Accepting that serial killers' actions are real can be hard. The brutal end to innocent lives is horrific, and the gruesome details can disturb even the sturdiest of stomachs. So, imagine how the parents of these killers feel when they learn the truth about their little kids... Some can accept it, but others can't believe it. Here are the world’s most notorious serial killers, and what their parents had to say.
Not Our Baby: The Shocking Reactions of Serial Killers' ParentsPublished 2 months ago
Since his death on May 12, 2018, the story of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen has received a resurgence in media attention. First came Des in 2020, a British TV adaptation starring David Tennant as the killer. Then there was the 2021 Netflix documentary Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes. Finally, in 2022, the BBC released a four-part true crime documentary titled The Nilsen Files.
Through these, and many other fictionalized and factual retellings, the world has sought to understand why Nilson strangled or drowned 15 young men between 1978 and 1983, something his mother has never managed to accomplish. Betty Scott, Nilson’s mom, has spent decades trying to get closure on the conundrum of her serial killer son.
After the incarceration of Dennis Nilson in 1983, Betty Scott sent dozens of letters to her son, but he never replied. Nilson, who seduced his victims before strangling them, spent days after each murder cleaning and dressing the bodies before cutting them up.
He was caught after moving to a top-floor apartment, hoping to curb his sinister urges by making disposal too difficult, and attempting to flush dismembered body parts down the toilet. "I would like to speak to him to see why he did this,” Nilson’s mom told Scottish television in 2001. “He was just nothing like what he has turned out to be... He never fought at school. He was never nasty to anybody."
If you believe his mom, Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, or “Trai” as he was better known, lived an incredible double life from October 9 to November 14, 2017. After her son was arrested on suspicion of four murders, Rosita Donaldson told investigators he "lived at home and was in every night by 5 pm.”
Even if this alibi had been true, it would only have cleared Trai Donaldson of one offense, his noon killing of Benjamin Mitchell on October 9. In truth, Donaldson had alternated between motel stays and sofa-surfing at the homes of friends and acquaintances during the fateful period in which he shot four people in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.
Benjamin Mitchell, who was shot and killed by Trai Donaldson as he waited at a bus stop, was apparently a random target. The same stood for Donaldson’s three other victims. Monica Hoffa was shot dead later at night while walking to a friend’s home while Anthony Naiboa’s fatal mistake was catching the wrong bus and finding himself walking unfamiliar streets on the evening of October 19.
Finally, 60-year-old Ronald Felton was shot in the back of the head just before 5 am. on November 14 as he walked towards his volunteer duties at a local food bank. “Our hearts go out to the families and the loss that they have," said Hal and Rosita Donaldson after their son was convicted.
"You’ll always be my precious son," said Eleanor Louise Bundy to her 42-year-old child on the day of his execution. Despite Ted Bundy’s convictions for three murders and his confession to 30, 20 of which were confirmed by evidence, his mother never believed for a moment he could be guilty of such crimes.
Bundy’s MO often involved luring victims with charm, then abducting, assaulting, and murdering them. Bundy's good looks and manipulative tactics allowed him to elude suspicion for some time, making him one of the most infamous serial killers in U.S. history.
Aside from the deliberate blindness of a mother’s love, Ted Bundy’s mom, like many of those who knew him, found it impossible to compare his acts with the intelligent and charming man he presented himself as. "Our never-ending faith in Ted - our faith that he is innocent - has never wavered,” said Eleanor Louise as her son faced the legal process that would ultimately result in his state-mandated death. “And it never will."
In contrast, the biographer Ann Rule called Ted "a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human's pain and the control he had over his victims to the point of death, and even after." He described himself as "the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet." This unwavering belief in their innocence highlights the profound impact of psychological manipulation and the lengths to which some can be deceived.
"I love that lad. I don't love him for what he's done, I love him for being who he is," said the father of Britain’s Peter Sutcliffe, a prolific serial killer who is more often referred to, grimly, as the Yorkshire Ripper. John Sutcliffe’s emotional words about his son followed another sentence which, when said by a father, brought home perfectly the gravity and deplorability of his crimes.
