman’s definition, Mary then posed a second question to which the policewoman did not answer: “would that mean if I was more intelligent id get all the blame?” From the policewoman’s silence, Mary then posed a third question as she entered the courtroom: “what would be the worst that could happen to me? Would they hang me?”

Mary Bell came from a dysfunctional family. Her father, Billy Bell, was a petty criminal who was always in trouble with the law. Away from home most of the time, he often left his daughter with relatives or acquaintances. Bell married her mother when Mary was a baby, but evidence gathered by Gitta Sereny suggests he met her after Mary was born. Betty Bell (née McCrickett), was working as a prostitute specializing in sadomasochism, a BDSM dominatrix who often sold her daughter to clients.

As Mary grew she exhibited signs of rage. She tortured animals and offered children on the playground a ‘massage’ – a strangulation, suggesting that perhaps her mother suffocated and then revived her daughter during prostitution sessions.

Independent accounts family members claimed that Betty had ventured to kill Mary during the first few years of her life and make her death look accidental. Occasions such as when Mary Bell ‘fell’ from a window and ‘accidentally’ took great amounts of sleeping pills alarmed the relatives. On one such occasion, an independent witness saw Betty giving the pills to her daughter as sweets. Mary herself says she was subjected to repeated sexual abuse, her mother forcing her from the age of four to engage in sexual acts with men.

On 25 May 1968, the day before her 11th birthday, Mary Bell strangled 4 year old Martin Brown in a derelict house. She was believed to have committed this crime alone. Four days later Mary Bell appeared at the Brown’s residence asking to see Martin.“Oh, I know he’s dead. I wanted to see him in his coffin” said Mary Bell when Martin’s mother explained her son was dead.

May 26, 1968. Norma Bell’s father caught Mary choking his daughter. He stepped in, slapped her face and sent her home. Later that day a local nursery school was vandalized, school supplies and cleaning materials were splattered on the floor – Mary and Norma Bell (no relation) had broken in, leaving disturbing notes that claimed responsibility for the killing. The police dismissed this incident as a prank.

The disturbing notes left behind, claiming responsibility for killing Martin Brown.

The notes read: “Fuck of, we murder, watch out, Fanny and Faggot,” and “We did murder Martain brown, fuck of you Bastard.” Police dismissed this incident as a prank.

On 31 July 1968, Mary with a female accomplice her friend Norma Joyce Bell took part in the death, again by strangulation, of 3 year old Brian Howe, in a wasteland in the same Scotswood area. Both of the girls, Mary and Norma, were at the scene when the murder took place. Mary accused Norma of making the cuts on the boy’s body with a razor blade. Police assumed that Mary Bell had later returned to his body to cut an “N” into his stomach with a razor, but it was later changed to an “M”. Part of his hair was cut and his penis was mutilated with a razor blade.  As the girls were so young and their testimonies contradicted each other, the precise details of what happened have never been entirely clear.

Mary wanted Brian’s brother Pat to discover the body to see the shock on his face, but was unable to make the arrangement. Instead, the Newcastle Police would find his body later that night.

“Brian Howe had no mother, so he won’t be missed.”

The disturbing statement made by Mary Bell when investigators asked her why she had killed Brian Howe.

Victims of Mary Bell: Brian Howe (left) and Martin Brown (right).

An open verdict had originally been recorded for Brown’s death as there was no evidence of foul play – although Bell had strangled him, her grip was not hard enough to leave any marks.Eventually, his death was linked with Howe’s killing and in August 1968 the two girls were charged with two counts of manslaughter.

On 17 December 1968, Norma was acquitted by the court while Mary Bell was convicted. Mary would have been one of those young serial killers who would continue to kill as they grow older, but due to her incarceration she never got that far. At the age of 23 she was released and took on a new name when she was granted anonymity. Bell had a daughter after her release and as of 2007 it is reported that she is now a grandmother.

Mary Bell was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Despite this, psychiatrists described Mary Bell as someone with ‘classic symptoms of psychopathy’ and ‘intelligent, manipulative and dangerous.’ At her trial the judge said: ‘This girl is dangerous, and therefore, steps must be taken to protect other people’ and sent her to Red Bank secure unit – the same facility that housed Jon Venables, another notorious child killer.

Life after prison – Where is Mary Bell now?

Circa 1980

Mary Bell served 12 years. When released at the age of 23 she was granted a new identity and anonymity by the government, allowing her to start a new life with a new name.

