Ian Brady: The killer who showed no remorse - BBC News
The sadistic crimes of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley shocked the nation to its core. Across Britain there was an outpouring of loathing for the pair. Children, they reasoned, were more likely to trust a woman than a man. Hindley and Brady shared the same obsessions - literature on sadism and . The press will not hesitate to forge a connection between Rosemary West's. As their relationship developed, they began taking obscene In the meantime, Brady and Hindley were intent on a campaign to corrupt.
Her throat was cut.
Book by Moors Murder witness David Smith recalls horror - BBC News
He was sexually assaulted, then strangled. Inyear-old Keith Bennett vanished on 16 June, walking to his grandmother's house. He was also strangled.
Next, on Boxing Day, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, was lured from a fairground, raped, tortured and strangled. Finally, on 6 OctoberEdward Evans, 17, was beaten to death with an axe. All the bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor, an unearthly wilderness just outside Manchester.
Only Keith Bennett's remains have never been recovered. The killers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, escaped the gallows by a legal twist of fate. To the British tabloids, they were — and still are — the incarnation of evil.
Brady was a psychopathic autodidact. He studied the Marquis de Sade and the Nazis, and in became a stock clerk at Millwards, a chemical works, where he met the year-old Myra Hindley who was working in the typing pool. In the words of a trial reporter: Full face she is almost a beauty.
As a girl, Myra had suffered physical violence from her stepfather, a demobbed paratrooper. At 13, she witnessed the drowning of a boyfriend in a reservoir and found consolation in the Roman Catholic church.
When Brady showed up at Millwards, it was love at first sight. Hindley's diary records her instant attraction. She was secretive about the relationship which, mixed with sexual cruelty, was probably a mystery to her, too.
There's no doubt she was besotted. In court, she said: I still love him. He would play records of Hitler's speeches or read aloud from Mein Kampf. She would dye her hair a brighter shade of Nordic blonde, or clean one of her revolvers she hankered for a Luger. At first, Hindley was only an accomplice to Brady's ambition to "commit the perfect murder". In the spring ofwhen their trial opened at Chester Crown Court, the press fed off the public's horror.
In the box was a woman whose naturally brown hair "has been changing colour", in the words of the Observer, "from week to week. First silver lilac, then bright canary blonde.
Book by Moors Murder witness David Smith recalls horror
At a glance, she looks as smartly turned out as a duchess, but when you look closer you see at once that this is mass-produced supermarket chic; there is an ambience of bubble gum and candyfloss.
The weekend after the day trial concluded with five concurrent life sentences — the abolition of the death penalty had become law while the prosecution was being prepared — the headline on the front of the Observer Review, on 8 Mayasked: Hindley is dead, but Brady, now 74, lives on, force-fed in Ashworth psychiatric hospital, a skeletal monster of rage and paranoia. Keith Bennett's mother, Winnie, died in August, never knowing the whereabouts of her son's body, and clinging to the hope that he might, after all, be still alive.
The media feeding frenzy surrounding the suggestion — later retracted — that Brady had written to the dying Winnie with the location of her son's grave, illustrates how, even inthis case remains a force-field of evil. One poignant testament to the ineradicable legacy of the Moors murders lies buried in the Observer's archives. Five boxes of letters and cuttings, the private papers of the editor David Astor, paint a pathetic and sometimes disturbing portrait of the prison life of Hindley, who died 10 years ago this month.
Her relationship with Astor, and her doomed attempts to escape her fate as "a witch", provide a strange, dark coda to a life lived in hell. From Gladstone on, liberal Britain has had a penchant for taking quixotic stands against intractable expressions of evil in the human condition, even at the risk of ridicule. David Astor, who was editor of the Observer inwas sympathetic to everything represented by Hindley's fate. As a young man, he'd had analysis with Anna Freud and remained in search of existential meaning.
Astor wanted the Observer to be the paper of psychological understanding. Under his editorship, the newspaper quested for "sense and reason" in a world ruled by insanity, and he was always attracted to apparently insoluble cases.
He had campaigned for years to secure the release of Nelson Mandela; the reports he commissioned from Anthony Sampson from the Rivonia trial are credited by many in the ANC as saving Mandela from the gallows. The Hindley case braided together all his deepest interests.
But it was strangely prophetic. On and off, Astor would devote the last two decades of his life to Myra Hindley's redemption. Through his friendship with Arthur Koestler, he was already interested in prison reform.
