One of Britain's most notorious criminal cases involved the murders of several children between 1963 and 1965. The bodies of four of the children were found buried on Saddleworth Moor. The Moor Murders were committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. It was the first time in British history that a woman had knowingly been involved in a partnership that involved the depraved serial murders of children.

Myra Hindley was born July 23, 1942 in Crumpsall, Manchester. She was considered a normal child who loved animals and children. In school she exhibited a talent for writing and poetry, loved sports and was a good swimmer. She was not considered particularly feminine and her broad hips earned her the nickname of 'Square Arse".
When Myra was fifteen, her friend Michael Higgins drowned in a popular swimming hole. Myra was plagued with guilt because she didn't want to go swimming with him. She felt that if she had been with him she would have saved him. Her school work suffered and she ended up leaving school in 1957. She went through several jobs and a broken engagement and on January 16, 1961 she went to work as a typist at Millard's, a chemical firm based in Manchester. It was here that she crossed paths with Ian Brady. The attraction for her was instantaneous.

Ian Brady was born Ian Duncan Stewart on January 2, 1938 in Glasgow, Scotland. His mother was not married at the time he was born and he never knew his father. When the pressure of being a single mom got to be too much, Ian was left in the care of Mary and John Sloane. His mother eventually married and moved to Manchester. Ian was considered a bright child but he never applied himself in school. By age eleven he began misbehaving and it was not long before he ran afoul of the police. He also became fascinated with Nazi Germany and was rumored to be abusing animals. Between the ages of 13 and 16 he was arrested three times for theft. He received probation twice but the third time he was ordered to leave Scotland and sent to live with his mother in Manchester. When he arrived in Manchester he took his stepfather's last name of Brady. He tried his hand at several jobs but was unable to remain employed for very long. He began drinking heavily and became increasingly obsessed with books about cruelty and torture including the writings of the Marquis de Sade. One of his favorite quotations from the writings was, "Rape is not a crime, it is a state of mind. Murder is a hobby and a supreme pleasure". It did not take long for Ian to return to a life of crime. It also did not take long for him to get caught. This time there would be no probation. He was sentenced to two years at Borstal schools in Hatfield and Hull prison. He was released in November of 1957. After long periods of unemployment Ian eventually went to work as a stock clerk at Millard's in 1959.

At the annual Christmas party, December 22, 1961, Ian, who had ignored Myra for nearly a year, asked her out on a date. He would take her to see Judgement at Nuremberg and as their relationship grew he would play Nazi marching songs and encouraged her to read his favorite books. He completely molded her personality to match his.

16-year-old Pauline Reade disappeared on July 12, 1963 on her way to a dance. Her naked body was not discovered until July 1, 1987. Pauline had apparently been offered a ride by Myra and as she drove out to Saddleworth Moor Ian followed them discreetly on a motorbike. Myra got out of the van and offered to give Pauline some records if she would help Myra find her missing glove. Once out of the van Ian smashed Pauline over the head we a shovel. Next he raped her and then slit her throat so deep she was almost decapitated. She was buried in a shallow grave.

12-year-old John Kilbride disappeared from a market in Ashton-under-Lyne. Myra drove a car she had rented to the moor. Ian was sitting in the back seat. Ian took John from the car, sodomized him and attempted to slit his throat. He eventually strangled him with a piece of string. John's body was found on October 21, 1965 in a shallow grave with his jeans and underpants pulled down to mid-thigh.

12-year-old Keith Bennett disappeared on his way to his grandmother's house on June 16, 1964. Hindley lured him into her car by asking for his help loading boxes. Once at the moor Brady raped and strangled him. His body has never been found. As the result of a letter written to Hindley by Keith's mom pleading for her to reveal what happened to her son, Hindley and Brady confessed to the murder in 1987 along with that of Pauline Reade's.

10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey disappeared from a fairground in Ancoats on December 26, 1964. She was taken back to Hindley's house. Naked, bound, and gagged she was forced to pose for obscene photos. After which she was molested and murdered by both Hindley and Brady. Her naked body was found on the moor on October 16, 1965. Amongst the evidence found by the police was an audiotape on which Lesley could be heard screaming, crying and begging for her mother. In what could only be described as one of the most horrific events in her life, Lesley's mother had to listen to her daughter's last moments of her life in order to assist the police in identifying her daughter.

Brady claimed he met their final victim, 17-year-old Edward Evans, at Manchester Railway Station. According to Brady he lured Edward back to Hindley's house with a promise of sex. This time however the murder was witnessed by Myra's brother-in-law, 17-year-old David Smith. As Smith watched in horror Ian repeatedly chopped at Edward's head with an axe. He then covered Edward's face with a cloth, wrapped an electrical cord around his neck and pulled until Edward was dead. Ian was injured during the struggle and fearing for his life, David helped Myra clean up and promised to return the next day to help her dispose of the body. When he returned home David told his wife what had transpired and she urged him to call the police.

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were arrested and charged with the murders of Edward Evans, John Kilbride, and Lesley Ann Downey. They pleaded "not guilty" to all charges and attempted to pin the murders on David Smith. Throughout the entire trial neither one showed any ounce of remorse. Even when they were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Ian Brady spent 19 years in prison until he was declared criminally insane and he was sent to Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital.

Myra Hindley remained in prison until her death in November of 2002 from a heart attack.


Anonymous said...

what in the world is wrong when someone is so desperate to be loved that they would preticipate in such depraved acts just to gain companionship? I think it is because people dont believe in god, or after this world as we know it, punishment for all eternity...

Post a Comment