Friday, December 23, 2016

Mary Ann Cotton. Based on a true story.

I wasn't born evil, but things happened along the way that changed me forever.

When I was only eight, Dad fell down a shaft in the mine and was killed. We had always been poor, but without Dad things got even worse. That's why Mum married again to keep us afloat. I never liked my step-father though.

I've had several jobs during my life. I've been a dressmaker, a nurse and a housekeeper. But most of the time I have been a housewife and a mother.

Thirteen children! Can you believe I've given birth to so many? After the first one, it became easy...

Poverty, however, is not my style. There came a day when I decided I couldn't take any more. It was the day my William was fired. I told him he was useless and he seemed downcast, but when he asked me for a cup of tea a moment later, I snapped.

I had arsenic in the house, the arsenic I had used to kill the bed bugs I found on the mattress when we moved. I put some in his tea. It was dreadful to watch and I felt a pang of guilt, but as soon as he was gone I collected the insurance money.

I've killed many people in my life and I would have killed more if I hadn't been found out. Don't judge me. Stop and wonder what you would have done if you had been born to a life like mine.

Now here I am, at Durham County Gaol, awaiting my fate. I'm only forty and about to die. Do I regret what I've done? Not much... not really. It was the way my life was supposed to go.

I'm looking out of the window and I see two men standing on the scaffold getting the rope ready. The truth? I'm scared, but also intrigued. I'll finally get to see what death feels like.

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