The Moors Murderers: The Story of Ian Brady & Myra Hindley | Partners In Crime Series (Third Instalment) Graphic Content

(Ian Brady & Myra Hindley. Picture credit: imdb)

 Looking back on some of the horrendous cases we've had over here in the UK, there's a few that, no matter how much time passes, the public's anger about that particular crime (or crimes), never goes away and probably never will. Cases such as, Jack The Ripper, The Yorkshire Ripper, the two boys (Robert Thompson and Jon Venables) who abducted and murdered little James Bulger, The murder of Stephen Lawrence and so on. This case which I'm including in my Partners In Crime series, is one that you will probably be familiar with so you will no doubt be aware of the level of anger these two individuals stir up as soon as their names are mentioned. 

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, their evil crimes took place in the 1960s, both are now deceased but the evil legacy lives on because their story will forever remain a horrendous scar on British history due to what they carried out, who they were and the endless questions that remained unanswered when they both died. They took their evil secrets to the grave and the location of the remains of one of their innocent, young victims remains a mystery to this day. A beautiful location named Saddleworth Moor was turned from a peaceful, stunning beauty spot into a place of hell, a place of darkness where they created their own sickening graveyard and it is a place that is still home to the remains of 12 year old Keith Bennett. Keith is somewhere on that moor and he is the only known victim who's remains were never found. Time is not a healer for Keith's family and time will never make any of us forget this case and nor should it. I'm going to delve into this dark part of history that still remains part of our collective consciousness today. You can't talk about infamous true crime cases without mentioning Brady and Hindley, known as 'The Moors Murderers'. 

I've spoken about them briefly here on my blog previously but I will be focusing on them more in this third instalment. I will be sharing some truly disturbing details so please keep that in mind before continuing to read further. It is a harrowing case and one that, as I just mentioned, stirs up anger in those of us who care about children and human decency in general. It's also a case that strikes up much debate, just how involved was Hindley? why did she have 'supporters'?, Who was the leader and who was the follower? Were they both just at the same level of wickedness?. Whatever your thoughts are it is a case that divides on opinion. I will be sharing my thoughts a little bit later on, relating to this, in the post. 

(Myra Hindley. Picture credit: Biography)

The Moors Murders were before my time but I always heard about it growing up, there would be articles in the newspapers or reports, documentaries on TV about Brady and Hindley and I would see how members of my family would react as soon as they saw their faces on the screen or on the pages of the newspapers. Unfortunately, Ian Brady was Scottish so when I lived back home in Scotland, we'd hear and read about him a lot. Even though none of us were related to him or knew him personally, there was this sense of shame, embarrassment and anger that he had been from my country of birth. Scotland is often known as a beautiful, scenic and friendly place with warm people. It's like a lot of countries, it has it's good things about it and it's bad things but to know that someone so sick and evil could come from the place that you treasure so dearly, just makes one uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable writing this and the fact that he was Scottish (It wouldn't have mattered where he came from, he wasn't human in my opinion, he was a monster and he still did those horrible things) it just makes you feel very strange and I'm sure you understand what I mean. 

Dipping into their childhood's briefly, I'll start with Ian, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland on the 2nd of January 1938 and spent his early years being brought up by a foster family in a notoriously rough part of Glasgow known as the Gorbals. The Sloane family stepped in to look after Ian after his mother (who was a single parent at the time and Ian never met his real father who reportedly died before he was born) was struggling to cope. There was no bad feeling when Ian moved into the Sloane household, they took amazing care of him, treated him like one of their own and his mother kept in contact and visited him from time to time. If he ever needed anything, books, shoes, school stuff etc, either the Sloane family or his mother took care of it. 

(Ian Brady. Picture credit: Daily Record)

Whether it was the area he was brought up in or just his natural behaviour, Ian became a handful and a rather difficult child prone to moodswings and causing sheer chaos. Even though the Sloane family always did their best to make Ian feel included, as he grew a bit older, he was becoming more unsociable and very much a loner. His attitude towards people was negative and he had quite a high opinion of himself like he was far more intelligent that the kids around the neighbourhood. 

At school he was quite intelligent but had a difficult time joining in with the other kids. He did pass his exams but was not interested in anything or anyone. Nobody really knew what to make of him and pretty much left him to his own devices which saw him playing truant and smoking cigarettes. He seemed to be a boy who had a lot of intelligence and potential but for some reason there was this self destructive streak in him, he became bored easily and just threw his chances of growing and developing more academically out of the window. 