"He deserved to be hanged," John Sutcliffe said of his own son. Peter Sutcliffe brutally murdered at least 13 women between 1975 and 1981, he was convicted of assaulting seven more. For six years, women in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester lived in relentless fear.
After his conviction in 1981, Sutcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to HMP Parkhurst. He was later moved to the secure psychiatric hospital, Broadmoor, after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a condition he may have lived with since at least the mid-1960s. He eventually died in prison in November 2020.
To this day, Sutcliffe is one of Britain’s most infamous and reviled killers. Dr. David Holmes, a criminal psychologist described the former truck driver as an "extremely callous, sexually sadistic serial killer." Perhaps most chilling about Sutcliffe is the lack of compassion or remorse he displayed after being caught. "The women I killed were filth", he said. “I was just cleaning up the place a bit."
Female serial killers are rarer than their male counterparts, but they do exist. In 2013, a 31-year-old British woman shocked the world with a 10-day rampage which left three men dead and two more seriously injured. "I killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was,” Joanna Dennehy said afterward. ”Then it got more-ish."
Dennehy first killed Lukasz Slaboszewski, a man with whom she would drink and take drugs, between March 19 and 29, 2013, Then, on March 29, she murdered both Kevin Lee, a property developer who had become both her landlord and lover, and her housemate John Chapman. She later stabbed two men at random, but both survived.
By the time she committed her crimes, Dennehy was estranged from both her mother and her own two children. Kathleen Dennehy, Joanna’s mom, could not reconcile the child she had known with the remorseless killer in the news. “The girl that killed those people is not my daughter,” she said in an interview after Joanna’s arrest.
“My daughter’s that nice 16-year-old that never came home,” Kathleen Dennehy continued. “She was very sensitive. If she stood on a worm or something she would be really upset if it died - she used to take them to bed with her. So she was a loving girl.” In February 2014, Dennehy was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommended minimum term of 19 years. She was only the third woman in history to be given this sentence in the UK...
"I just don’t understand how Todd could do this,” said Regina Tague, the mother of Todd Kohlhepp. “He wasn’t a serial killer." The trouble is, he was, and he’d displayed tendencies for severe cruelty from a young age, and Regina knew it. "I knew something was wrong inside," she said of her son to psychologists regarding his anger and aggression toward other kids and the mistreatment of animals. Kohlhepp committed his first major crime as a teenager.
On November 25, 1986, he kidnapped Kristie Granado, a 14-year-old girl. After threatening her with a gun and taking her to his house, Kohlhepp tied Granado up, placed tape over her mouth, and raped her. After the attack, Kohlhepp walked his victim to her home and declared he would murder her family if she spoke about it.
Kohlhepp was ultimately convicted of the kidnapping and spent 14 years in jail. He was released into his mother’s care in August 2001. Still, two years later, he shot and killed four people at a motorcycle shop in South Carolina after he was reportedly mocked and made to feel embarrassed by the employees.
After a 12-year hiatus, Kohlhepp resumed killing. He murdered Johnny Coxie and Meagan McCraw-Coxie, who worked on his property, in quick succession. Meagan was held captive for a week before her death. Finally, Kohlhepp shot and killed Charles Carver before chaining up his girlfriend Kala Brown. Kohlhepp was caught when police tracked and rescued Brown. Forensic scientist Kris Mohandie said, "As a young child he was already out of control, already into gratifying his power and dominance needs, already comfortable hurting other people."
Echoing the sentiments of many other serial killers’ moms, Cathy Grieveson described her son, Steven, as "a really loving boy." She did, however, acknowledge his crimes and offer a measured response about how his upbringing may have affected his adult behavior. Most significant was the fact Steven had been removed from his home and placed in care at the age of 11.
“I felt bad when he was sent away, like I might not have brought him up properly,” Cathy Grieveson said in an interview after her son’s conviction. “It wasn't just him,” she admitted, “my oldest had also gone into care.” While living in the children’s home, Steven Grieveson became the victim of sexual abuse.
“I wasn't always there for them, because I used to go to the bingo and that,” Cathy Grieveson said plainly about how she raised her young boys. “There's no point lying because that's what I did.” Despite this, Cathy Grieveson was clear about where her responsibility ended. “I didn't turn him into a killer,” she stated, "I still love him. I could never turn against him."