Four years later she had a daughter, who had no idea about her mother’s dark past until their location was discovered by tabloid reporters in 1998, forcing them to leave the house with bed sheets covering their heads. After the incident, Mary Bell’s daughter was also granted anonymity by the government. (wikipedia /



Cindy Collier & Shirley Wolf

Collier and Wolf were a Devious Duo with Murderous Minds

Cindy Lee Collier 15, and Shirley Katherine Wolf 14, as “baby-faced killers,” due in part to their physical appearance and their ages. These were taken before the murders. What also makes this story remarkable is that the two girls would eventually be released after they brutally murdered Anna Brackett, an 85-year-old grandmother in her home in Auburn, California. Sometimes there is no justice

June 14 1983 – Auburn – California. Collier wasn’t a nice kid. Total strangers feared her and tried to avoid her. Collier’s fierce brown eyes radiate hostility and a barely suppressed rage that exploded often enough to have earned her a reputation as “assaultive” among wary Juvenile Hall staffers who have known her since she was 12. Her arrest history included charges of burglary, theft, assault and drug use. Collier’s past had been frightful. Collier had been abused and raped before she was 10 years old. She hated people and she wanted to take her suffering out on others. As a student in Auburn’s Chana High, Collier was given a wide berth. “Cindy was one of those girls that nobody would mess with,” stated classmate David Silva, 17, who shared two classes with her. “If she didn’t like somebody, she’d yell at them and push them around.” At 5’9″ and nearing 140 pounds, Collier backed up her verbal threats with a menacing physical presence. “I remember a fight down my street last year when she ripped this girl’s blouse off,” statedTerri, 16, a former neighbor. Well known to police she committed petty crimes and finally automobile theft. Her crimes got worse and worse.

While spending time in juvenile detention Collier met Wolf. Wolf was also scarred from physical and sexual abuse. While still a little girl, her father was the nightmare of Shirley Wolf’s life. Sexually abused from infancy by her father, Louis Wolf, and occasionally by her paternal grandfather and uncle as well, Wolf’s disruptive behavior drew the attention of an alert teacher as early as kindergarten. But the teacher’s recommendation of psychiatric help was ignored and Wolf ran away for the first time when she was 6. The mean streets of Brooklyn, where she was born, seemed even more terrifying than staying at home, and she returned within the day. “It was really rough in Brooklyn,” Wolf stated. “A lot of people, even kindergartners, carry knives.”

According to court records, when Wolf was 9, her father sent her mother, Katherine, 33, on an errand one morning and locked her three younger brothers out of the house. Then he raped Wolf in the bathroom. “I was really scared,” Wolf recalled. “I was really frightened to lose my virginity, plus my honor and my pride. That’s something I don’t forgive my dad for.” The abuse continued, sometimes as often as three times a day and Wolf”s father obtained birth control pills for her when she reached puberty. Finally Wolf told her mother who admitted she’d suspected it ever since she found her husband abusing Wolf when the child was only 3.

After her father’s conviction for sexual molestation Wolf lived in a series of foster homes. She repeatedly ran away, begged to go home and began fighting in school. “You get to the point where you’re pushed in a corner and I just came back fighting,” she explains. “I want to go home. I forgive my father and I try to forget it. He’s apologized to me, my family and to God.”

Within hours of meeting Wolf and Collier planned a life together.  Both girls were filled with rage. Each girl saw herself in the other. Collier told Wolf they needed to escape juvie and that they needed a car. She also told Wolf they needed someone old and infirm, who was unable to fight. Collier explained they would have to kill their victim so she or he wouldn’t report them to the police. Wolf simply agreed and followed along. Already they had decided to kill a stranger.

In a childish attempt to disguise themselves the girls dyed their hair. They were gleeful as they went on the hunt for a perfect victim. They went to Auburn Greens, Collier’s old place of residence. No one allowed the girls into their homes. After several failed attempts they found their victim in Anna Brackett. The girls asked to use the phone and Brackett agreed. The girls sat and chatted with Brackett for an hour working up the courage to murder the old woman. Brackett went to answer the phone and Collier grabbed a knife, tossing it to Wolf who stabbed Brackett several times. The knife could have hit bone. The experience would have been agonizing.

I stabbed and stabbed,” recalls Wolf. “I stabbed her in the neck because if she lived, she would know who we are and report us. The lady was freaking me out, telling me to stop, that she was dying, I said: ‘Good.’ All of a sudden, blood came out of her mouth so I knew she was dead.” All of the girls’ anger at their abusive childhoods was directed against Anna Brackett. Before leaving, Collier ransacked the condo for money and keys to the 1970 Dodge parked in the garage and then ripped the two telephones from the wall. The keys they had taken wouldn’t start the car. So they fled on foot to nearby Highway 49. In a strange twist of fate, Carl Brackett, 52, passed them en route to his mother’s home, and said to his wife: “They’re stupid. Two young girls like that hitchhiking. Or else they’re tough.” The photograph above is of two actresses portraying Collier and Wolf in a drama-documentary.