Ian's behaviour was soon spiralling out of control, he got a reputation for being a bully towards the younger children and would indulge in theft, breaking into people's houses and stealing valuable items. He also reportedly tortured animals but this is up for debate. Various sources will claim he did torture animals and others will claim that he didn't. Ian himself claimed that he never harmed an animal, saying he preferred them to humans. He and Myra both claimed to be animal lovers. It wasn't long before Ian found himself attending court hearings for his behaviour and petty crime. He was out of control and nobody knew what to do with him. It was suggested that he move to Manchester, England for a fresh start with his mother (who had moved down some time before as she had begun a new relationship). 

Ian was only 17 at this point but became heavily obsessed with Germany and in particular the history of Nazi Germany. Being in Manchester with a different accent also made him feel self conscious so again he went into himself and struggled to be sociable. He did manage to get a job as a butcher's assistant and spent all of his free time reading books such as, Mein Kampf and works by Marquis De Sade and Friedrich Nietzsche. He resorted to crime again and found himself in a borstal school and had a spell in the infamous Strangeways prison. 

Whilst in prison he continued to indulge in his love of books and decided to study bookkeeping. His plans on his prison release was to put together a plan of robbing a bank and making money by other illegal ways. However, when he did walk out of prison, his days were pretty much spent on the dole (ie: unemployed, living on welfare). He finally pulled himself together after a spell of drifting from job to job and seemed to have finally settled at a company called Millwards as a stock clerk. He'd managed to actually hold down this job and although his colleagues found him to be a bit odd, aloof and unsociable, they were happy with his work performance. 

After being in the role for a couple of years he'd heard that the company were going to be taking on a new member of staff. Myra Hindley joined the company as a shorthand typist. She was instantly attracted to Ian the minute she saw him and told friends later that he reminded her a bit of James Dean and Elvis. If he was interested in Myra, he certainly didn't show it although he may have had an idea that she was keen on him. For 12 months she practically drooled after him. She had a diary in which she wrote about him constantly, she'd come into work with her makeup and hair done, wearing tighter outfits and even resorted to getting some boring books out of the library that she had saw him reading in an attempt to impress him. She tried to find out everything she could about him which was quite hard as Ian never gave anything away and was a very private person. She made note of his favourite authors and set about getting a particular book she overheard him talking about. She spent months trying to get him to notice her and talk to her and she went through a constant roller coaster of emotions just trying to get his attention. When she walked into work one morning with this particular book, Ian suddenly noticed and walked over to her. He asked her if the book was any good and grabbed it out of her hand and said that he would have to borrow it from her sometime. 

Myra was in heaven at this moment and used this as a starting point for trying to get closer to him. Eventually they went on a date and Myra's obsession with Ian grew and grew. 

Myra Hindley was born on the 23rd of July 1942 in Manchester, England. Much has been said about her childhood but it wasn't as bad as she and her supporters led others to believe. Whilst Myra was in prison talking about writing her own autobiography, her supporters encouraged her to write about anything negative from her childhood and 'big it up' to gain some sympathy and a hope that it would possibly help her case in regards to parole. Myra did live in an area that had seen better days but she was quite better off than some of the other kids in the neighbourhood. In the beginning, she lived with her parents and sister but her father was strict and there would be a lot of tense arguments in the household. Myra was lucky enough to be able to leave her house whenever she wanted to as her grandmother lived near by. So near that she could look out the window of her parent's house and see her grandmother's home. Myra was spoiled rotten by her grandmother, she would be often given cakes and hearty meals so she never did without. 

(Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, Picture credit: Daily Star)

Her supporters tried to make a big deal out of an incident in Myra's past where a local bully (a boy) had been picking on her. When she went to her father for some advice, his advice was for her to punch this boy and stand up for herself. Her supporters would later say that her father was teaching her violence and this was putting her on to the path of what she became. In my opinion, this is nonsense. I had a similar experience in my childhood where I was bullied and my grandmother told me to basically hit this bully or she would hit me. There was nothing extreme or violent about it and I actually did hit this bully back and do you know what? that bully never bothered me again. It's how things were done with people who were old school and whether anyone wants to admit it or not, hitting a bully back would solve the problem. 