Steven Grieveson murdered four teenage boys in northeast England between 1990 and 1994. Due to his method of killing, he was dubbed the Sunderland Strangler by the British press. Grieveson is currently serving four life sentences with a minimum term of 35 years before the UK Home Secretary will be allowed to consider his release. It was also ascertained at this first trial, that Grieveson murdered the three boys to hide evidence of his homosexuality.
"How can I tell you it doesn't hurt?” said Julian Ramirez, father of the “Night Stalker” to the Los Angeles Times. “We haven't been in contact, but he's still my son." One of the world’s most notorious killers, Richard Ramirez killed at least 13 people between 1984 and 1985. He also sexually assaulted 11 victims and burgled 14 homes.
Despite their strained relationship, the instinct of Julian Ramirez was to stand by his son. ”In my heart, I can't believe he would have arrived at that,” the killer's dad said. ”But if the authorities there have proof, what can we do?" Julian Ramirez also pointed the finger of blame towards the drugs his son habitually used.
"I believe the marijuana he's been smoking put him out of control,” was Julian Ramirez’s insight into his son’s serial murders. What he didn’t mention is that Richard Ramirez had suffered several head injuries as a child and had been shown pictures of disturbing war crimes by an older cousin.
Ramirez’s MO was to break into homes before attacking and killing the occupants. After terrorizing Los Angeles from April 10, 1984, to August 24, 1985, he was apprehended and beaten by local residents. He was then arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death. Ultimately, however, Ramirez was never executed. He died from complications relating to B-cell lymphoma in 2013, aged 53.
“The only signs I saw was shyness and reluctance to engage in social interactions” said Lionel Dahmer to Oprah Winfrey after his son’s conviction for 16 first-degree murders. “But really no overt signs of any kind.” Jeffrey Dahmer, sometimes known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, seduced, assaulted, tortured, and killed at least 17 men between 1978 and 1991.
Joyce Flint, Jeffrey Dahmer’s mom, told MSNBC that her son, who both ate and performed sexual acts on parts of his victim’s dead bodies, "was a normal young boy." The courts disagreed and, in 1991, Dahmer was sentenced to 941 years in prison. He was killed by a fellow inmate on November 28, 1994.
In A Father's Story, a memoir written by Lionel Dahmer and published in 1994, Jeffrey’s father claimed to have no knowledge of his son’s actions until they were laid bare during his trial. His mother, a certified therapist, kept her love for her son: "He's not a monster. He's a human being, and I think he needs some help."
The victims of the Milwaukee Cannibal ranged from 14 to 32 years old. He had attempted to place at least four of them into a permanently passive state via a kind of DIY lobotomy. He failed each time, killing the subject. Dahmer was captured after a final intended victim, Tracy Edwards, became suspicious, escaped, and alerted the authorities.
“They were here when I arrived” was the effective defense of Harrison "Marty" Graham in August 1986 after being evicted from his apartment due to an unpleasant odor spreading through the building. This might have worked if he was talking about old socks, out-of-date food, or even dead rats, but he wasn’t.
What the authorities had found in Graham’s home were the rotting corpses of seven women. Some had been dead so long they were almost skeletons, others had died much more recently. When his initial claim went unbelieved, Graham then stated he had "accidentally" strangled all seven during consensual sexual acts during which both parties were intoxicated.
Cynthia Brooks, Valerie Jamison, Mary Mathis, Barbara Mahoney, Robin DeShazor, Sandra Garvin, and Patricia Franklin were aged between 22 and 36 when they met their end at the hands of Graham in 1986. Even after his conviction, his mom was unable to accept her son could have performed such acts.
"I don’t think you should take his life,” Lillian Graham Jeter said to Judge Robert Latrone in the courtroom. “He didn’t kill those people. The real murderer is still out there. I’m asking you to listen to your heart." "I don’t want to appear heartless, but I have determined his guilt,” Judge Latrone responded. Graham was, at first, sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to life in prison.
When imagining the world's notorious serial killers, youth and innocence aren't the first thoughts. Yet, every killer began as an innocent child, making their path to ruthlessness intriguing. From the most notorious killers like Charles Manson and Ted Bundy to the lesser known ones like Andrei Chikatilo (a.k.a, the 'Butcher of Rustov'), let's examine how they evolved from childhood to the most defining and treacherous criminals in history.
