Campaigners bid to preserve serial killer’s letters

LETTER CAMPAIGN ... Mary Ann Cotton.

LETTER CAMPAIGN ... Mary Ann Cotton.

CAMPAIGNERS are bidding to keep North East ‘serial killer’ Mary Ann Cotton’s letters in public ownership.

Victoria House and Christine Cunningham have launched an appeal to raise £4,000 to keep the notes Cotton penned in her prison cell in the public domain.

The eight letters are in the hands of an antique dealer after they were sold for £2,000 last year at auction.

Cotton, who lived in the South Hetton and Hendon area of Sunderland, was hanged in 1872 for the murder of her seven-year-old stepson and it is thought she was responsible for the deaths of up to 20 others.

Victoria and Christine want to pass on the documents to Durham County Record Office or a similar archive in the North East so they can be preserved for future generations.

They are negotiating with the dealer and say Cotton’s actions are important for all family history buffs, as it was her crimes that brought about a change to the law on registration of births, marriages and deaths.

The campaign page can be found here, with the Facebook page online at Mary Ann Cotton Letters from Jail 1873.


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