Throughout my research, I would find myself shaking my head at the number of people who'd become obsessed with Myra Hindley and her release. There seemed to be this group of upper class 'more money than sense' people who would visit her and claim that they had gotten to know the real her and that she had changed and been rehabilitated. It all screamed 'freak show vibes' to me too, where rich people would go to roadshows in the past and pay money to see what they deemed to be 'human freaks'. It was like they all just wanted to brag about the fact that they had become close with the individual who was deemed 'The Most Evil Woman In Britain'. Myra was also inundated with gifts, flowers (can you believe it?) and a never ending line of people who wanted to write her life story. It was like she was a celebrity. 

So, she had a very run of the mill childhood but a traumatic event did occur when a boy that she had become close friends with, had tragically drowned in an accident. Michael Higgins was a shy, quiet boy who was often picked on by the other kids in the neighbourhood. Myra would stand up for him and saw him as a little brother. The story of Myra and Michael is one that is often twisted and even to this day, people believe that she had something to do with his death. The actual truth is, is that Myra wasn't with Michael on this rare occasion (the pair were usually quite inseparable), he went swimming with some other boys. She was with some other friends when one of the boys told her there had been a terrible accident involving Michael. When Myra heard that Michael had passed away she was devastated and blamed herself. She believed that if she had been there she would have been able to look after him and save him. In this situation there was genuine remorse and feeling from Myra and her feelings of guilt about Michael never left her. She had a difficult time trying to come to terms with Michael's death and the overwhelming feeling of guilt that even his mother was concerned for Myra. Even years later right up until she died, Myra would talk about Michael, claim that she had seen him in visions and dreams. I could understand this being a very traumatic event but it still doesn't explain or excuse her actions years later. If anything you would think it would have made her more of an empathetic person having been through that sense of loss and seeing what Michael's mother went through. 

Myra followed the Catholic faith and left school at 15 with the focus on getting a job. Fast forward a few years and she starts working at Millwards where she meets Ian Brady. So they began dating and she was hanging on his every word. Ian didn't believe in God and when she told him about what happened with Michael he basically said that God allowed that to happen. He was able to get inside of her head and twist a few things. He started teaching her German and getting her to read books on Nazis. They would watch films together that Ian had chosen, they were all about Nazis and other sorts or rubbish and propaganda. I can imagine Myra finding these things boring as well as quite disturbing and ridiculous (as most of us would) but she lapped it all up. Ian had his own ideas and beliefs set in stone but Myra didn't come to him as an innocent young girl with no views of her own. Myra was known to be quite racist herself and would often sneer and make comments about people and this was even before Ian was on the scene. 

She was that obsessed that even when she wasn't with him she was thinking about him, writing about him and talking about him. Myra would later talk about her obsession with Ian as if it was something normal that all young girls go through and that we would all do the same thing. I beg to differ, you could be the most handsome man on earth but if you start preaching Nazi propaganda to me and have an unsavoury interest in children then I'm out of the door, quick as a flash. Myra Hindley and her supporters had an excuse for everything and would often downplay her role in the crimes but she was willing, she took part and in some cases led the situation. 

The bond between Ian Brady and Myra Hindley deepened, she would do absolutely anything for him and in her, he found the perfect slave and accomplice. He knew the power he had over her and he exploited it. he never really loved her although he would tell her so to keep her sweet and continue her devotion to him. I don't think Ian Brady was capable of loving anybody. 

When he had completely got her indoctrinated to his way of thinking (he basically groomed her to some extent) he felt it safe to share his sexual fantasies with her, confidently knowing that she was under his complete control and would not run off and expose him. He told her that he was sexually attracted to children and had fantasies of molesting and murdering them. Instead of being absolutely horrified, running out the door and calling the police, she stayed with him and shared these sick fantasies and the pair even came up with a plan about abducting a child and creating ''The perfect murder''. Myra would often accompany him as he would sit outside of schools taking pictures of school children. 

So both of them planned and carried out this sick fantasy and Myra was the one who would entice these poor children into the vehicle and lead them to their rape and deaths. Myra would be driving in front of Ian who was on his motorbike. If he saw a child that he wanted, he would flash the lights and Myra would stop and talk to the child. On the first occasion that they did this Ian wanted an 8 year old child but Myra persuaded him not to because she thought that it would cause too much publicity, she suggested a slightly older child. Ian saw a young girl and flashed the lights again, this time it was someone that Myra knew. The girl was 16 year old Pauline Reade who went to school with Myra's younger sister, Maureen. Even though Myra knew this young girl she didn't seem to care and encouraged Pauline to get into the vehicle with the promise of a lift to a dance she was going to. Pauline, thinking it was safe because she knew Myra, felt comfortable to go along with her. At some point in the journey, Myra claimed that she had lost an expensive glove on Saddleworth Moor and asked Pauline if she wouldn't mind helping her look for it and she'd take her straight to the dance afterwards. Pauline went to the moors and saw Ian pull up, she asked who he was and Myra said that he was going to help them look for the glove. Myra claims that she saw Ian and Pauline go out onto the moors and she sat in the van and Ian returned after 30 minutes. Myra claimed that she saw Pauline lying deceased, almost decapitated with her clothes in disarray. When she asked Ian if he had raped Pauline he reportedly replied ''Of course I did.'' 

