Edna Gammon was born in Liverpool, the youngest of six children of a dock labourer; her father was killed in an accident on the docks in 1930 when she was a little girl. From the age of nine she attended Notre Dame Convent, where the nuns praised her for her English compositions and told her her skill with words would come in useful one day. After taking an office job with Woolworths, Edna worked for many years as a secretary. She and her mother shared a fascination for true crime stories and followed each case with great interest. The two women studied every detail of the 10 Rillington Place murders at the time and kept newspaper cuttings from the period. Her mother's idea of writing a book about the case never saw fruition, but after her death Edna decided to write her own book on the subject, in her mother's memory. She says her mother was always in her thoughts while she was working on the book.