Brackett’s son found his dead mother. When he discovered his mother’s body with 28 stab wounds only minutes later, he suspected that a deranged patient from a nearby mental hospital might have done it. “There’s a scene in the movie Psycho equivalent to what happened to my mother,” he explained. “I never could have imagined that two teenage girls could have done it.” Soon police arrived on the scene and after questioning neighbours found eye and ear witnesses wet to Collier’s home. Meanwhile Collier wrote in her journal that “we killed an old lady today and it was fun.” The police separated the two girls to question them. Wolf immediately admitted to the murder.

After tape-recording Wolf’s confession, deputies confronted Collier. “She started to laugh,” said Coelho. Then she recorded her own confession. “To honestly tell you the truth, we didn’t feel any badness,” said Collier. “Then after we did it, we wanted to do another one. We just wanted to kill someone. Just for fun.” In her own confession, Wolf admitted elation: “We both felt excited. I had done something I had never done before.”  She was so familiar with the arrest process that when she was charged with murder she recited the Miranda warning before the deputy could read it.

“I have tried to kill myself before and all it did was bring frustrations. So I take it out on others. I don’t like them because they probably think they’re better than I am. I don’t want them around. I want them to pay.” Collier told authorities that she so deeply resented anyone who appeared to have a normal, decent life that she would attack them. “I’ve hurt people, I’ve stabbed people, I’ve shot people,” bragged Collier, though police doubt that the latter is true. “I’ve thrown people off the Auburn Dam.”

July 1983 – a juvenile court found the two girls guilty of murder. For their part, the girls were proud of their actions. They wanted credit for it in the news and they got it – even People Magazinepublished an article about the gruesome murder. Under California state law, the teens received the maximum imprisonment for underage girls: incarceration until the age of 25.

Collier spent a total of nine years at the California Youth Authority facility in Ventura. After obtaining her junior college degree, she went on to study law at the institution atPepperdine University School of Law.  She was paroled on August 20, 1992. Since then, she has had no further encounters with the law. She has four children and lives in northern California.

On June 1, 1991, Wolf was transferred to the Central California Women’s Facilitynear Chowchilla, in the heart of the spreading Central Valley.  Wolf made sporadic attempts to recreate herself, including completing her high school education and turning to God. Yet her life remained fraught with the kind of chaos, bitterness, and anger that typified her history.Through it all, she remained profoundly alone. Since 1988, despite repeated attempts to contact her family by mail, she received nothing but silence. In  the summer of 1992, Wolf tracked down her parents’ last known telephone number in thePacific Northwest town to which Louis Wolf had fled with his family seven years earlier and for the first time in four years she spoke with her father.

From their conversations over the next few weeks, she learned that her mother walked out some months before, leaving her three sons behind with Lou. When every question about her favorite brother L.J.  was met with either evasiveness or silence from her father and the other two boys, Wolf suspected the worst. Subsequent research, however, turned up no record of his death, disappearance, or imprisonment. Less than two months after that first reunion call to her father, Wolf’s father inexplicably stopped accepting telephone calls from his daughter. Once again, Wolf found herself estranged and abandoned. Finally, on June 30, 1995, 12 years and 16 days after the slaying of Anna Brackett, Wolf was freed from prison.

While she was arrested several times for miscellaneous crimes since her release, for the past few years she has been making every attempt to turn her life around.  She said that while she wishes she could undo the damage she and Collier perpetrated, she knows there is no going back. In looking forward, however, she stated that she has chosen to live as a kind and caring person, noting that “the little lost girl has found her way“. Now in her mid-forties, Wolf spent nearly a third of her life locked behind prison walls.

Collier and Wolf are both free to live their lives. Anna Brackett is not.




Brian Mark Blackwell- narcissistic personality disorder

Sydney and Jacqueline with Brian

Born in 1986,  Brian Blackwell the pride of retired accountant  Sydney Blackwell, 72 and Jacqueline Blackwell, 61, an antiques dealer,  murdered his parents on July 25, 2004 at their £350,000 bungalow in the affluent village of Melling, Merseyside, a village in the northern suburbs of Liverpool, England.

Medical experts have since diagnosed Brian as having narcissistic personality disorder, which is characterized by extreme feelings of self-importance, a high need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.  His family nicknamed him “The Determined Wolf” and “Brains” due to his exceptional academic success. He was seen as a gentle boy but a bit of a loner, but well-liked. He was very intelligent and achieved significant academic success at school.

