Welcome to the next piece in my Crime Series. I hope you find this as interesting as I did! I’ll just jump straight into it…
Ian Brady was born in Glasgow as Ian Duncan Stewart on January 2nd 1938. Myra Hindley was born in Crumpsall on July 23rd 1942 and raised in a working class area of Manchester. In January 1961, 18 year old Myra Hindley became infatuated by Ian Brady after joining Millwards as a typist/secretary, where Brady worked in a clerical position. She began writing a diary where she detailed her fascination with Ian Brady, who she finally spoke to for the first time 6 months later on July 27th 1961. Over the months after speaking to him she continued to make diary entries however she grew increasingly disillusioned with him until December 22nd 1961 when Ian Brady asked her on a date to the cinema. Their dates following that were always a similar pattern of going to the cinema to watch an x-rated movie and then back to Myra’s house to drink German wine. Brady then began to give Hindley reading material and they then spent their work lunch breaks reading to each other from accounts of Nazi atrocities.
Myra Hindley did start to express some concern at certain aspects of Brady’s character. In a letter to a childhood friend she told her about an incident where he had drugged her but she also spoke about her obsession with him. Not long after writing the letter she asked her friend to destroy the letter. Hindley also started to change her appearance at this point, bleaching her hair blonde and applying thick crimson lipstick, trying to emulate ‘Aryan perfection’. She also started to wear clothes considered risqué such as high boots, short skirts and leather jackets.
The pair began to distance themselves and become less sociable with their colleagues. Instead they regularly went to the library borrowing books on philosophy as well as crime and torture. Hindley often hired a van as the pair had planned bank robberies, these plans came to nothing. Hindley also visited two local shooting ranges and asked to join a pistol club but as she had a poor shot and allegedly a bad temper she was told she was unsuitable, although she did manage to purchase multiple guns in this time. Strangely their minds began to wonder from crime and robberies and they started to become interested in photography. Brady often took photographs of Hindley and her dog, he then upgraded his equipment, even purchasing lights and darkroom equipment. The pair took photographs of each other than would have been considered as explicit at the time. For this to happen it was strange as it was a complete contrast to the more shy and prudish nature Hindley used to show.
Hindley claimed that in July 1963 Brady began to talk about ‘committing the perfect murder’ inspired by a novel called ‘Compulsion’ written by Meyer Levin and later adapted for the cinema about two young men who attempt to commit the perfect murder of a 12 year old boy and escape the death penalty because of their age. By this time Brady had moved in with Hindley at her Grand Mother’s house.
On July 12th 1963 the two murdered their first victim. It was 16 year old Pauline Reade. Pauline disappeared on her way to a dance at the British Railways Club. Brady had told Hindley that this was the night he was going to ‘commit his perfect murder’. He told Hindley to drive around in the van she had hired and he would follow behind on his motorcycle and when he spotted a likely victim he would flash his headlight and Hindley had to stop and offer that person a lift. It is unclear how true all of these fast are as both Brady and Hindley provided different accounts of the murder when interviewed.
Driving down Gorton Lane, Brady saw a girl walking towards them and flashed his headlight, signalling Hindley to stop, however she did not stop until she had passed the girl which caused Brady to stop next to the van and demand to know why she had not stopped when he told her to, Hindley told him that she knew the girl as Marie Ruck and she was a neighbour of her mother. So they continued and shortly after 8pm, Brady spotted a girl wearing a pale blue coat and white high heeled shoes and she was walking away from them, he signalled Hindley to stop. Hindley recognised the girl, she has attended school with Myra Hindley’s younger sister so was known to her. Reade got into the van, Hindley then asked her if she would mind helping to search for an expensive glove she had lost on Saddleworth Moor. Reade told her she was in no hurry so she would help her.
Hindley believed that as Reade was 16 years old, older than Marie Ruck, there would be less of an outcry over her disappearance rather than a child of seven or eight.
When the van reached Saddleworth Moor, Hindley stopped and Brady arrived shortly afterwards. Hindley introduced Brady as her boyfriend and said he had also came to help them search for the expensive glove.
