Ian Brady, one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, was responsible for a series of chilling and gruesome murders that shocked the nation during the 1960s. Together with his accomplice, Myra Hindley, Brady carried out a string of brutal killings that became known as the Moors Murders. In this article, we will delve into the chilling history of Ian Brady, his relationship with Hindley, their crimes, and the lasting impact they had on British society.
Ian Brady was born on January 2, 1938, in Glasgow, Scotland, to single mother Peggy Stuart. Unable to care for her son, she gave him up to be raised by another family. Growing up, Brady developed a keen interest in literature and philosophy, particularly the works of Nietzsche and Marquis de Sade, which would later influence his twisted worldview.
As a teenager, he began showing signs of antisocial behavior, engaging in petty theft and violence. In 1954, at the age of 16, he was sentenced to two years in a borstal—a type of youth detention center—for burglary and theft. After his release, he moved to Manchester, England, where he continued his criminal activities.
The Moors Murders
In 1961, Brady met Myra Hindley, a 19-year-old typist, and the two soon began a dark and twisted relationship. Over the years, they became more and more enamored with sadism and violence, and Brady started to groom Hindley into becoming his willing accomplice. In 1963, they began their spree of horrific murders.
Between 1963 and 1965, Brady and Hindley targeted five children and teenagers, abducting, torturing, and murdering them. The victims were Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey, and Edward Evans. The murderers would often sexually assault their victims before brutally ending their lives. Brady took pleasure in documenting their crimes, taking photographs and recording audio tapes of the torture.
The Moors, a vast expanse of desolate and despondent landscape in the north of England, became the final resting place for their victims. Brady and Hindley buried the bodies on the moors, leading the case to be dubbed the Moors Murders.
Capture and Trial
On October 6, 1965, the gruesome pair’s murderous spree came to an end. They had lured 17-year-old Edward Evans to their home, where Brady bludgeoned him to death with an axe. Unbeknownst to them, Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, witnessed the murder and contacted the police.
The following day, police arrested Brady and Hindley and began an extensive search of their home. They discovered the remains of Edward Evans, as well as photographs and audio recordings related to their other victims. The evidence led them to the Moors, where they found the bodies of Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, and Lesley Ann Downey.
During the trial, which began in April 1966, the prosecution presented the chilling audio recordings and photographs as evidence. Both Brady and Hindley showed little remorse for their crimes, and they were found guilty. Brady was convicted of three murders, while Hindley was convicted of two and found an accessory to the third. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Legacy and Impact
The Moors Murders left a lasting impact on British society, and the case is still remembered as one of the country’s most notorious and chilling crimes. Despite extensive searches, the remains of Keith Bennett have never been found, and his family continues to seek closure.
Ian Brady died in prison on May 15, 2017, at the age of 79, while Myra Hindley died in custody on November 15, 2002, at the age of 60. Neither of them ever expressed genuine remorse for their actions or provided any assistance in locating Keith Bennett’s remains, a fact that continues to haunt the families of the victims and the public.
The Moors Murders case has had a profound effect on British society and the criminal justice system. It prompted a change in the way the media covers criminal cases, as well as increased public awareness of child safety and the importance of protecting vulnerable individuals.
In the years since the Moors Murders, numerous books, documentaries, and films have been produced, exploring the grisly details of the crimes and attempting to understand the mindset of the killers. The fascination with the case continues to this day, serving as a cautionary tale and a reminder of the darkest depths of human depravity.