Brian’s mother had the unusual habit of bathing her teenage son.  She even dressed her son in the morning. It was very important to Jacqueline, a narcissistic mother, that Blackwell continue the image of a “perfect son.” To that end, she refused to allow him to have friends. He was usually at home studying, even on weekends. When it came time for Brian to leave home for college, his father refused to allow him to attend the college of his choice. Instead, Sydney made a few phone calls and had his son transferred to a college that was closer to home. Sometimes Brian returned for visits, presumably at Jacqueline’s command. While there, she returned to bathing her son and trying to keep him as an infant.  Her constant smothering caused Brian to build a fantasy of unlimited success, power and brilliance in his head in to which he retreated to escape his mother’s constant control.

Brian created a web of lies about his life, including claiming he was a professional tennis player on the collage circuit and as a result, would soon be coming into a considerable fortune  and funded his fantasies by applying for 13 credit cards in his father’s name.

While at college, Blackwell met sweet, charming Amal Sabba. Amal fell for Blackwell’s bull hook, line and sinker. She had no idea she was dating a sociopath. Blackwell used his father’s credit to buy her a shiny, new car. He also booked and paid for a vacation for the two to NYC.

While he was at home Sydney questioned his son about the frauds he had committed that Blackwell flew into a rage, bludgeoned his parents to death in July 5, 2004 with a claw hammer and a kitchen knife. He told the Liverpool Crown Court at his 2005 trial that he became enraged when his parents expressed concern about his extravagant spending and tried to stop him from travelling to the US with his then-girlfriend.

The next day, Brian and his girlfriend,  Amal Saba, who was unaware of the violent crime Brian had just committed, went on a lavish holiday in America as originally planned. He embarked on a huge spending spree amounting to £30,000, including £2,200 on a three-night stay in the Presidential Suite of the Plaza Hotel in New York. Upon returning to Liverpool in mid-August, Blackwell stayed at his girlfriend’s house for the next several weeks under the pretense that he was locked out of his parents’ house while they were on holiday in Spain.

When he returned home, Brian discovered he had passed four A-levels – all grade As – and gained a place to study medicine at Nottingham University.

But on Sunday, 5 September 2004 six weeks after they were killed, the police discovered the decomposing bodies of Blackwell’s parents after a neighbour called to report a strong, unusual odor coming from the property. The injuries from the attacks were so severe that investigators initially thought they were gun shot wounds. Hours after the grim discovery, detectives arrested Blackwell, and charged with two counts of murder.He denied the charges during initial interviews and hearings and was remanded into custody without bail until trial.

Amal claimed he gave no hint as to what he had done to his parents and seemed very happy during their time together.

When questioned by police about the murders, Brian claimed he knew nothing of his parents’ deaths and was on holiday in New York City when they were murdered. After two days of questioning, Brian’s story began to change. He confessed to the murders and claimed that he acted in self-defense. According to Brian, he was holding a claw hammer for hanging a picture on the wall when his father stood up to hit him. Investigators learned that Brian’s father was struck on the back of the head while sitting down, which conflicted with Brian’s claim of self-defense. He stabbed Sydney 23 times. Afterwards, according to Brian,  rather than calling police, his mother ran into the kitchen and emerged with a knife to turn on him. Brianl wrestled it away from her and stabbed her  approximately 30 times to death. Brian dragged her by the heels into a bathroom and left the corpse there, perhaps symbolic of his humiliation by his mother’s forced bathing rituals.  .

Moments before being sentenced, Brian instructed his barrister to read a letter expressing his sorrow for his parents’ death.

He wrote: “Given my track record for deception and pretence, I imagine the court will not appreciate these heartfelt words in the context they are intended. I deeply regret my actions. It was truly a wretched and deplorable crime.

“Every moment of every day I wish I could turn back the hands of time. I eternally long to be a little boy again at a time when everyone really loved each other, when we could have a happy time and be a family once more. I miss them more than anything in the world. I can only hope that in the future their big son can still make them proud. I am aware that I will be severely punished for what I believe to be the worst crime imaginable. I cannot block out what happened for ever and… the time will come when I will remember the events in their entirety.

“The true test will be whether I can live with myself, knowing what I have done. The guilt will punish and haunt me for 24 hours a day for the rest of my life. I am genuinely sorry.”

The double murder charges was dropped after he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility after experts diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder. Blackwell was sentenced to life imprisonment on 29 June 2005. According to The Guardian, Blackwell could be eligible for parole after serving just over five and half years if a psychiatrist decided he was “fit for release”, but the judge stated that “present evidence suggests that that conclusion is unlikely ever to be reached.”  (wikipedia)



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