This is where things get confusing due to the different stories from the pair. Hindley claimed that Brady took Reade onto the moor whilst she waited in the van and after 30 minutes Brady returned alone and took Hindley to the spot where Reade was lay dying. Her throat had been cut twice with a large knife, the larger of the wounds was a four inch incision across her voice box, it was cut with such force that her spinal cord was severed and the collar of Reade’s coat had been deliberately pushed into the wound. He told her to stay with Reade whilst he fetched a spade he had hidden nearby on a previous visit to the moor to bury the body. Hindley said she noticed that ‘Pauline’s coat was undone and her clothes were in disarray … She had guessed from the time he had taken that Brady had sexually assaulted her.’ However Brady claimed that Hindley was at the scene when Reade was murdered and that she also assisted him with the sexual assault. They then buried her body. They loaded the motorcycle into the back of the van and drove home. When returning home they passed Reade’s mother Joan, who was accompanied by her son Paul who were searching the streets for Pauline.
Pauline’s body was not discovered until 24 years later on July 1st 1987, 250 yards from the main road, just inches below the surface. This was after and intense search after Brady and Hindley were taken back to the moors separately in the 1980’s to help Greater Manchester police in their new search for the bodies.
The next victim was 12 year old John Kilbride, on the evening of November 23rd 1963, Myra Hindley approached John at a market in Ashton-Under-Lyne and offered him a life home, telling him his parents would be worried about him being out so late. With the added inducement of a bottle of sherry, John readily agreed to get into a car that Hindley had hired. Ian Brady was in the car as said that the sherry was at their home and they would need to make a detour to collect it, then on the way he also suggested that they take another detour to search for a glove that Hindley had lost on the moor. When they reached the moor, Brady apparently took him whilst Hindley waited in the car. Brady sexually assaulted him and attempted to slit his throat with a blade, before he fatally strangled him with a piece of string, possibly a shoelace. He was then buried in the moors, like their first victim. Again, it is unclear if these were the correct sequence of events because both Brady and Hindley have told different versions. Was Hindley there on the moors? Did she take part? Or did she really stay in the car? We will probably never know.
John’s body was found in October 1965 when police searched the moors in an investigation against Brady and Hindley.
The third victim was Keith Bennett, who was twelve years old who disappeared on the way to his grandmother’s house in Longsight, Manchester on the 16th of Junes 1964. Hindley lured him into her Mini Pick Up which Brady was sitting in the back of, by asking him for help loading some boxes, she told him she would drop him home after. She drove to a lay by on the Moor as her and Bray had arranged and Brady went off with Keith Bennett supposedly looking for a lost glove. After 30 minutes, Brady reappeared, alone and carrying a spade they had previously hidden there. When Hindley asked him how he had killed the boy, Brady told her he had sexually assaulted him and strangled him with a piece of string. Again, the true version of events may never be known, as both Hindley and Brady gave different stories.
Keith’s body to this day has never been found, even though the police have kept the case open and regularly search the moors for him. Winnie Johnson, Keith’s mother pleaded with Brady to reveal the details of where he was buried, people believe that Brady holding back the information was his last attempt at maintaining an element of control. Brady died in May 2017 before ever releasing any information, so we may never know where the body is found even though the police have extensively searched the area multiple times with no luck.
The next victim was Lesley Ann Downey, who was 10 years old. On December 26th 1964 Brady and Hindley visited a fairground in search of their fourth victim. They spotted Lesley Ann Downey on her own beside a ride, they approached her and deliberately dropped some of their shopping near her, before asking her to help them carry some of the shopping to their car and then to their home. She agreed. Once they arrived at their home, Downey was undressed and gagged. She was then forced to pose for photographs before being raped and killed, possibly with a piece of string. They also recorded her pleading before her death. Saying “don’t undress me will you”, “let me go” and “I want to see mummy”. A 16 minute recording was played in full to a silent courtroom during the pair’s trial. At another point Hindley says “Hush, hush, shut up or I will forget myself and hit you one. I will hit you one.” The another point Lesley is pleading “I want to see my mummy, honest to God. I will swear on the bible… I have got to go because I am going out with my mama.” To which Brady replied “The longer it takes you to do this, the longer it takes you to get home” referring to taking photographs. Brady also said at one point “if you don’t keep that hand down, I will slit your neck.”
Again, the stories between Hindley and Brady are different. Hindley maintained that she left the girl naked in the room after naked photographs were taken by Brady and another man and she went to fill a bath for Lesley and when she returned the girl was dead, Brady had killed her. She said in court that she had put her hands over her ears to cover the noise of Brady’s blows. However Brady stated that it was Hindley who had killed Lesley. The next morning they drove her body to the Moor where she was buried completely naked with her clothes at her feet, again in a shallow grave.
