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Posted Wednesday, September 16, 1998


Spoilt Children, and the Morality of Authors

Evening Standard

London, September 15, 1998

Killer Bell's biographer to give talk

AUTHOR Gitta Sereny, biographer of child killer Mary Bell, is to give the keynote address at a London conference on the state of children in society, writes Nick Pryer.

Ms Sereny, whose controversial work on Bell, entitled Cries Unheard* attracted bitter criticism when it was published earlier this year, is to address the Spoilt Children conference at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in The Mall. The book provoked a media and political storm when it emerged that Bell had been paid a five-figure sum for her co-operation.

Tony Blair condemned the payment, Home Secretary Jack Straw launched an inquiry and Mary Bell herself was forced to get police protection after she was tracked down by journalists. Bell was also forced to tell her story to her 14-year-old daughter, who until then had been unaware of her mother's history.

© Evening Standard, 1998

* Published by Macmillan Ltd., on which British publishing company see our dossier.

DAVID IRVING is suing Gitta Sereny in libel. The Mary Bell episode, in which Austrian-born Sereny paid a huge sum of money to a convicted child-killer for her story, is unlikely to endear her to a future jury.

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

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