Myra later told the police that she went back to the van and waited whilst Ian buried Pauline. His version of events differed, he claimed that Myra was an active participant in the sexual assault and murder of Pauline. At this time (despite supposedly being obsessed with Ian and under his complete control and not able to make her own decisions for whatever reason - as she claimed) Myra was being a bit of a dark horse because she was having an affair with a police officer behind Ian's back. The police officer knew nothing of Ian, the plans to rape and murder or anything like that, he and Myra were just seeing each other and they were still seeing each other at the time of Pauline Reade's murder. So, Myra who claimed to be shocked and horrified about Pauline's murder and frightened of Ian, basically continued to see the police officer and not make any attempt to tell this man what had happened to Pauline or made any attempt to get help. The affair with the police officer fizzled out and Myra continued to see Ian and the evil pair planned the next murder. 

This time Ian was complaining that he wanted someone younger because Pauline had been difficult to deal with, he needed someone younger and weaker. Despite Myra moaning about how taking a younger child would attract too much attention, she went along with Ian's wishes and put on her black wig and headscarf. Their next victim was a little boy, 12 year old John Kilbride. Similar routine as before, they promised John a bottle of sherry if he helped them look for a expensive glove on Saddleworth Moor. Myra claimed that she stayed in the car whilst Ian took John out on to the moor where the child was sexually assaulted. Ian tried to cut John's throat but the knife was too blunt so he strangled him with a piece of chord. 

(Myra Hindley with her dog, Puppet, stood over the grave of John Kilbride. Picture credit: Daily Mail)

As Myra predicted, John Kilbride's disappearance did draw a lot of publicity and a huge search was undertaken with 2000 volunteers taking part in the search and hundreds of information posters placed around Manchester, put through letterboxes and placed in the windows of houses and local shops. The police reportedly spoke to around 700 people in their quest to find John. 

The public panic over John's disappearance didn't seem to phase Ian and Myra because they just carried on and selected their third 'known' victim who was another 12 year old boy, Keith Bennett. Keith was a kind little boy and we know this from the fact that when Myra asked him to help her carry some boxes into her mini van, Keith, who was on his way to visit his grandmother, stopped to help). This time, Ian was in the back of the van and they persuaded Keith to get in and they would take him to his grandmother's house. However, on the way to the grandmother's house they turned the other direction and told Keith they needed help looking for an expensive glove on the moors. Again, Myra claimed that she sat waiting in the vehicle whilst Ian raped and murdered another poor child. Ian returned to the van with a shovel saying that he'd raped and murdered Keith. He didn't bother using a knife this time, he strangled him with a piece of chord. 

Professor David Wilson (famous Criminologist in the UK) said that murderers often fantasise about what they would like to do with a potential victim for years before they actually commit a crime. He also said that once the killer has indulged in this fantasy once or twice, they begin to tire and look for other ways to get that gratification so in the next murder, they may use a different technique or select a different type of victim. 

With Myra and Ian, their next plan was to take a child back to the house they shared with Myra's grandmother at 16 Wardle Avenue in Hattersley (at this point they were living together). Myra had persuaded her grandmother to leave them the house for the night (with some lame excuse, probably told her that they were having a romantic evening or something). It was Boxing Day in 1964 and they drove to a funfair looking for a child and spotted a little girl who appeared to be on her own. Little Lesley Ann Downey was only 10 years old and was a very beautiful, almost doll like looking child. The details around her death are some of the most disturbing and heartbreaking to ever read or hear about. These monsters used their usual routine of Myra pretending to be a nice lady and tricked Lesley into the car. They drove Lesley to the house and took her upstairs where they forced the child to posed naked for pornographic photographs. She was also sexually assaulted and murdered by a combination of strangulation and smothering. Throughout this poor little girl's ordeal, Ian had a tape recorder in the background, so, not only was he taking sick phototgraphs, he was recording everything. This tape of this evil nightmare was later found in a suitcase by investigators who had to sit and listen to Lesley Ann Downey's last moments in that room with those two monsters. Grown men of a certain age, seasoned investigators, people who had years of experience dealing with all sorts of crimes...struggled to get through that tape. Anyone who worked on this case will tell you that the tape was horrendous and still haunts them to this day. The tape is deemed too harrowing to be released to the public and only parts of transcripts are available and even they are shocking enough. 