Lesley Ann Downey’s body was found on October 16th 1965 whilst officers were looking for John Kilbride’s body. Officers found an arm bone sticking out of the ground, this was Lesley’s body. Her mother was on the Moor watching police search but was not present when her daughter was found. The body of Lesley Ann Downey was still visually identifiable when it was recovered along with clothing that her mother identified to be her daughter’s.
The final victim, that we know of, was 17 year old Edward Evans. On October 6th 1965, Hindley drove Brady to Manchester Central Railway Station where he chose their next victim. After only a few minutes Brady reappeared with Edward Evan’s an apprentice engineer, he invited him to his home at 16 Wardle Brook Avenue in Cheshire, he introduced Myra as his sister.
When they arrived at their home they relaxed, drinking a bottle of wine. Later, Brady sent Hindley to fetch her brother-in-law, David Smith. He was married to Hindley’s younger sister Maureen, throughout the years Brady had been cultivating a friendship with Smith who was ‘in awe’ of him. This worried Hindley as she felt it compromised their safety having somebody else so close to them.
When they arrived at the house, Hindley told Smith to wait outside for her signal which would be a flashing light. When the signal came, Smith knocked on the door, Brady opened it and asked Smith if he has came for the ‘miniature wine bottles’. He then led Smith into the kitchen and told him he was going to collect the wine. Only minutes later, Smith heard a scream, followed by Hindley shouting for him to come and help. Smith went into the living room and seen Brady repeatedly striking Evans with the flat of an axe, he then watched him as he throttled him with an electrical cord.
Brady sprained his ankle in the struggle and the body was too heavy for Smith to carry to the car on his own, so instead, they wrapped the body in plastic sheeting and put it in their spare room. Smith agreed to meet Brady the following evening to dispose of the body. However, when he returned home, he told Maureen what he had seen and she insisted that he called the police. Armed with a screwdriver and a knife in case Brady confronted them, they went to a nearby phone box to report what he had seen.
When asked, Smith told the police the following:
“Brady opened the door and he said in a very loud voice for him ‘do you want those miniatures?’ I nodded my head to say yes and he led me into the kitchen and then he gave me three miniature bottles of spirits and said ‘do you want the rest?’ When I first walked into the house, the door to the living room was closed… Ian went into the living room and I waited in the kitchen. I waited about a minute or two then suddenly I heard hell of a scream; it sounded like a woman, really high-pitched. Then the screams carried on one after another, really loud. Then I heard Myra shout, ‘Dave, help him’ very loud. When I ran in I just stood inside the living room and I saw a young lad. He was lying with his head and shoulders on the couch and his legs were on the floor. He was facing upwards. Ian was standing over him, facing him with his legs on either side of the young lad’s legs. The lad was still screaming. Ian had a hatchet in his hand, he was holding it above his head and he hit the lad on the left side of his head with the hatchet. I heard the blow, it was a terrible hard blow, it sounded horrible.”
Early on the morning of October 7th 1965, Superintendent Bob Talbot from Cheshire Police arrived at the back door of 16 Wardle Brook Avenue, he wore a borrowed baker’s overall to cover his uniform. He identified himself as a police officer when Hindley opened the door and told her he needed to speak to her boyfriend. Hindley led him into the living room where Brady was sitting, writing a note to his employer, explaining that he would not be able to go to work because of his ankle injury. Talbot explained that he was investigating ‘an act of violence involving guns’ that had taken place the previous night.
Hindley denied there had been any violence and they allowed the police to look around the house. When they came to the upstairs room where they had put Evans’s body, the door was locked and they asked Brady for the key. Hindley told them the key was at work, however this backfired as the police then offered to drive her to her employer to retrieve it. It was then that Brady told her to hand over the key. They found the body and arrested Brady on suspicion of murder. As he was getting dressed, Brady said ‘Eddie and I had a row and the situation got out of hand’. At this point Hindley was not arrested but she demanded to go to the police station accompanied by her dog, police agreed.
Hindley was question about the death but she refused to make a statement other than claiming it was an accident. At this point, the police had no evidence against her so she was released, on the condition that she returned the next day for more questioning. In the four days following Brady’s arrest, Hindley was a free woman, during this time she went to her employer’s premises and asked to be dismissed so she was eligible for unemployment benefits, she also went to the office where Brady worked, she found papers belonging to Brady in an envelope, which she claimed she did not open, which she burned in an ashtray. She said they were plans for bank robberies, nothing to do with the murders.
