This is a dark and twisted tale of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, responsible for the Moors murders in the 1960s in England.
The story of these murders is something of a real horror story and is not for the sensitive or faint-hearted.
Ian and Myra’s victims were between the ages of 10 and 17. In total, they abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered 5 souls. These murders were calculated and executed with precision.
There is nothing more chilling about a murder story than when the murder involves innocent children who had to face such a traumatic end to their short lives. For a person to prey on a child who cannot defend themselves against an adult is nothing short of cruel and is the epitome of evil.
Ian Brady’s Childhood
Ian Brady, born Ian Stewart, came into the world on 2 January 1938 in the slums of Glasgow. His biological mother, Peggy, was a waitress, while the identity of his biological father remains unknown. Peggy was a struggling single mother, and when Ian was only 4 months old, she posted an advert in the local newspaper putting him for adoption.
The Sloan family adopted Ian. Peggy would regularly visit her son; however, Ian was only told years later that Peggy was his biological mother.
As Ian got older, he started to exhibit psychopathic tendencies. His disrupted childhood resulted in him having emotional outbursts as he would often throw ferocious tantrums.
Ian lacked empathy, especially toward small animals, which he would often torture and then kill. Some articles say that he loved animals and had his own dog that he was devoted to. However, this love and devotion did not extend to all animals as he was known to throw stones at other dogs, decapitate rabbits, and on one horrifying occasion, he burnt a cat alive.
Ian’s desire to cause suffering was not a phase that he would outgrow.
Choosing A Life Of Crime
Ian’s criminal tendencies continued into his adolescent years, despite being an intelligent young man and performing well at the Shawlands Academy. He often found himself in court being charged for theft as well as breaking and entering.
The tendency to use violence to threaten and intimidate became more apparent as young Ian, on one occasion, threatened his teen girlfriend with a knife.
After yet another round in court for theft, 16-year-old Ian was sent to live with his biological mother in Manchester. Soon after arriving, Ian took the last name of his stepfather, Patrick Brady.
Once Ian Brady was settled in Manchester, he started to become obsessed with the Nazis. He would consume all German literature at a rapid rate.
Brady was fascinated with Hitler and read his famous biography, Mein Kampf, several times. His family started to notice that Ian was not troubled by the atrocities of the Holocaust; rather, he seemed to enjoy learning about how people were tortured in these camps.
Ian Brady had vicious tendencies and enjoyed reading dark literature, which only inspired and fueled his sadistic mind. He went on to also read the works of Marquis de Sade. Marquis de Sade was a French author whose writing explored perverse sexual preferences and erotica, and his work actually gave us the term sadism.
Ian Brady’s Twisted Relationship With Myra Hindley
Ian continued to commit petty crimes around Manchester, where he was in and out of juvenile prison. This was until 1961 when Ian met Myra Hindley.
Myra was only 18 years old when she began dating Ian Brady. She found him mysterious and was thrilled when he asked her out. With a 4 year age gap between the couple, Ian knew that Myra was persuadable, and he started to groom her. On their first date, he took her to watch the Nuremberg Trails and would encourage her to read Mein Kampf.
Myra, being so infatuated with Ian, started to adopt his viewpoints. Ian was her first boyfriend, she lost her virginity to him, and in her young and impressional mind, this was true love.
Myra was willing to do anything to please Ian. This included bleaching her naturally dark hair blond in an attempt to resemble the true Arian race that her Nazi-crazed boyfriend was obsessed with.
Ian’s and Myra’s relationship was twisted. Myra would pose nude for Ian and allowed him to take pornographic photos of her, as she was submissive, and Ian prayed on this. His sexual fantasies started to include violence, rape, incest, and pedophilia.
Myra reported that on many occasions, he would take out his sadist tendencies on her. She would ask him why he would strangle her so often, to which Ian would respond that he was merely practicing.
She told Ian that she was scared he would kill her as he would apply too much pressure to her throat when strangling her. Ian reassured her that he would never kill her because he “needed her.”
Ian had adopted the Sadean belief that murder is necessary and never criminal. He pushed this belief on Myra, and after Ian had moved in with Myra, they began to plan the perfect murder.
The Perfect Murder
Ian and Myra had read and studied the book Compulsion about a young boy’s real-life abduction and murder in Chicago. A book written as an argument against capital punishment became the blueprint for the Moors murders.
They learned how the killers had gotten themselves caught, the techniques used, and how they would adjust these methods to create the perfect murder, which to some degree, they did succeed in doing until 1965.
In June 1963, the couple’s perverse crimes started. Myra would drive around neighborhoods in her and Ian’s white van, Ian would follow behind on his motorbike. If Ian saw someone he liked, he would flash his lights at Myra, who would pull over and lure the victim into her van.
There are two shocking points to note: Ian would often choose children as his victims, and two, the child often knew either Myra or Ian.