Myra lied through her teeth when later questioned about Lesley Ann Downey and claimed that she had no active part in the role of her murder or abuse. She made ridiculous excuses such as ''I was looking out of the window when the pictures were taken'' or ''I was downstairs'' and ''I was running a bath.'' The tape said it all as the investigators (and later on, the packed courtroom at their trial) heard. Lesley cried, pleaded and begged for them to stop and let her go home, Ian can be heard shouting at the little girl to ''Put it in'' and Myra could be heard being aggressive, cold, wicked and demanding of the child. There was no mistake about it, both were heavily involved in that evil, sadistic scene and it was this tape that helped expose Myra Hindley for the evil monster that she was. People were shocked because she was relying on the fact that she was a woman and these were the days that some people were still naive thinking that there was no way that a female could be so cruel and evil, especially to a child. People still had it in their heads that all women were maternal, mothering protectors who had this inbuilt need to care and comfort all children. Just like Ted Bundy scared people years later (having been this intelligent, well-spoken, handsome man who was actually a cold blooded monster) by proving that appearances can be deceptive, here was Myra showing that women could be just as evil and in some cases, more evil than men. 

Once Lesley was deceased they drove up to Saddleworth Moor the next morning and put the child's naked body in a shallow grave with her clothes in a bundle at her feet.

During Myra and Ian's relationship they would often take trips up to the moors for picnics and to take photographs. Ian would take pictures of Myra standing on or near the burial sites of the victims. One of the infamous pictures that is regularly seen is the one where she is stood on a mound of earth, holding her dog (Puppet) and looking down towards the mound of earth with a smirk on her face. 

As well as these trips, they would often spend time with Myra's younger sister Maureen and her partner, David Smith. Myra wasn't a big fan of David Smith, she didn't think he was suitable for her sister because he had a background of petty crime and had been on the wrong side of the law quite a few times. Myra tolerated him for the sake of her sister but Ian took a shine to him and the feeling seemed to be mutual. Just like Ian had done with Myra, David seemed to be quite taken in by Ian and would sit listening with fascination as he talked about politics and Nazism. Even worse, David actually agreed with a lot of the Nazi stuff that Ian was talking about. David and Ian would often talk about committing a bank robbery or murder together, it was soon clear that Ian had found himself another potential sidekick. Myra wasn't happy about any of this and felt that David was beginning to take centre stage with Ian. Suddenly, it was 'boys only' club and she found herself pushed to the side. 

(Maureen Hindley & David Smith. Picture credit: The Sun)

As time went on, Ian started to feel that he was in a comfortable place with David and had plans in store for him. As well as being a Peadophile, Ian was also bisexual and would frequent gay bars unbeknown to Myra. It was at a gay bar that he met 17 year old Edward Evans and the pair would see each other now and again. Edward was reportedly their last known victim, Ian asked Myra to pick him and Edward up from a train station in Manchester. Ian told Edward that Myra was his sister and she played along. Ian later told police that he took Edward back to the house with the intention of having sex with him but they changed their minds and decided to kill him instead but make David part of proceedings. David, who claimed to have no idea what was about to happen, had been asked to come over to the house by Myra. When David arrived and was standing in the kitchen (the others were in the livingroom) he apparently heard Myra shout ''DAVID! HELP HIM''

David ran into the livingroom to find 17 year old Edward on the sofa being murdered by Ian Brady. When the horrific moment was done. Ian complained that he'd twisted his ankle and needed help moving the body to the spare room. David claims he was terrified and helped them move the body because he was in fear for his life. After Edward's body was wrapped up and placed in the spare room, Myra locked the door and kept the key then went to the living room and started cleaning. David said that Myra was frantically cleaning the living room and moaning about the mess in a comedic way. She also commented in a farcical way ''Did you see his eyes when you first hit him? he wasn't expecting that.'' 

After David finished help clean up the scene and had a cup of tea he pretended that all was well and that he would be back in the morning to help them take Edward's body up to Saddleworth Moor. 