Whilst in police questioning, Brady admitted that he and Evans had fought but insisted that he and David Smith had murdered him between them, he also said Hindley ‘only done what she had been told’. When being questioned, Smith told the police that Brady had asked him to return anything incriminating such as ‘dodgy books’ which Brady had packed into suitcases. He said he had no idea what the cases contained or where they could be. He did, however, say that Brady ‘had a thing about railway stations’. Due to this comment, the police then searched all of Manchester’s ‘left luggage’ offices for any cases belonging to Brady.
It wasn’t until October 15th that police found a case at Manchester Central Railway Station, inside the case were nine pornographic photographs taken of a young girl, naked with a scarf tied across her mouth and the 16 minute tape of Lesley Ann Downey. When presented with the evidence of the tape recording of Lesley Ann Downey, Brady admitted he took photographs of her, however he insisted that she had been took to his house by two men who then took her away again, alive. It is important to note that Brady made several copies of the tape, the court heard a 16 minute tape, however other copies may have been longer, this was never confirmed or denied.
Whilst this was happening, on October 11th Hindley was charged as an accessory to the murder of Edward Evans after new evidence had emerged during the investigation which had convinced the police that she was also involved.
Police searched the house at Wardle Brook Avenue and they found an old exercise book with the name ‘John Kilbride’, this was when suspicions grew that Brady and Hindley may have been involved in more unsolved disappearances of other young children. Also, a large collection of photographs were discovered in the house, most of which were taken on Saddleworth Moor. This was when police decided to charge Brady and Hindley of the murder of Edward Evans as well as deploying over one hundred and fifty officers to search the moor, looking for locations that matched the photographs.
After finding multiple bodies, the investigating officers suspected Ian Brady and Myra Hindley of murdering other missing children and teenagers who had disappeared in and around Manchester over the previous years so continued searching for bodied, but with the winter setting in, it was called off in November. Each body they found was brought before a court separately and meant they were remanded into custody. They made a two minute appearance on October 28th and were again, remanded into custody.
By December 2nd 1965, both Brady and Hindley were charged with the murders of Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, Brady was also charged with the murder of John Kilbride, Hindley was charged with being an accessory to the murder of John Kilbride, harbouring Brady in the knowledge that he had killed John Kilbride.
On December 6th 1965 there was a committal hearing, where the charges were brought to them. The prosecutions opening statement was ‘held in camera’ which meant that it was not open to the public and press were not allowed to obsessed the procedure, the defence asked for a similar arrangement, but it was refused. The case continued in front of three magistrates over an 11 day period during December, at the end the pair were committed for trial in Chester.
The trial began on April 19th 1966, it was held over a 14 day period in front of Justice Fenton Atkinson. The public interest in this case was ridiculous, so to protect Brady and Hindley the courtroom was fitted with security screens. The paid were each charged with three murders Evans, Downey and Kilbride, as at this pint it was considered there was sufficient evidence to implicate Hindley in Kilbride’s death.
David Smith was the main prosecution witness, but during the trial it was revealed that he had entered into an agreement with a newspaper guaranteeing him £1000; the equivalent to about £20,000 in today’s money, for the rights to his story if Brady and Hindley were convicted, something the judge deemed as ‘gross interference with the course of justice’.
Brady and Hindley both pleaded not guilty to all charged against them, they were both called to give evidence. Brady for over eight hours and Hindley for six hours. Brady did admit to hitting Evan’s with an axe, however he did not admit to killing him, his defence argued that in the pathologist report, it was stated that Evans’s death was ‘accelerated by strangulation’, under the cross examination by the prosecution, all Brady would admit was that ‘I hit Evans with the axe. If he died from axe blows, I killed him’.
Hindley denied any knowledge that the photographs of Saddleworth Moor found by the police had been taken near the graves of their victims. Hindley admitted, after the tape recording of Lesley Ann Downey was played in the open court that she was ‘brusque and cruel’ but claimed that she had only been lie that because she was scared someone would hear the screams. She also claimed that when Downey was being undressed she was downstairs and when the pornographic photos were being taken she was looking out of the window and that when she was being strangled she was running a bath.
It was May 6th after only deliberating for a little over two hours, that the jury found Brady guilty of all three murders and Hindley guilty of the murders of Downey and Evans.
