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Mary Maloney is the main protagonist of the short story Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. She is the wife of Patrick Maloney and his killer after he breaks her heart. Throughout the story she is trying to cover up her crimes from other people like the police and detectives.

In the Alfred Hitchcock adaptation she was portrayed by Barbara Bel Geddes.

Biography[]

Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from his police job and had an immense degree of love for him. In fact she was ready to promptly serve him supper when he arrived home. Although after coming back home Patrick was very tired and refused to eat or drink anything. Instead telling her to sit down and listen to what he needs to say. This being that he would abandon her and their unborn child to fend for themselves. Patrick then promises to pay for expenses and does this to have a better opportunity where he works.

At first she initially refuses to believe what he tells her but then full of spite and vengeance when he tells her to go away again, proceeding to brutally murder him. With the murder weapon being a leg of lamb that she was going to serve him. Filled with no regret Mary decided on hiding the evidence of what happened. Justifying what she did to him because he deserved it and now made a creepy and faked smile and went to the grocer. After casually buying groceries and telling her husband was waiting home, she surprised herself on purpose but leaked some love and remorse at that moment. Furthermore the police and authorities were called at the scene of the crime.

While they asked her what happened they deduced that he was hit with blunt force to the back of Patrick's head. The detectives and police were soon the only ones left with Mary with other parties like doctors and photographers long gone. Their stereotyped guess was that it was a man who did it, since Mary looked too innocent to ever be the culprit. After debating what was the weapon they weren't able to conclude anything. Mary then ended up feeding them the lamb as food to their reluctance. Ultimately, sadistically giggling that the only piece of evidence against her has vanished.

Personality[]

Mary can be described as a once good woman driven to insanity by the one action of murdering her husband. This changed her and made her more malicious and calculating as her only goal was to safeguard her own image. Being okay to play whatever trick necessary to make herself look innocent.

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