As soon as David went home he told Maureen what had happened, they talked for hours and then contacted the police. Later that morning, the police knocked on the door of 16 Wardle Brook Avenue with one of the cops dressed as a 'Bread Delivery man'. When Myra answered the door she told him that they didn't want any bread, the policeman soon revealed himself and they all went into the house to see Ian sitting in the living room. 

The police asked them about a violent disturbance that had been heard the previous night. the pair claimed to not know what they were talking about. David had told the cops that Edward's body was in the spare room next to a closet where they kept a stash of guns. The police searched the house but the spare room door was locked, they asked Myra for the key, she claimed not to have it, that it was at work. The police said they would take her to her workplace and get the key. Knowing the game was up, Ian said ''Just give them the key.''

The police got into the room and found Edward's body and arrested Ian who claimed that Edward was killed after an argument got out of hand. Myra wasn't arrested at this point, they were questioning her. 

The police continued to search the house where they found a list of written names. On this list they saw 'John Kilbride' who they knew was a missing child. The police began to suspect that there could be the possibility that Ian and Myra could be responsible for John's disappearance. A ticket for a storage locker was also found and David told them that was a private stash of items that Ian wanted hidden away. The police found the locker which contained a suitcase, inside the suitcase was various pictures taken of Myra and Ian on the Moors, Nazi books, Other types of sickening books. The horrific tape of Lesley Ann Downey's murder was there and so was the sickening photographs they had taken of her. The police also arrested Myra. 

The pair were kept in custody and Ian was protecting Myra and she was still declaring her love for him. The police continued to investigate and started digging on Saddleworth Moor. David had told them that Ian often bragged that he had buried children up there. They found John Kilbride's remains after examining the photograph of Myra standing on what appeared to be a mound of earth with her dog. They also found Lesley Ann Downey's remains. The police took Myra's dog, Puppet and decided to check the dog's teeth to verify how old the dog actually was, to give them an indication of how old the photographs were. The dog was put to sleep as part of the examination but sadly passed away during the procedure. It was later revealed that the dog had an underlying health condition but Myra accused the police of being murderers. She was distraught over the death of her dog but showed no remorse for the murders she took part in.

(One of the searches on Saddleworth Moor. Picture credit: The New York Times)

The game was up for the both of them, the evidence was overwhelming. Ian confessed to the murders of Lesley, John and Edward. He was still protecting Myra and during all of this they were allowed to briefly keep in contact and even saw each other in person during hearings and solicitor meetings. There was even moments where the pair were able to see each other in person and have a cup of tea together in the canteen. On one occasion they shared a chocolate Easter egg before a court appearance and complained as they walked up to the dock that they felt sick cause they'd eaten so much. Their first Christmas behind bars, Myra's mother and grandmother bought up some food to the cells and Ian and Myra had dinner. Despite the horrific crimes they were accused of, both had support and regular contact with their families. 

''Nothing else matters as long as Ian is ok.'' -  Myra Hindley 

Their trial was a short one, beginning in April 1966, it was a major event with everyone wanting to get into the courtroom. Special arrangements were made for Ian and Myra to appear behind protective glass because so many people wanted to get their hands on them. Newspaper reporters and TV crews were everywhere and the hotel rooms were booked up by media and eager members of the public who stood outside the courthouse during the trial. Everyone was talking about it. 

They both pleaded not guilty but all of the damning evidence was shown in court, the evil tape was played in court of Lesley Ann Downey's death. On the 6th of May, the jury took just over two hours to come to the decision that both were guilty. Ian was sentenced to three life sentences and Myra was given two. They were not given the death penalty of hanging because it had been suspended at that point before finally being abolished in 1969. A lot of people were angry that Ian and Myra didn't face the hangman's noose for what they had done. 

''If I'd have known that I was being recorded, I would have been careful with what I said.'' -  Myra Hindley talking to a friend later about the Lesley Ann Downey tape. 

So they both went into their sentences at the beginning, defiant and under the belief that they were going to be free some day and they talked of getting married. They continued to write to each other but somewhere along the line the penny started to drop and the realisation that they were not going to see each other ever again, kicked in. Ian wasn't interested in being released he wanted to die in prison but Myra wanted out and decided to play the victim. As the years rolled by, Myra began having affairs with other women in prison and told people she no longer loved Ian and didn't want to write to him anymore. Ian had heard about Myra's new outside friends who were trying to campaign for her release and gathered from the lack of responses to letters that she was no longer in love with him. Myra eventually wrote him a letter telling him of her feelings. Myra became hell bent on getting out of prison and she knew she had to cut ties with Ian in order to portray herself as this innocent young girl who had been forced to do these things by an evil, controlling man. 