In his closing remarks, the judge described the murders as a ‘truly horrible case; and recommended that both killers spend ‘a very long time’ in prison before being considered for parole. He stated that Brady was ‘wicked beyond belief’ and the he saw no reasonable possibility of reform. He said about Hindley ‘once she is removed from Brady’s influence’ she may reform. He also said throughout the trial Brady and Hindley had ‘stuck rigidly to their strategy of lying’. The death penalty for murder had been abolished whilst Brady and Hindley had been on remand, so the judge passed the only sentence that the law allowed: life imprisonment. Brady was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences and Hindley was given two concurrent life sentences as well as a seven year sentence for harbouring Brady in the knowledge that he had murdered John Kilbride. Brady was imprisoned in Durham Prison, whilst Hindley was taken to Holloway Prison.
Hindley almost immediately appealed her conviction, this was rejected. Hindley and Brady continued to communicate via letters until 1971 when Hindley ended their relationship as she had fallen in love with a prison warden Patricia Cairns. At this time, it was not uncommon for a relationship like this to happen. With Cairns help and a fellow prisoners contacts help, Maxine Croft, Hindley planned a prison escape, however it was stopped when an off-duty policeman found the impressions of prison keys and intercepted then. Cairns was sentenced to six years in prison for her part in the plans.
In 1978, Hindley wrote a 30,000 word plea for parole to the Home Secretary Merlyn Rees where she said ‘Within months he had convinced me that there was no God at all: he could have told me that the earth was flat, the moon was made of green cheese and the sun rose in the west, I would have believed him, such was his power of persuasion.’
In January 1985, Home Secretary Leon Brittan increased Myra Hindley’s tariff to 30 years before being considered for parole. At this time Hindley claimed she was a reformed Catholic.
In February 1985, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher told Leon Brittan that his proposed minimum sentences of 30 years of Hindley and 40 years for Brady were too short saying ‘I do not think that either of those prisoners should ever be released from custody. Their crime was the most hideous and cruel in modern times’.
The full extent of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s crimes didn’t come to light until 1985 when they Brady confessed, until this point they had both maintained their innocence. Brady allegedly confessed to Fred Harrison, a journalist that he had also been responsible for the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, something that the police had already suspected. These newspaper reports prompted the police to reopen the case. On July 3rd 1985, a detective visited Brady but found him ‘scornful of any suggestion that he had confessed to more murders’. Police however, still decided to resume their search of Saddleworth Moor, again, using the photographs Brady and Hindley had taken to help them identify possible burial sites.
In November 1985, Brady was diagnosed as a psychopath and sent to a high security hospital, he made it clear he never wanted to be released.
In November 1986, Winnie Johnson, Keith Bennett’s mother wrote a letter to Hindley, begging to know what had happened to her sun, Hindley seemed to be ‘genuinely moved’ by it. The letter ended with ‘I am a simple woman, I work in the kitchens of Christie’s Hospital. It has taken me five weeks labour to write this letter because it is so important to me that it is understood by you for what it is, a plea for help. Please, Miss Hindley, help me.’ A few days after she received the letter, police visited Hindley in prison and although she refused to admit any involvement in the killings, she agreed to help them by looking a the photographs of the Moor and maps to try and identify the spots she had visited with Brady. She did show particular interest in certain photographs, but she said that it was impossible to be sure of the locations without visiting the moor.
The security considerations for a visit as big as she had suggested were massive, there were threats made against her if she was to visit the moors, but the Home Secretary Douglas Hurd agreed that it would be a risk worth taking. The detective later said that he felt ‘quite cynical’ about Hindley’s sudden motivation in helping the police. He believed that although the letter may have played a part, that Hindley’s real concern was knowing of Brady’s mental state, she was afraid that he would decide to co-operate with the police and wanted to make she that she was the one to gain whatever benefit there may have been in terms of public approval.
On December 16th 1986, Hindley made the first of two visits to Saddlewroth Moor to assist police. Four police cars left the prison at 4:30am, the police closed all roads onto the moor and patrolled the area with 200 officers, 40 of which were armed. Hindley and her solicitor arrived by helicopter touching down at 8:30am, she wore a donkey jacket and a balaclava, she was driven and walked around the area. She was apparently nervous of the helicopters flying overhead and said it was difficult to make a connection between her memories of the area and what she saw on that day. At 3pm she was returned to the helicopter and taken back to prison. The lead detectives were criticised by the press who described the whole thing as a ‘fiasco’, a ‘publicity stunt’ and a ‘mindless waste of money’ to which the police had to defend their decisions.
