Cries Unheard

Why Children Kill: The Story of Mary Bell

Gitta Sereny

Metropolitan Books

Download Image Gitta Sereny Cries Unheard

Available Formats

Book
England's controversial #1 best-seller.

What brings a child to kill another child? In 1968, at age eleven, Mary Bell was tried and convicted of murdering two small boys in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Gitta Sereny, who covered the sensational trial, never believed the characterization of Bell as the incarnation of evil, the bad seed personified. If we are ever to understand the pressures that lead children to commit serious crimes, Sereny felt, only those children, as adults, can enlighten us.

Twenty-seven years after her conviction, Mary Bell agreed to talk to Sereny about her harrowing childhood, her terrible acts, her public trial, and her years of imprisonment-to talk about what was done to her and what she did, who she was and who she became. Nothing Bell says is intended as an excuse for her crimes. But her devastating story forces us to ponder society's responsibility for children at the breaking point, whether in Newcastle, Arkansas, or Oregon.

A masterpiece of wisdom and sympathy, Gitta Sereny's wrenching portrait of a girl's damaged childhood and a woman's fight for moral regeneration urgently calls on us to hear the cries of all children at risk.

Connect with the Author

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Reviews

Praise for Cries Unheard

"Cries Unheard will throw you off-balance. It will make it impossible to look at children accused of violent crimes in the same way ever again." (Alex Kotlowitz, The New York Times Book Review)

"A profoundly philosophical and reflective psychological study of culpability and innocence, conscience and redemption." (Francine Prose, The New Yorker)

"Even resolute believers in the throw -away-the-key school of criminal justice will find their convictions shaken by this powerful book." (Elizabeth Bukowski, The Wall Street Journal)

"The recent spate of school killings has raised the excruciating question, Why do children murder? In this acutely insightful portrait, Sereny comes perhaps as close as one can get to the answer." (Megan Harlan, Entertainment Weekly )

Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

Gitta Sereny

Gitta Sereny is our foremost writer on questions of crime and conscience. Her previous books include Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience and Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth. She lives in London.

Gitta Sereny

Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

Cries Unheard
Why Children Kill: The Story of Mary Bell
Gitta Sereny

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
April 1999
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805060676
ISBN10: 0805060677
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 416 pages
$26.00
Back

From The Publisher

Metropolitan Books

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter

Back