Even as a child, the serial killer who would come to be known as the "Killer Clown" had a slightly unsettling expression. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1942, Gacy grew up in an abusive household. According to his sister, Gacy became so accustomed to being beaten by his father that he learned to take his punishment without crying.
During adolescence, he began to struggle with his sexuality, realizing that he was attracted to men. As a young man, Gacy gained popularity as a self-made building contractor. During this time, he also dressed up as "Pogo the Clown" and performed at children's parties. Under this guise, he would lure young boys in with the promise of construction work, only to capture, sexually assault, and murder them. He would go on to murder at least 33 boys throughout the 1970s before being apprehended and executed by lethal injection in 1994.
Born to a single mother and an unidentified father, this serial killer lived with his grandparents in Philadelphia for much of his childhood. While he spoke warmly about his grandparents, Ted Bundy also admitted that his grandmother suffered from depression while his grandfather was abusive towards her as well as the family dog and other animals.
Bundy's upbringing left a mark on his actions. His aunt Julia remembers waking up to a young Bundy standing beside her bed, surrounded by knives. This early disturbance foreshadowed his later behavior: assaulting and killing young women, desecrating their bodies. Between 1974 and 1979, he killed at least 30 women. Despite arrests and escapes, justice caught up with him in February 1978, leading to his execution by electric chair in 1989.
Known as the BTK ("bind, torture, kill") Killer, Dennis Rader was born in Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1945. Although he had a normal childhood, he did have some disturbing pastimes, such as hanging stray animals. Rader later developed torture fantasies and seemed fixated on sexual fetishes related to women, such as wearing their clothing.
After joining the U.S. Air Force and marrying in 1971, he started a long tenure in the ADT Security Services. In 1974, he began his murder spree killing 10 people between 1974 and 1991. Rader revealed at a later stage that murdering people sexually pleased him. The BTK Killer was finally brought to justice in 2005, pleading guilty to all 10 charges of first-degree murder. When speaking about the day that Rader was finally arrested, his daughter recalls, "We were living our normal life. ... Then everything upended on us."
This cold-blooded killer underwent a series of physical injuries throughout his childhood. At the age of two years old, Richard Ramirez required 30 stitches in his head due to a dresser falling on top of him. After being knocked unconscious by a park swing at the age of five, Ramirez then endured several epileptic seizures up until his early teens.
Clearly damaged from his childhood injuries (although this is no excuse for his behavior), Ramirez went on a killing spree throughout 1984 and 1985, murdering 14 people with a range of deadly weapons, including handguns, a hammer, and a machete. He even declared himself to be a Satanist. Ramirez died in 2013 from complications from B-cell lymphoma while awaiting his execution.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jeffrey Dahmer led a disturbing childhood particularly after undergoing surgery to correct a double hernia that seemed to cause a change in his behavior when he was four. Supposedly fascinated by how animals "fit together", Dahmer would dismember animal carcasses, even impaling a dog's head on a stake.
Dahmer's father remarked on how his son would get excited by the sound of bones breaking. At the age of 14, Dahmer's thirst for necrophilia and murder was truly unleashed following his parents' divorce. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer went on to seduce, sexually assault, and murder 17 men, even dismembering them and keeping some of their body parts as souvenirs. He was finally apprehended in 1991. Sentenced to 15 life sentences, Dahmer was murdered by a fellow prison inmate in 1994.
Known as the "Son of Sam" and the ".44 Caliber Killer", David Berkowitz was raised by Pearl and Nathan Berkowitz of the Bronx after his birth mother gave him away. Described as a troubled child and a bully, Berkowitz showed no interest in learning, instead becoming fascinated by larceny and arson.
The fact that his adoptive mother died when he was 14 years old only worsened his behavior. In the mid-1970s, Berkowitz began his crime spree, committing multiple shooting and stabbing attacks throughout New York City. In addition to the havoc he caused, he also became infamous for his letters to the police, describing his crimes in lengthy detail. By the time he was apprehended in August 1977, Berkowitz had committed six murders and injured eight more people.
Otherwise known as "Scarface", Al Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899. Unlike many other gangsters of the time, Capone was born into a wealthy family. While noisy, his family was a respectable clan of Italian immigrants who showed no signs of unlawful behavior. This made Capone's future actions all the more unexpected.
At 14 years old, Capone met the gangster Johnny Torrio, who taught Capone the value of keeping up a respectable appearance while running a racketeering business. He then joined Torrio's James Street Boys Gang, later rising to a high rank in the Five Points Gang. In 1909, Capone moved to Chicago, where he would become the leader of the Chicago Outfit. One of the most notorious criminals throughout the Prohibition Era, Capone was responsible for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre - a day in which seven members of the rival North Siders gang were murdered.
Having grown up in Soviet Ukraine, the "Butcher of Rostov" was subjected to a harsh upbringing. Known to have fainted on numerous occasions due to hunger, Andrei Chikatilo was often made fun of by other children for his peculiar physical stature and timidity. This didn't stop at home, with his mother constantly berating him and his sister.
As an adult, Chikatilo only became more disturbed, beginning his crime spree by luring a nine-year-old girl to his house where he stabbed her multiple times before choking her to death. Between 1978 and 1990, this merciless killer was known to have murdered at least 52 women and children and possibly more. He was executed for his crimes in 1994.
This Norwegian terrorist already began showing unstable mental behavior as a child. At the age of four, two reports were made about his mental health, with one psychologist speaking about his unsettling smile. His peculiarities were not helped by the abuse that he suffered at the hands of his mother, who sexually abused him and often told him she wished he didn't exist.
Breivik continued to be a misfit as he entered adulthood. In 2011, he executed a devastating attack in Oslo, detonating a bomb that killed eight people before continuing his killing spree by gunning down 69 people and injuring 319 at the Workers’ Youth League summer camp. Despite his devastatingly high volume of murders, Breivik was only imprisoned for 21 years in prison because this is actually the maximum prison sentence in Norway.
This British serial killer was born in the village of Much Marcle, Herefordshire. While his mother was overprotective, West's father was a strict disciplinarian who even had sexual relations with West's sisters. Despite her affection for her son, West's mother was no saint either, having introduced her son to sex at the tender age of 12.
In fact, it was under the influence of his mother that West engaged in acts of bestiality during his teens. West married Catherine "Rena" Costello, who was abused and later murdered by him. He then married Rosemary Letts, with whom he committed at least 12 murders between 1967 and 1987. In addition to murder, the couple also sexually brutalized many of their victims, including young children. After being apprehended in 1994 for his despicable crimes, West fatally asphyxiated himself one year later while awaiting trial.
Charles Manson was born to an alcoholic single mother in Cincinnati, Ohio. Manson's mother decided to send him to a boys' school at the age of 12, and while he requested to rejoin her, she rejected him, leaving him to get by with a life of petty crime. He spent the next few years in and out of jail and started to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs.
He established the Manson family cult, luring young girls. In 1969, he coerced loyal followers to gruesomely murder Hollywood's elite, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski. Though not directly involved, he was convicted of planning the Tate murders, which included all of her guests, receiving life imprisonment. He died in 2017 of natural causes.
Born in Devon, England, in 1953, Fred West's wife and partner-in-crime was born into a life of hardship. Rosemary West’s parents both suffered from mental problems, with her mother even receiving electro-convulsive therapy during her pregnancy with her. This likely caused prenatal injuries that resulted in Rosemary's poor grades and dangerous levels of aggression.
Rosemary became sexual from a young age, and at 15, she met 27-year-old Fred Walter Stephen West. She soon became pregnant and married Fred. It's widely believed that she murdered Fred’s oldest child, Charmaine. In order to make ends meet, Rosemary West became a sex worker. Between 1972 and 1994, she and her husband would regularly lure underage girls to their home, only to sexually assault and murder them. West took part in the murder of at least 10 girls, resulting in a life sentence without parole.
Aileen Wuornos was Born in Michigan in 1956. After her father committed suicide in prison, Wuornos was abandoned by her mother and left in the care of her abusive grandparents. Her grandfather was violent, both physically and sexually, if that wasn't bad enough, she was also believed to have had sexual relations with her brother. Wuornos was eventually kicked out, and became a sex worker.
