A FUNDRAISING page has been set up in a bid to ensure letters written by a North-East serial killer while in prison go on public display.

Victoria House has been searching for someone to pay £4,000 for the eight notes penned by Mary Ann Cotton, of West Auckland, County Durham, after they appeared for sale on the internet.

No-one came forward with the full amount, but after seeing the appeal Christine Wadsley Cunningham got in touch with Miss House on Facebook and offered to set up a gofundme page in an attempt to raise the cash.

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The aim is to see the letters on display in the County Durham Records Office.

Cotton is notorious for killing an estimated 22 people by arsenic poisoning and was hanged after her conviction at Durham Assizes in 1873 for murdering her stepson, but her other victims included her children, husbands and boyfriends, many of whom had insurance policies.

The letters were written from her prison cell as she awaited execution.

If they are unsuccessful in raising the money needed to buy the notes, the money collected will be used to preserve family or local history in the UK.

For more information visit the facebook page Mary Ann Cotton letters from jail 1873 or visit gofundme.com/76trpc