Hindley exercised a unique fascination for a man like Astor. At her sentencing, the judge had set no limit to her life sentence. Hindley, who would never be released, was told she would not be eligible for parole until she had spent 25 years inside, a tariff that was increased to 30 years in by the then home secretary, Leon Brittan.Serial Killers Brady & Hindley The Evil Relations Crime and Violence
With the passage of time, it became clear that she was not being treated like other lifers, and had become a "political" case. Like many prominent members of the establishment, Astor believed her treatment was unfair, unjust and a violation of her human rights.
From the best of intentions, he would test his admirers to the limit with his devotion to this cause. Astor's relationship with Hindley remains an unsettling sub-plot to the case, motivated by dreams of redemption and salvation. It was an attraction of opposites. Astor encountered Hindley across a chasm of class, inheritance and fortune. Blessed with luxury, comfort and privilege, he had been brought up at Cliveden in the shadow of his mother, Nancy Astor, a dominant, unconventional and pioneering woman.
For her part, Hindley's conviction at Chester in was simply the grim climax to a blighted life. Her role as Ian Brady's accomplice had transformed her into an object of supreme fascination, especially once it became clear that she was intelligent, and vulnerable to remorse and the idea of redemption through the renewal of her Roman Catholic faith.
Hindley's capacity for enthralling her supporters remains a disturbing theme in her correspondence with Astor. The eminent QC Helena Kennedynow a scion of the progressive establishment, was a young defence lawyer when she represented Hindley in court. She retains a vivid memory of the smartly dressed, dark-haired woman who could have been "an English literature teacher in a good secondary school. Hindley loved to read, and loved Middlemarch," Kennedy remembers. She always had a strong sense of the horror of what she had done.
The other important figure was her "confessor", Peter Timms, a prison governor turned priest, who considers her prison treatment "a scar on the judicial system". If public opinion was partly to blame for this, Hindley's case was certainly not helped by Longford, who was prone to unfortunate public utterances. Hindley, said Longford, was "a delightful person", adding that "you could loathe what people did, but should not loathe what they were, because human personality was sacred, even though human behaviour was very often appalling".
Longford and Astor had known each other since Oxford.
Their paths had often crossed in the beaten ways of liberal postwar Britain, and they shared an interest in prison reform. Astor was agnostic, verging on atheist, Longford a devout Roman Catholic.
Both were fascinated by the idea of redemption. Here, in Myra Hindley, was apparently a perfect case study: Early in the s, dismayed by the adverse publicity Longford was getting, Astor stepped in. He was an intensely shy, soft-spoken, man, but capable of decisive, occasionally ruthless, action.
Now, according to his widow Bridget, "David said to Frank [Longford]: Frank was always interested in publicity in a way that David really wasn't. Hindley, replying to "Dear Mr Astor", seemed to open her heart.
His public journalistic and his private, philanthropic impulses became hopelessly blurred. After their first exchange, he wrote that, "Incidentally, you write very well. Have you begun writing your thoughts?
I think you should, if only to exercise the gift you've got. But she's not ordinary: Pathologists said it was impossible to say whether Brady had sexually assaulted her.
Moors murders: Ian Brady 'got MARRIED' before death at Ashworth Hospital | Daily Star
In the shadow of the presidential assassination little attention was paid to the disappearance of the Manchester boy. John was lured on to the moor where he was sexually assaulted and murdered. John Kilbride, far left, and his younger brothers Credit: The photograph would later lead police to the young boy's resting place.
The body of the third victim, Keith Bennett, 12, has never been found. Keith died after leaving his home in Chorlton-on-Medlock in Manchester on June 16 Police mounted an intensive search of the moor in amid reports that the pair had confessed to his murder.
Myra Hindley letters: What where the Moors Murders? What do the letters say?
But even though Brady and Hindley were both permitted to travel to the moor to try to remember where the boy's remains were, they were not found. It was Brady and Hindley's next killing that sealed their reputation for pure wickedness - the murder of year-old Lesley Ann Downey on Boxing Day in PA She became their youngest victim when she was lured from a fairground to the house Hindley shared with her grandmother in Hattersley.
Her last moments were recorded on a harrowing minute, second audio tape. Her cries reduced the judge, jury, courtroom spectators and even hardened police officers to tears. John Stalker, former deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester, who was then a detective sergeant, expressed the feelings of many in the courtroom when he said: Her body was dug up naked except for shoes and socks. Had the pair not made a crucial blunder in involving Hindley's brother-in-law David Smith in their next enterprise, the murder of Edward Evans, 17, might not have been their last.
Smith was summoned to the house by a phone call on a false pretext.