One wonders if Ian was envious of all of the fuss that Myra was getting cause nobody cared about him, he was seen as the monster, the one that was responsible for it all and as time went on and he learned more and more about Myra's support and her bid for freedom, the more the animosity grew. Ian decided to throw a  spanner in the works when word started heating up about the possibility of Myra getting out of prison. He spoke to a journalist in 1985 that he and Myra had also been responsible for the deaths of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett. Myra was devastated when she found out because she was hoping that because so many years went by that people would have partially forgotten what they did and she'd be able to get out. The news spread like wildfire and everything was brought back up again with searches taking place on Saddleworth Moor. 

Pauline Reade's body was eventually found in 1987 but Keith Bennett's remains have never been found despite his mother Winnie Johnson, writing letters to Ian and Myra for years, begging and pleading to them for the location so that she could bury her beloved son. They never told her where her son was buried, they went to their graves with their dark secrets and the answers to many, many questions. 

Myra continued her time in prison fighting to be released, claiming to be one of Ian Brady's victims. She claimed to have found God again and was a changed woman. She died her blonde hair dark and tried to distance herself from who she really was. For years she manipulated people, told people in the early days of her sentence that she was an innocent woman, only to turn around years later and confess. There were still some people who stood by her and it did look like she was going to be released at some point. I remember being fixated on the news reports at the time and there was talk of Myra being released and given a new identity. It was possible that it could happen especially as she had a lot of upper class people fighting her corner who had plenty of money. In another sickening revelation about this case which sounded too shocking to be true was that Myra had actually had an affair with Rose West whilst in the same prison together.  It sounded like a sick joke that someone made up but it was actually true, the evil pair bonded but it was a short affair.  She ended up with a number of health issues and on the 15th of November 2002 at the age of 60, Myra Hindley breathed her last. She died of bronchial pneumonia, she'd been suffering with ill health for years and even then, her supporters were campaigning that she get compassionate release. 

(One of Myra Hindley's prison photographs. Picture credit: The Guardian)

When it was announced that she had died, a lot of people didn't believe it. Some people believed that she had been smuggled undercover out of the prison at midnight and given a new identity. It sounds crazy but this has actually been done with other people so I don't blame people for thinking that. There was even drama in death for Myra Hindley because none of the local undertakers would accept her remains for cremation. Eventually the police had her cremated and one of her ex girlfriend's scattered her ashes in a country park. There was rumours that she requested to be scattered on Saddleworth Moor but this was false. 

When Keith Bennett's mother heard about Myra's death, she was devastated because she felt that it was a missed opportunity to find out where Keith's grave was. She never gave up hope and really wished that Myra would have had a change of heart and tell her but she never did. Winnie died in 2012 never knowing where Keith's remains were. Despite never being given that information she so desperately craved and deserved, she continued to take flowers up to Saddleworth Moor because she said she felt closer to Keith there. Winnie's family have vowed to never give up hope that Keith will be found one day. 

(Winnie Johnson with a picture of her son Keith. Picture credit: Manchester Evening News)

Ian Brady spent his sentence and final years being the pathetic cry baby that he always was. He had a huge fear of spiders and would often get Myra to take them away cause he couldn't deal with them. He was a typical coward who felt powerful picking on smaller people. He constantly craved attention and would go on hunger strike and threaten to commit suicide every 5 minutes just to get on the news. It got to the point where people were tired of hearing it. He'd go through stages of refusing to be interviewed and then he'd make a big announcement but nobody was interested in what he had to say. He didn't help Winnie Johnson either. He was seen as a waste of oxygen just using up tax payers money. 

A lot of ghoulish people wrote to him. A creepy guy once contacted me bragging that he had personal letters from Ian Brady as if that was something to be proud of. Why would anyone want to write to that monster who had raped and murdered these poor children? What could he possibly tell you? What would you want to know? No good could ever come of being in contact with that monster. If you're a Criminologist or a Criminal Profiler and you're writing to him for study purposes then fine but if you're just Joe Bloggs down the street who wants to just chat with him, that's just plain creepy and odd in my book. 

