Mary Ann The First Serial Killer In England

A woman named Mary Ann Cotton was believed to be the first British serial killer. In carrying out her action, she was believed using arsenic to kill 21 people including her 11 children and 3 husbands. Mary was hanged in March 1873 in Durham after being found guilty of murdering her stepson but she is believed to kill more of his family and relatives. Mary Ann married first in 1852 with William Mowbray when she was 20 years old. Several decades later, she moved to another place and a number of traces of family members that she killed. Her crime was revealed after the suspicion arose when she killed her seven-year-old stepson from her fourth husband, Frederick Cotton.

Mary Ann Cotton the First Serial Killer in England
Mary Ann Cotton 

When Mary Ann and Mowbray, her first husband moved back to North East England, they had two daughters and two sons but only one of them survived. In 1865, Mowbray died due to an intestinal disorder. Then, Mary Ann collected insurance for his death and their son. Shortly after Mowbray’s death, Mary Ann married husband number two, George Ward in 1865. Then, Ward died one year later after a long illness and showed signs of intestinal problems. Mary Ann also collected an insurance payout for Ward.

The third husband, James Robinson was the only husband to survive. Marry Ann entered Robinson’s house as a housekeeper then married him. After their son died of a gastric disease and at that time Mary Ann’s mother also died due to the stomach pains. Soon, Mary Ann had given birth to two children with Robinson but their first daughter then died only for months. Robinson became suspicious of his wife that took insurance in his life. He threw her out of the house.

She managed to find a fourth husband, Frederick Cotton. Not long, Frederick soon died of gastric fever. Mary Ann was able to enact an insurance policy in her life. Mary Ann crime revealed because of the murder of Cotton’s son Charles Edward. People then were suspicious. This death was investigated and arsenic was found in Charles Edward’s system. Mary Ann was quickly sent to trial for the murders of her husbands and children. Only two of Mary Ann’s children had managed to survive, George who stayed with James Robinson, and Margaret Edith who was born while Mary Ann was in prison awaiting execution.

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