Britain's First Serial Killer
Mary Ann Cotton, otherwise known as the Black Widow claims the right to be known as Britain’s first serial killer.
Two decades before Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror, Mary Ann Cotton had already become a killing machine. But strangely, even crime historians, those familiar with the names of Shipman, Nilsen, Sutcliffe and West, know little or nothing of her. She has been largely erased from history and remains today only a half-remembered local curiosity, even in her native North East.
In the 20 years from 1852 to 1872, Mary Ann Cotton killed some 21 people, whilst posing as a wife, widow, mother, nurse and friend. Among her victims were 8 of her own children, 7 stepchildren, her mother, 3 husbands, a lover and an inconvenient friend.
Hear how she committed these dastardly crimes and wonder why she would do such a thing. Discover how she was eventually caught and what happened to her.
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