On one occasion, Mary appeared to fall out of an open window. On another, she managed to ingest several sleeping pills. However, some believed that these were not accidents, and that Betty was actively trying to murder her daughter. Later, a witness would claim to have spotted Betty feeding the pills to the infant Mary.
According to Mary, these years were also a period of sexual abuse. Allegedly, it began when she was just four years old, with Betty forcing her daughter to have relations with men. Not surprisingly, this unstable environment started to have a negative effect on the girl. Indeed, by the time she was in preschool she was already exhibiting signs of a fierce temper.
Then, on May 25, 1968, something unthinkable happened. In Scotswood, a working class suburb of Newcastle, four-year-old Martin Brown vanished from his home. Later, a group of boys found him on the floor of a derelict house, bleeding from his mouth. The boys raised the alarm, but sadly it was too late.