On December 19th 1986, David Smith also returned to the moor and spent about four hours helping the police pinpoint areas he though more bodies could have been buried.
The lead detective continued to visit Myra Hindley in prison with her solicitor and counsellor. It wasn’t until February 10th 1987 that Hindley made a formal confession to the police, admitting her involvement in all five murders. However this new was not made public for over a month. Something I personally don’t understand, it was such a massive case and the public were invested the whole time, so I don’t quite know why they kept it quiet for so long when the public deserved to know the truth.
The confession tape recording was over 17 hours long, the detectives described it was a ‘very well worked out performance in which I believe she told me just as much as she wanted mt to know and no more.’ He also said he was ‘struck by the fact that she was never there when the killings took place. She was in the car, over the brow of the hill, in the bathroom and even in the case of the Evans murder, in the kitchen’. The interviewing detective concluded that he felt he ‘had witnessed a great performance rather than a genuine confession’.
Police then visited Brady in prison and told him that Hindley had confessed, at first he refused to believe it. However once he was presented with some details that Hindley had provided of Pauline Reade’s abduction, Brady decided that he too was prepared to confess, but he had one condition, that he was immediately allowed to commit suicide after, a request that was impossible for the authorities to comply.
During March 1987, Hindley made her second visit to the moor. She stayed overnight in Manchester at the flat of the police chief in charge of Greater Manchester Police and she visited the moor twice. She confirmed to police that the two areas they were searching were correct, although she was unable to locate either of the graves.
In April 1987 the news of Hindley’s confession became public. Hindley was persuaded to release a public statement, in this she explained her reasons for denying her part in the murders, her religious experiences in prison, the letter from Johnson and that she saw no possibility of release. She also said David Smith took no part in the murders, except that of Edward Evans.
On July 1st 1987, after more than 100 days of searching, the police found a body buries 3 feet below the surface, only 100 yards from the place where Lesley Ann Downey had been found. When the news reached Brady that Reade’s body had been found, he made a formal confession to police. He also issued a statement to the press through his solicitor, saying that he too was prepared to help the police in their search.
On July 3rd 1987, Brady was taken to the moor but seemed to lose his bearings, he blamed the changes that had happened, so the search was called off at 3pm, at this time a large crowd of press and reporters had gathered.
Detectives refused to allow Brady a second visit, so after a few days Brady wrote a letter to a BBC reporter Peter Gould, he gave some sketchy details of five additional murders that he claimed to have carried out. He refused to identify the victims and the police failed to discover and unsolved crimes matching the details he had supplied. Hindley told police that he knew nothing of these killings. He claimed he had killed a man in the Piccailly area of Manchester, another victim on Saddleworth Moor, two more victims in Scotland and a women whose body he had dumped in a canal at a location which he declined to identify. The police decided that there was not enough evidence to launch an official investigation.
He also told Gould that ‘Hindley has a crafted Victorian Melodrama in which she portrays herself as being forced to murder serially.’ He added that she had never been forced into any of the killings and ‘can kill, both in cold blood or in a rage’. Adding ‘we both habitually carried revolvers and went for target practice on the moors. If I were mistreating her, she could have shot me dead at any time.’
Although Brady and Hindley had confessed to the additional murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, it was decided that nothing would be gained by a further trial as both were already serving life sentences so no further punishment could be inflicted.
On August 24th 1987 the police called off their search, despite not finding Keith Bennett’s body.
Then on December 1st 1987 Brady was taken back to the moors, but once again he was unable to locate the burial site.
Also during 1987 Hindley admitted that the plea for parole she had previously made eight years earlier was ‘on the whole, a pack of lies.’
During the 1990’s, Hindley claimed that she took part in the killings because Brady had drugged her, was blackmailing her with pornographic photos he had taken of her and he had threatened to kill her younger sister Maureen.
In July 1990, after Hindley confessed to having been more involved in the murders than she first admitted, the Home Secretary David Waddington imposed a whole life sentence on her. However she was not informed of this decision until 1994 when the prison services informed all life sentence prisoners of their minimum period they must serve in prison before being considered for parole.
In 1997, the parole board ruled that Hindley was low risk and could be moved to an open prison, she rejected the idea and in early 1998 she was moved to a medium security prison. The House of Lords left open the possibility of later freedom.
