Reveal Keith's body, Brady urged
Moors Murderer Ian Brady has been urged to finally "do the decent thing" following the death of Winnie Johnson and reveal the whereabouts of her 12-year-old son's body.
The mother of Keith Bennett fought tirelessly for decades to find him and provide a Christian burial but Brady has always refused to tell her where he buried him on Saddleworth Moor above Manchester.
The closest she came to giving him a funeral, amid her loathing of Brady, was to hold a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral two years ago in which she tearfully told the congregation: "I'm Keith's mother ... he's there on the Moors, I want him back." She died peacefully in a hospice in the early hours of Saturday, aged 78, after she had battled cancer for a number of years.
Brady, 74, and his partner, Myra Hindley, who died in jail in 2002 aged 60, were responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s. Most of their victims were sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor, with Keith's body the only one yet to be found. Keith was snatched after he left home in Longsight on his way to his grandmother's house nearby on June 16 1964.
In a statement, Winnie's family said: "Winnie fought tirelessly for decades to find Keith and give him a Christian burial. Although this was not possible during her lifetime, we, her family, intend to continue this fight now for her and for Keith. We hope that the authorities and the public will support us in this."
Martin Bottomley, head of investigative review of Greater Manchester Police's major and cold case crime unit, paid tribute to Winnie for spending the majority of her life "courageously fighting to get justice for Keith". He said: "All she wanted was to know where Keith was buried so she could lay him to rest."
Her lawyer, John Ainley, is sceptical about whether Brady will finally come forward with information. "One would think that now Winnie is no longer here and the family are so desperate to get this information, that the least he (Brady) could do is to volunteer valid information that would throw some light on Keith's whereabouts," he said. "I am not quite sure that is going to happen."
Brady's mental health advocate, Jackie Powell, told a Channel 4 documentary - to be screened on Monday night - the Moors Murderer gave her a sealed envelope containing a letter to pass to Winnie Johnson in the event of his death.
That information was passed to police and Ms Powell, 49, was arrested on Thursday at her home in Llangennech, South Wales, on suspicion of preventing the burial of a body without lawful exercise. Ms Powell, who is also an executor to Brady's will, was later released on bail pending further inquiries.