Mary Ann Cotton: Britain s First Female Serial Killer
This book was the inspiration for the ITV drama Dark Angel. As one of the UK s leading commentators, David Wilson shows how some serial killers stay in the headlines whilst others rapidly become invisible - or unseen . Yet Mary Ann Cotton is not just the first but perhaps the 1st s most prolific female serial killer, with more victims than Myra Hindley, Rosemary West, Beverly Allit or male predators such as Jack the Ripper and Dennis Nilsen. But her own north east of England (and criminologists) apart, she remains largely forgotten, despite poisoning to death up to 21 victims in Britain s arsenic century . Exploding myths that every serial killer is a monster , the author draws attention to Cotton s charms, allure, capability, skill and ambition - drawing parallels or contrasting the methods and lifestyles of other serial killers from Victorian to modern times. He also shows how events cannot be separated from their social context here the industrial revolution, growing mobility, women s emancipation and greater assertiveness. And concerning the reticence of human nature , like Dr Harold Shipman, Cotton was allowed to go on killing despite reasons to suspect her. The book contains other resonances to aid understanding of how serial murderers can go undiscovered despite such things as coincidence, gossip, whispers or motives that become more obvious with the benefit of hindsight. It is also a detective story in which the persistence of a single individual saw Cotton tried and executed, events analysed first-hand from the archives and location visits as the author fills the gaps in a remarkable story. By a leading expert on serial killers; Meticulously researched and highly readable; Fresh interpretations mean this book is destined to be the definitive title on Mary Ann Cotton. An enthralling read David Wilson does not write generic true crime , but history of the highest order : Judith Flanders, best-selling author, journalist and historian. David Wilson is Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. An ex-prison governor he has broadcast for the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5 (where he presents Killers Behind Bars ). His books include Serial Killers: Hunting Britons and Their Victims 1960-2006 (2007) and Looking for Laura: Public Criminology and Hot News (2011).
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Allitt Ann’s Appleton arsenic baby become behaviour Bishop Auckland body British Serial Calcraft Campbell Foster child clearly colliery contemporary court crimes Criminology Dennis Nilsen described diarrhoea died doctors Dr Kilburn Durham Edith Elizabeth evidence example execution fact female serial killers forensic Frederick Cotton Gaol gender George George Stott given Harold Shipman Henry Holdforth husband Isabella Jack the Ripper James Robinson Jane Joseph Nattrass Justice killed later letter lived London look March Margaret marriage married Mary Ann Cotton mining mother moved Mowbray Murton museum neighbours Newcastle Courant newspapers Nilsen north east Northern Echo nurse Pallion perhaps poisoning police poor Quick-Manning relationship reported Riley Robert Robson Robert Robson Cotton Scattergood Schechter Seaham Harbour serial murder simply Smith social story suggests that Mary Sunderland Thomas trial typhoid fever typhus fever victims Victorian village wanted West Auckland Whitehead William William Calcraft woman women workhouse