''Myra gets the potentially fatal brain condition, whilst I fight simply to 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.'' -  Ian Brady 

Ian Brady managed to live to the ripe old age of 79 and died in 2017 and not a tear was shed when he passed away. The only thing any of us cared about was that he never told Winnie where Keith's remains were. He couldn't do that one decent thing to help that lovely woman who never had a proper rest for decades. 

David Smith was heavily criticised because he had made a few deals with the press to sell his story in exchange for cash. He'd managed to make some money out of the situation and some people thought that it was in poor taste and were quite suspicious of him, just how much did he know or how much was he really involved in? Myra tried to imply for years that he was more involved than he let on. David passed away from cancer in 2012 at the age of 65. Myra's younger sister, Maureen had actually passed away in 1980 whilst Myra was serving her sentence, the pair remained close and in regular contact. Maureen died in 1980 due to a brain hemorrhage. 

I just want to take a moment to remember the known victims of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.


Pauline Reade

John Kilbride 

Keith Bennett

Lesley Ann Downey

Edward Evans 

(The known victims of Ian Brady & Myra Hindley. From top left: Edward Evans, Keith Bennett & Pauline Reade. Bottom left: John Kilbride & Lesley Ann Downey. Picture credit: The New York Times)

Let's hope that Keith Bennett's remains are finally found. It was reported in October of 2022 that the police had been conducting a search and dig of a certain location on Saddleworth Moor after an Author claimed that he had found a skull. Under close examination it was determined that Keith's remains had not found and no human remains had been discovered. The case remains open. 

16 Wardle Brook Avenue was demolished in 1987. 

I wasn't even around in the 1960s and this case bothers me. I think it bothers anyone who knows about it. I've driven passed Saddleworth Moor at night and there's something very haunting about it. There's a horrible feeling that comes over you knowing the history of that place and the secrets it holds. A very dark, horrible history. I saw a little country pub near to the moors and I wondered, is that where those monsters stopped for a drink on one of their many trips there? There's something surreal and disturbing when you see something like that in real life, a crime scene. It almost tells the story of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady because they spent so much time there and took their victims there. 

Further Reading & Sources:

One of Your Own: The Life & Death of Myra Hindley | Book by Carol Ann Lee

Evil Relations | Book by Carol Ann Lee & David Smith

The Encyclopedia of Serial killers (Second Edition) | Book by Michael Newton

Born Killers | Book by Christopher Berry Dee

A History of British Serial Killing | Book by David Wilson

The Anatomy of Evil | Book by Michael H Stone

The Killer Book of Serial Killers | Book by Michael & Tom Philbin

Myra Hindley & Moors Murders Documentary

Moors Murders | Wikipedia

Saddleworth Moor | Wikipedia

Myra Hindley | Article: Mirror

The Big Book of Serial Killers | Book by Jack Rosewood & Rebecca Lo

Ian Brady | Article: The Sun

Keith Bennett | Article: Sky News

The True Crime Dictionary | Book by Amanda Lees

Winnie Johnson | Article: Manchester Evening News

Serial Killers & The Phenomenon of Serial Murder | Book by David Wilson, Elizabeth Yardley & Adam Lynes

This was a lot to get through so again, like I have mentioned in previous posts, I appreciate you taking the time to join me through these cases and I hope you'll join me next week for the fourth instalment in my Partners In Crime series. In the meantime, I hope to see you on my Socials and if you enjoy my content, please help support my work by donating here!! Thank you!

Please stay safe and I'll see you in my next post x 


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  2. Hello Jo,

    I finished your third instalment of your « Partners in Crime » series. I can’t say enough about your work Jo, you’re awesome.

    It certainly one of the most evil couple that ever lived. Another sick couple. that have done so much chaos and cost the live of so many poor children. I can’t even describe my feeling. There is nothing more disturbing than a case involving children. These 2 were EVIL.

    Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were the definition of monsters. They were not human !

    RIP to all the young and innocent victims. I’m obviously hoping that one day they will find the remains of Keith Bennett. I feel so sad for Winnie Johnson, she would have deserved closure.

    Thank you so much Jo for your “Partners in Crime” series, it’s masterpiece and brilliant.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it! The posts in this series are super long so I appreciate you taking the time to get through them. I hope and pray for the day that they find Keith, just wish that Winnie was alive to see it.

  3. Same here Jo, I am so sad that Winnie never had the chance to found closure when she was alive. I hope that one day, they finally found Keith remains Xx Thank you so much again Jo for your masterful series.