By Tim Lambert

Mary Ann Geering was born in 1800. In 1818 she married a man named Richard Geering and in 1848 they were living in Guestling in East Sussex. First Mary Ann poisoned her husband. He fell ill and on 13 September 1848 he died of arsenic poisoning. He was 56. However at first his death was ascribed to natural causes. Mary Ann Geering then poisoned her own son, 21 year old George. He died on 27 December 1848. She then poisoned another son, 26 year old James. He died on 6 March 1849.

Mary Ann then attempted to kill her 18 year old son Benjamin, again with arsenic. Fortunately this time his mother was prevented from 'caring' for him. When Benjamin recovered it became obvious that his mother had poisoned him. The authorities then exhumed the bodies of her husband and two deceased sons and found they contained arsenic. Mary Ann Geering was then charged with murder and attempted murder. Not surprisingly the jury found her guilty and she was sentenced to death. Afterwards she confessed to her crimes. Mary Ann Geering was hanged in front of a crowd of thousands in Lewes, Sussex on 21 August 1849.

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