Myra Hindley would offer a child a ride home, saying she knew their parents, thus establishing a sense of trust. Once in the van, Myra would drive out to Saddleworth Moor – a large open space just outside the urban area – where Ian was waiting for her.
Myra claimed that she would remain in the van while Ian took the child into the Moor, where he would sexually assault and then brutally murder them. Ian would then come back to the van to get Myra to help bury the children’s bodies in a shallow grave.
The Victims Of The Moors Murders
Pauline Reade was only 16 years old when Myra pulled up next to her in the white van. Pauline knew and trusted Mrya as Myra was a friend of her older sister. Myra told Pauline that she had lost a glove out by the Saddleworth Moor and asked if she would come to help her find it.
Pauline was happy to help and voluntarily got in the van with Myra and drove out to the Saddleworth Moor. The girl was met by a sadistic Ian who brutally raped and attacked her. He then slit her throat and stuffed the collar of her shirt into the wound.
He and Myra then buried Pauline’s brutalized body in a shallow grave in the Moor. Pauline was the first of 5 people that would become victims of Ian and Myra.
It was only 4 short months after the murder of Pauline when Ian and Myra were ready for their second victim. John Kilbride, a young 12-year-old boy, was approached by Myra. She asked if the boy could help her carry boxes to her car and then offered him a lift home. John accepted the free ride and voluntarily got in the van with Myra. Myra then drove John out to the Moor, where Ian was waiting. Once again, Ian assaulted and murdered the child.
It was a year later when the couple attacked their third victim. In June 1964, 12-year-old Kieth Bennett was picked up by Myra under the same pretense as John – to help carry boxes. Like their other victims, young Keith was taken to the Saddleworth Moor, where Ian assaulted and murdered him before burying his body in a shallow grave.
That winter, yet another child became a victim of the sadistic couple. Little Lesley Ann Downey was abducted from an amusement park when she was only 10 years old. She met the same brutal end as Ian’s other victims.
Ian Brady’s and Myra Hindley’s final victim was 17 years old Edward Evans. This would be their final murder before they got caught and arrested for their atrocious crimes.
The Final Murder
In the October of 1965, Edward was lured to Ian and Myra’s apartment under the pretense that he would be engaging in a three-way with the couple. Edward had dinner and drank wine with the couple. The couple was gaining Edward’s trust, and his guard was being lowered with each sip of alcohol. Everything was going according to plan until Myra’s brother-in-law David Smith arrived.
David’s unexpected visit to the house caused panic. He said that Myra was acting strangely toward him being there. David later told police that he had heard a loud thud coming from the living room, and when he pushed past Myra to investigate what was happening, he was met with a truly horrifying scene.
Standing in the living room was Ian Brady hitting Edward’s head with a hatchet. The noise David had heard was the first of several blows to Edward’s head.
David was shocked by the scene. However, to keep himself alive, he played along with the deranged couple. David helped Ian clean up the scene of the murder, all while Ian talked to David about his other victims. Ian confessed that he had murdered several others before and buried their bodies in the Saddleworth Moor.
Bewildered and albeit terrified, David finally left Ian’s and Myra’s house, telling them he would return in the morning to help dispose of Edward’s body. This was all a ploy as David wanted to get away from Ian and Myra and call the police.
The moment David arrived home, he told his wife Maureen about the events of the night. Maureen agreed that they needed to inform the police. David and Maureen feared their lives as they realized how dangerous Ian was. In an era before cellphones, the couple fled their home in fear that Ian would come to the house.
Armed with a kitchen knife David and Maureen found a phone booth to call the police and report what had happened that night.
The Arrests And Trial Of Ian Brady And Myra Hindley
Ian was arrested on 22 October 1965, and four days later, Myra was also captured. The sadistic couple remained in police custody for 6 months awaiting trial. It was on the 27th of April 1966 that their trial began.
Both Ian and Myra pleaded not guilty despite a large amount of evidence against them. This included a tape where you can hear a young girl screaming and pleading for mercy as Ian and Myra assaulted and murdered her, as well as the bodies of two victims found at the Saddleworth Moor. Despite the evidence and David’s statement as a witness to the murder of Edward Evans, the couple maintained their innocence, at least for a while.
With all these testimonies, the couple eventually confessed. However, their stories contradicted each other. Ian claimed that he and Myra bonded over the murders and that she enjoyed the killings. However, Myra said that she only went along out of fear for her own life.
Regardless of Myra’s attempt to portray herself as a victim, they were both found guilty of murder. The couple could only be charged for 3 of the 5 murders as only the bodies of three of their victims were ever found. Myra was found guilty for 2 of the murders, while Ian was found guilty for all 3.
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were both sentenced to life in prison. The couple spent the rest of their lives locked up from society, where they both eventually died.