Between December 1997 and March 2000, Hindley made three different appeals against her life tariff, saying she was a reformed woman and no longer a danger to society, but each was rejected by the courts.
In 1999, Brady went on hunger strike after an alleged attack by staff in the hospital, however due to the Mental Health Act 1983, he could not refuse the treatment so was force-fed.
In March 2000 he asked for a judicial review of the decision to force-feed him, this was refused. He had said ‘Myra gets the potentially fatal brain condition, whilst I have to fight to simply die. I have had enough. I want nothing, my objective is to die and release myself from this once and for all. So you see my death strike is rational and pragmatic. I’m only sorry I didn’t do it decades ago and I’m eager to leave this cesspit in a coffin.’
In 2002, Hindley’s release looked imminent after another life sentence prisoner challenged the Home Secretary’s power to set minimum terms. Plans were made by supporters for Hindley to be given a new identity, however Home Secretary David Blunkett ordered Great Manchester Police to find other charges against her so she wasn’t released.
On November 15th 2002, Hindley died, aged 60 from bronchial pneumonia caused by heart disease at West Suffolk Hospital. There was a short service at Cambridge Crematorium, where none of her family attended. It was reported that more than 20 undertakers refused to handle her cremation. Four months later, her ex partner Patricia Cairns scattered her ashes only 10 miles away from Saddleworth Moor.
On November 25th 2002, the Law Lords agreed that judges should decide how long criminals spend in prison and stripped the Home Secretary of the power to see minimum sentences.
In 2003, the police began to search the moor again for the body of Keith Bennett, they read the statements of Brady and Hindley and studied the photos they had taken. Their search was aided by sophisticated modern equipment, including a satellite used to look for evidence of soil movement. They found nothing.
At the end of 2005, Winnie Johnson, Keith Bennett’s mother received a letter from Ian Brady claiming he could take police to within 20 yards of her son’s body but the authorities wouldn’t allow it.
In 2008, Hindley’s solicitor said that she had told him ‘I ought to have been hanged, I deserve it. My crime was worse than Brady’s because I enticed the children and they would never have entered the care without my role. I have always regarded myself as worse than Brady.’
On July 1st 2009, it was reported that the police had officially given up the search for Keith Bennett, saying ‘only a major scientific breakthrough or fresh evidence would see the hint for his body restart. Detectives also reported that they would never again give Brady the attention or the thrill of leading another search on the moor.
In March 2010, donations from members of the public funded a search on the moor for his body. Still nothing was found.
In August 2012, it was claimed that Brady may have gave details of the location of Keith Bennett’s body to one of his visitors. A woman was arrested on suspicion of preventing the burial of a body without lawful excuse, but after a few month the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to press charges.
Also in 2012, Brady applied to be returned to prison, reiterating his desire to starve himself to death. Then in June 2013 at a mental health tribunal Brady claimed he suffered not from paranoid schizophrenia as his doctors had maintained, but a personality disorder. His application was rejected.
On May 15th 2017, Brady died of restrictive pulmonary disease in Ashworth Hospital. On September 21st 2017, an inquest found that he had died of a natural cause and his hunger strike had not been a factor. On October 25th 2017, after a majority of councils in the UK refusing, he was finally cremated and his ashes were disposed of at sea.
Personally I think they are both evil, I don’t think we will ever know truly what happened on those fateful days, I think they both lied, they both tried to blame the other and make it seem like it wasn’t there fault. I find it so sad that Keith Bennett’s mother died, not being able to bury her son, not being able to lay him to rest. I think the game that Hindley and Brady played visiting the moors without actually assisting the police in finding his body made them even more evil. The fact Brady sent a letter to Keith’s mother saying he could find the body but the authorities wouldn’t allow it was just disgusting, how can he continue to play a sick and twisted game with someone, hadn’t he hurt their family enough without dragging it out and making it even worse for them.
I am so glad that they weren’t released and they both suffered when in prison with illness and finally death, they deserved it after the pain and torture they put those innocent children and families through.
I also find it very strange that they were both so in love, in love enough to commit these crimes together but almost instantly after being separated suddenly split up, to me that is kind of weird.
I pray that one day Keith Bennett’s body is found and he can be laid to rest in peace, now that both Hindley and Brady are dead, I’m not quite sure if that is possible, but I would like to think so.
I found this case and these people so interesting to search and look into, I have probably missed so much information, there is honestly tons for this case, I have tried to include as much as possible and all of the key dates, facts an figures. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
Thank you for reading.