Little Bits of History

Moors Murders

Posted in History by patriciahysell on July 12, 2014
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

July 12, 1963: Pauline Reade never arrives at the British Railways Club in Gorton. The 16-year-old was on her way to a dance. Instead, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley saw her walking down the road. Hindley recognized her as a friend of her younger sister, Maureen. Reade got into Hindley’s van and was asked if she would help search for a missing item out on Saddleworth Moor. The women went together and when the van stopped, Brady pulled up behind them on his motorcycle. Brady took Reade out to the moor alone and Hindley waited at the van. About 30 minutes later he returned to van and took Hindley to the spot where Reade lay dying with her clothes in disarray and her throat slit. Brady’s plan to “commit the perfect murder” seemed to be working. On their way home, they passed Joan Reade who was searching for her missing daughter.

Brady was born in 1938 and Hindley in 1942. The two committed five murders between this date and October 1965. The victims were all children between the ages of 10 and 17. Pauline Reade was the first with John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey, and Edward Evans following. At least four of the children were sexually assaulted. The murders were known as the Moors murders because the recovered bodies were found buried in the Saddleworth Moor. When police came to the Brady-Hindley residence on October 7, 1965, they found the trussed up dead body of the last victim hidden in a closet upstairs. Brady implicated Hindley’s brother-in-law in the murder, but denied Hindley’s involvement. During the investigation, evidence led police to suspect that Brady and Hindley might be responsible for other missing children.

They couple was charged with three murders and a trial took place in April 1966. The known victims were Evans, Downey, and Kilbride. Mr. Justice Fenton Atkinson presided over the fourteen day trial. Brady was questioned for over eight hours and Hindley for six. Both denied intent to kill but the jury found them guilty after two hours of deliberation. Brady was guilty of all three deaths while Hindley was guilty of two. They were given life sentences, the only punishment permitted by law. The judge berated the two criminals before handing down his sentence.

In 1985, Brady confessed to killing both Reade and Bennett which had been suspected by police since both missing children had lived near Brady at the time of their disappearance. Four of the bodies have been recovered with the reluctant help of the perpetrators. Bennett’s body still remains missing. Hindley made several attempts to be freed from prison, claiming she was reformed and would not be a harm to anyone. These were ignored and she died in prison in 2002 at the age of 60. Brady was declared criminally insane in 1985 and has been confined at the high-security Ashworth Hospital since then. He has made it clear that he is a danger and should never be released. He has also asked to be allowed to die. He remains incarcerated at the age of 76.

Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner. –  Oscar Wilde

Maybe this is why so many serial killers work in pairs. It’s nice not to feel alone in a world full of victims or enemies. – Chuck Palahniuk

Murderers, in general, are people who are consistent, people who are obsessed with one idea and nothing else. – Ugo Betti

Murder will out, this my conclusion. – Geoffrey Chaucer

Also on this day: Magic Screen – In 1960, Etch-A-Sketch arrives in stores.
Miners – In 1917, the Bisbee Deportation took place.
Money Issues – In 1933, the US passed her first minimum wage law.
Whoops – In 1979, Disco Demolition Night was a fiasco.


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