Mary Ann Cotton - Dark Angel

Britain's First Female Serial Killer

Martin Connolly

* Full background to the life of the alleged serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton

* Covers the story of her arrest and hearings for four murders

* Full account of her trial, conviction and execution in Durham Goal

* New appraisal of the evidence and legal system that challenges the verdict

* Uses original trial records and historical documents throug
Date Published :
September 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
32 images and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473876200

Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 192
Also available as an ebook:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo


A female thief, with four husbands, a lover and, reportedly, over twelve children, is arrested and tried for the murder of her stepson in 1872, turning the small village of West Auckland in County Durham upside down. Other bodies are exhumed and when they are found to contain arsenic, she is suspected of their murder as well. The perpetrator, Mary Ann Cotton, was tried and found guilty and later hanged on 24 March 1873 in Durham Gaol. It is claimed she murdered over twenty people and was the first female serial killer in England.

With location photographs and a blow by blow account of the trial, this book challenges the claim that Mary Ann Cotton was the ‘The West Auckland Borgia’, a title given to her at the time. It sets out her life, trial, death and the aftermath and also questions the legal system used to convict her by looking at contemporary evidence from the time and offering another explanation for the deaths. The book also covers the lives of those left behind, including the daughter born to Mary Ann Cotton in Durham Gaol.

About The Author

Martin Connolly has a wide and varied background in Holocaust studies, Religion, Psychology and History, publishing books and articles in these fields. He has cooperated with the BBC in a short video documentary and taken part in many radio shows on his football book, 'The Miners’ Triumph'. His book 'Mary Ann Cotton - Dark Angel', received excellent reviews and was a No. 1 Amazon bestseller.


"For true crime historians, fans of intriguing crime tales and those interested in how criminal justice operated in the Victorian era, this is a well-presented book on a complex case. Furthermore, it is a book which explores all the evidence available and questions whether or not the conviction and execution of Mary Ann Cotton in 1873 was the correct outcome."

- Crime Traveller

Similar Titles