After a brief marriage to a wealthy yachtsman, Wuornos met and started a relationship with 24-year-old Tyria Moore. Between 1989 and 1990, Wuornos murdered at least six men; most of whom were clients of hers. She claimed that these men either raped or attempted to rape her and that she shot them at point-blank range as a means of self-defense. Ultimately, it was Moore who gave her over to the authorities. Wuornos was sentenced to death on six counts of murder and executed by lethal injection in 2002.
This Russian serial killer was known as the "Chessboard Killer" and the "Bitsa Park Maniac". Born in 1974, Pichushkin was initially described as a social child. That all changed after fell backward off a swing which then struck him in the forehead.
After displaying an increased amount of hostility, Pichushkin's mother decided to place him in a school for children with disabilities, where he was bullied by several children. The subsequent death of his grandfather only increased his fury. Having displayed a talent for chess, Pichushkin would play against elderly men in Bitsa Park. It was during this time that he developed a sinister goal - to murder 64 people; the number of squares on a chessboard. Between 2001 and 2006, Pichushkin killed at least 49 people. He has since been imprisoned for life for his heinous sins.
During his youth, Lanza had been diagnosed with several disorders, ranging from Asperger Syndrome to sensory integration and even OCD. On top of that, Lanza's father admitted that he suspected that his son suffered from schizophrenia as well. While this disturbed individual was clearly in need of professional help, his mother made the fateful decision to discontinue her son's treatment.
Having not received the assistance he desperately required, Lanza decided to fatally shoot six adult staff members and 20 children between the ages of six and seven years old at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. When first responders arrived on the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. This incident remains the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in US history.
Born in San Diego, California, Holmes suffered from mental health issues and depression during his school years. After declining socially, Holmes was reported to have attempted suicide at the age of 11. He also claimed that he was haunted by "Nail Ghosts" that would hammer on the walls of his home at night.
For a decade, Holmes harbored a deadly obsession. At 25, he acted on it, opening fire in a packed Aurora, Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. He killed 12 and injured 70, receiving over 100 criminal counts, including 24 murder charges. He'll spend life imprisoned in Pennsylvania's US Penitentiary.
After being bullied by some other children as well as his father and older sister, 13-year-old Eric Smith decided to take out in frustration in the most disturbing way possible.
While riding his bike to his summer day camp, Smith spotted four-year-old Derrick Robie to the exact same location. With his head filled with disturbing thoughts, he decided to lure Derrick to the woods, where he would vent all of his frustration by strangling the child and dropping a large rock on his head. He even went on to sodomize his victim with a large stick in order to ensure that he was indeed dead. This sick act saw Smith convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to a minimum of nine years to life in prison; the maximum term that could be sentenced to a juvenile in the state of New York.
This disturbed individual was yet another killer who began committing gruesome crimes during his youth. Born in Middlesex, England in 1947, Young lived with his father and stepmother after his biological mother died just a few months after his birth. From a young age, he began displaying a disturbing interest in poison and its effects. Infatuated with this shady subject, he began experimenting by slipping poison into his family members' tea.
His stepmother, Molly, experienced vomiting, diarrhea, and excruciating stomach pain before Young's poison actually killed her. Young's father and sister were also incredibly sick, while interestingly enough, Young himself grew violently ill as a result of his poisoning efforts. He was sent to the Broadmoor Hospital in 1962, yet released a few years later, only to poison 70 more people and earn the nickname, the "Teacup Poisoner".
At the tender age of 11, Mary Flora Bell had already solidified her reputation as a monster. Born in Newcastle, England, Bell experienced a peculiar childhood as the daughter of a single mother who worked as a sex worker. From an early age, she had attempted to murder her mother on several occasions, later justifying her actions by accusing her mother of sexually exploiting her and forcing her to engage in sexual activities with older men when she was just four years old. But such incidents would not excuse her from the brutal acts she was about to perform.
In 1968, Bell would strangle two young boys to death, namely, four-year-old Martin Brown and three-year-old Brian Howe. She was imprisoned for manslaughter until 1980 when she was released after completing her sentence. Since her release, Bell has lived under several aliases as a means of protecting her identity as well as the identity of her daughter.