Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Sadistic child murders that shocked the nation

Across the UK there was an outpouring of loathing for Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

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 who snatched children off the street, sexually abused them and tortured them to death.

The evidence seen and heard at their Chester Assizes trial chilled the hearts of those who sat through it.

bpanews_9e12de3c-9762-44a9-8e9c-ed20c64d534e_embedded556605
Ian Brady's victims from left, John Kilbride, Lesley Ann Downey, Edward Evans, Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett (PA)

Their first victim was 16-year-old Pauline Reade, who vanished on July 12 1963, on her way to a disco near her home in Gorton, Manchester.

She was lured to the moors by Hindley who said she had lost her gloves there and needed help finding them.

It was two decades later when Pauline’s grieving parents discovered exactly what had happened to her.

Her body was discovered in 1987 after the murderers confessed to the killing.

They were taken to bleak Saddleworth Moor where they located the shallow grave dug over 20 years before.

bpanews_9e12de3c-9762-44a9-8e9c-ed20c64d534e_embedded556615
Police searching on Saddleworth Moor for victims (PA)

Pauline was still wearing her pink and gold party dress and blue coat.

Brady had beaten her about the head and cut her throat with such force that her spinal cord was severed.

Pathologists said it was impossible to say whether Brady had sexually assaulted her.

Four months after Pauline vanished, the day after President John F Kennedy’s assassination in the US, 12-year-old John Kilbride became Brady’s second victim.

bpanews_9e12de3c-9762-44a9-8e9c-ed20c64d534e_embedded556625
Terry Kilbride, whose brother John was killed by Ian Brady, at his home in Ashton Under Lyne, Manchester (Dave Thompson/PA)

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.

Brady took a photograph of Hindley standing on the edge of his grave holding her pet dog. 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 1964.

Police mounted an intensive search of the moor in 1986 amid reports that the pair had confessed to his murder.

bpanews_9e12de3c-9762-44a9-8e9c-ed20c64d534e_embedded556640
(PA)

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 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey on Boxing Day in 1964.

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 16-minute, 21-second audio tape.

Her cries reduced the judge, jury, courtroom spectators and even hardened police officers to tears.

bpanews_9e12de3c-9762-44a9-8e9c-ed20c64d534e_embedded556655
Court artist sketch of ian Brady from 2013 (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

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: “Nothing in criminal behaviour before or since has penetrated my heart with quite the same paralysing intensity.”

Detectives could not say exactly how Lesley Ann died. 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.

Edward was lured from a gay bar to a home then shared by Hindley and Brady on the Hattersley estate at Hyde.

Smith was summoned to the house by a phone call on a false pretext.

He was then forced to watch as Brady attacked Evans with an axe, smothered him with a cushion and completed his grim task with an electrical cable.

Shocked, Smith helped the pair carry the trussed-up body into a bedroom. He then fled terrified and called the police.

The next morning police searched the house, and began unravelling the gruesome evidence of Brady and Hindley’s appalling crimes.

bpanews_9e12de3c-9762-44a9-8e9c-ed20c64d534e_embedded556650
Ian Brady (PA)

Brady was 28 in May 1966 when he and Hindley were convicted of murdering Lesley Ann and Edward.

He was also convicted of the murder of John Kilbride and received three life sentences to run concurrently.

In 1987 Brady finally confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett but he was never tried for the crimes.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph