GREATER MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — On May 6, 1966, Judge Fenton Atkinson sentenced Ian Brady, 28, to three concurrent life sentences for what he deemed a trio of “calculated, cruel, cold-blooded murders.”
Myra Hindley, Brady’s 23-year-old girlfriend and accomplice, received two life sentences.
The guilty convictions came down for the couple’s kidnap, torture, rape, and killing of at least three children: Pauline Reade, 16; John Kilbride, 12; and Lesley Ann Downey, 10. Although in fact, Brady, with Hindley’s assistance, murdered five victims total.
Brady strangled and shot Keith Bennett, 12, whose body has never been found. He also killed Edward Evans, 17, with an ax and failed to dispose of the evidence in a timely fashion.
David Smith, Hindley’s 17-year-old brother, witnessed the Evans attack and went to the police. Smith’s testimony brought an end to the couple’s reign of terror, which had lasted from 1963 to 1965.
The horrifying case came to be known as the Moors Murders after the bodies of John Kilbride and Leslie Ann Downey turned up in 1966 buried at Saddleworth Moor. Twenty-one years later, police brought both Brady and Hindley back to the moor to point out other graves. Searchers then unearthed the body of Pauline Reade.
Amid reports that Hindley expressed remorse and even claimed to not have been present at the killings because she “hated blood,” the convicted murderess spent much of the 1990s pleading for parole, only to get shut down every time.
Myra Hindley died in 2002 from bronchial pneumonia and heart disease. She was 60. After her demise, it was reported that more than 20 crematory services refused to handle the body. They didn’t spend decades calling her “the most hated woman in England” for nothing.
Brady, alas, remains among the living. Every so often, he stirs up enough tumult to make headlines.
In 1985, authorities deemed Brady “criminally insane” and transferred him to Ashworth Hospital. Brady insists he’s not crazy and has mounted numerous legal campaigns both to be transferred back to a standard prison and to starve himself to death.
Brady claims he’s been staging a “hunger strike” as a protest since 1999. Somehow, though, this demonstration clearly involves Brady eating food, reportedly of his own volition.
At present, Brady is 79 and reported to be “terminally ill.” He says he can’t die soon enough. Few would argue that point.
The reviled convict last directly shook up the news in February 2017, after searchers hit Saddleworth Moor on a tip from the killer as to where the body of Keith Bennett might be buried. They dug a up double-barreled Elbar shotgun.
In a letter to a TV reporter, Brady hinted that the weapon may have been the one he used to kill the Bennett boy. He wrote:
“Shotgun? I had two shotguns, two revolvers, two rifles, and an automatic, strategically placed. The police only got the revolvers and one rifle.”
Authorities also discovered a photograph Brady took of Myra Hindley cuddling her dog atop what they believe may be Keith Bennett’s grave.
Since then, Brady has expressed outrage that Robin Makin, his lawyer, can’t get a tax-funded legal-aid grant. He recently filed for a Judicial Review, claiming that not paying Makin with tax money is a denial of his “human rights.”
The court’s official Lord Chancellor on the case continually dismisses the sudden human rights campaigner who has proudly boasted about abducting, terrorizing, sexually violating, and slaughtering five human children.
Most recently, the Lord Chancellor stated: “There is no human right to publicly funded legal representation of a person’s choosing, where civil proceedings are concerned.”
Remarkably, even when it’s not his own doing, Brady’s name keeps cropping up anew in the British tabloids.
In March 2017, Paula Williamson, a 36-year-old soap-opera actress turned psycho groupie who’s presently engaged to notorious UK prisoner Charles Bronson, was revealed to have spent much of her life “obsessed” with Ian Brady. She is welcome to them both.
Main photos: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley [Wikipedia]