Myra Hindley, together with her accomplice Ian Brady, is considered as one of the most notorious serial killers in British history. The duo terrorised the nation during the 1960s, as they embarked on a killing spree that claimed the lives of five innocent children.
The heinous crimes committed by Hindley and Brady remain etched in the memories of the victims’ families and the nation at large, even decades after their conviction.
The first victim of Hindley and Brady was 16-year-old Pauline Reade, who disappeared on 12 July 1963. Hindley lured her into a van driven by Brady, promising to help her find a missing glove. Instead, they took her to Saddleworth Moor, where they sexually assaulted her before murdering her. Her remains were not discovered until 1987, nearly 24 years later. Hindley confessed to the murder, leading the police to the location of the grave.
The second victim was 12-year-old John Kilbride, who disappeared on 23 November 1963. Hindley lured him into her car by offering him a ride home, claiming that she was a friend of his mother. She then took him to Saddleworth Moor, where Brady sexually assaulted him before killing him. His body was not discovered until October 1965, almost two years after his disappearance.
The third victim was 12-year-old Keith Bennett, who disappeared on 16 June 1964. Hindley lured him into her car by asking him to help her load some boxes. She then drove him to Saddleworth Moor, where Brady sexually assaulted him before killing him. Unlike the other victims, Keith’s body has never been found, despite extensive searches and efforts by his mother, Winnie Johnson, until her death in 2012.
Lesley Ann Downey
The fourth victim was 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey, who disappeared on 26 December 1964. Hindley and Brady approached her at a fairground, claiming that they were looking for a lost glove. They then took her to Hindley’s house, where they sexually assaulted her and recorded her screams on tape. They later strangled her and dumped her body in a shallow grave at Saddleworth Moor. Her body was discovered on 10 October 1965, along with that of John Kilbride.
The final victim was 17-year-old Edward Evans, who was murdered on 06 October 1965. Hindley lured him into her home, where Brady bludgeoned him to death with an axe. The murder was witnessed by Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, who reported it to the police, leading to the arrest of Hindley and Brady.
The aftermath of the murders
The trial of Hindley and Brady began on 19 April 1966, and lasted for 14 days. The prosecution’s case was based on the testimony of David Smith, who had witnessed the murder of Edward Evans, and the tape recording of Lesley Ann Downey’s screams, which had been found in Hindley’s possession. Despite their initial denials, Hindley and Brady were found guilty of all the murders and were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.