(ID) Legend has it that Bloody Mary was a ruthless killer, whose soul could be summoned by a simple ritual that unleashes a vengeful woman’s wrath. Though reciting “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary!” into a mirror may be just a scary slumber party prank, it’s true that some of history’s most brutal female killers have borne the name of Mary. After all, Mary was the most popular name for females in the English-speaking world from the 1800s to the 1960s. In Investigation Discovery’s all-new special, BLOODY MARYS, explore chilling tales of these notorious, like-named murderers driven to kill out of anger, jealousy, greed, or just for the thrill. Produced exclusively for Investigation Discovery by NBC News’ Peacock Productions, BLOODY MARYS premieres Halloween night: Thursday, October 31 at Midnight EST.
“A Bloody Mary makes for a better drink than wife,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and Destination America. “The myth around this name becomes reality as Investigation Discovery conjures stories of real BLOODY MARYS so married to sin that they’ll leave you frightened to death.”
The stories featured in BLOODY MARYS are:
* Mary Frances Creighton (Baldwin, NY) – It’s the Great Depression, and Mary Frances and John Creighton decide to make some extra cash by renting a room in their cramped house to Everett Applegate and his wife, Ada. All goes well for a little while, until Everett’s wandering eye settles on Mary Frances and the two become lovers right under their spouses’ noses. But Everett soon tosses Mary Frances aside in favor of her 14-year-old daughter, Ruth. In order to salvage her family’s reputation, Mary Frances hatches a plan to fatally poison Ada’s eggnog and allow Everett to make an honest woman out of her daughter. She would have gotten away with the murder, but a savvy detective sees more to this story than just a freak stomach bug. He exposes a handful of mysterious deaths linked to Mary Frances, including the deaths of her own brother and in-laws.
* Mary Pearcey (London) – In Victorian England, 24-year-old Mary Pearcey is caught in a heated love triangle between Frank Samuel Hogg and his pregnant wife, Phoebe, who knows nothing of the tryst. Despite being the “other woman,” Mary sparks a friendship with Phoebe and her toddler Tiggy, all the while continuing her secret affair with Frank. But when Mary is abruptly banished from the Hoggs’ home, she becomes obsessed with falling back into their good graces. One October afternoon, tension rises as the women confront each other over tea. It ignites a frenzy of anger in Mary, who knocks Phoebe unconscious before taking a knife to her neck. Like an untamed animal, she then suffocates Phoebe’s daughter and discards the slain mother and child, as if trash, a mile apart from one another on the gritty London streets. When police track the murders back to Mary and find the blood-stained walls in her flat, she simply says she was “killing mice.”
* Mary Farmer (Watertown, NY) – Mary Farmer is sick of living a humble life and often asks why she can’t enjoy the same luxuries as her well-to-do neighbors Sarah and Patsy Brennan. One day, Mary steals the deed to the Brennan home, then disguises herself as Sarah and has the deed transferred to her “friend” Mary Farmer. Before Sarah can realize the fraud, Mary catches her off guard with an axe to the back of the head. With the deed secured in Mary’s name, the Farmers and their infant son move into the Brennan home and kick Patsy to the curb. It’s after Patsy goes to the constable that they discover a foul-smelling trunk tucked away in a corner. Sarah Brennan, or at least her corpse, was still in the family home after all. Mary Farmer became the second woman ever to die in the electric chair in the state of New York.
* Mary Bell (Scotswood, England) – Mary Bell’s childhood is wretched. Her prostitute mother often brings work home with her in the form of sleazy “clients.” Even at the age of 10, it’s not surprising that Mary is angry at the world. In 1968, she takes it out on four-year-old Martin Brown, who she strangles to death and dumps in an abandoned home. The hazardous crime scene leads police to believe Martin’s death was an accident, meaning Mary may have just gotten away with murder. But she can’t contain her satisfaction, scribbling her confession in school notebooks and taunting Martin’s family. The next month, Mary sees three-year old Brian Howe and asks him if he wants candy. Treats in hand, she lures the little boy to his death. This time, Mary’s need to flaunt her crime will be her undoing. She is deemed a psychopath and sent to prison, but at 23, she is released and given a new name. She still lives free to this day.
BLOODY MARYS is produced for Investigation Discovery by NBC News’ Peacock Productions with Sharon Scott as President and GM and Elizabeth Fischer as executive producer. For Investigation Discovery, Lorna Thomas is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President.