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Mary Ann Cotton By David Wilson

Mary Ann Cotton by David Wilson

Condition - Very Good
6 in stock


This book was the inspiration for the TV drama 'Dark Angel'. Exploding myths that every serial killer is a 'monster', the author draws attention to Mary Ann Cotton's charms, allure, capability, skill and ambition - all of which she used to remain undetected while committing up to 21 murders.

Mary Ann Cotton Summary

Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Female Serial Killer by David Wilson

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 UK'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 Nielsen. But her own north east of England and criminologists apart, she remains largely forgotten, despite poisoning up to 21 victims in Britain's 'arsenic century'. Exploding myths that every serial killers 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 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 continue to kill 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 and in detail from the records.

Mary Ann Cotton Reviews

'A fascinating book... The historical research is illuminating'- feminists@law; 'The great strength of Wilson's book is in providing an extensive examination of Mary Ann Cotton and the murders she committed, framed within the context of Britain's industrial revolution ... an interesting and useful book'- Howard Journal of Criminal Justice; 'This book is an enthralling read. I started off firmly believing that Mary Ann Cotton was innocent - that, indeed, there had been no murders. David Wilson's meticulous research, his eye for detail, his forensic ability to reconstruct the material that survives, and assess the probabilities where gaps remain in the record, opened my eyes. He does not write generic "true crime", but history of the highest order': Judith Flanders, best-selling author, journalist and historian.

About David Wilson

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).

Additional information

Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Female Serial Killer by David Wilson
Used - Very Good
Waterside Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Mary Ann Cotton