When it comes to evil British killers, the Moors Murderers - Myra Hindley and Ian Brady - are right up there with Jack the Ripper, the Yorkshire Ripper, the Acid Bath Murderer, Dennis Nilsen, the Wests, Harold Shipman, Mary Ann Cotton and Beverly Allitt.

In fact, only the United States has more famous - or, rather, infamous - serial killers than the UK.

The Moors Murders took place between 1963 and 1965 when evil Myra Hindley and her boyfriend Ian Brady murdered five children - Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans.

Pauline had her skull fractured with a shovel before being raped, having her throat cut and decapitated whilst on the desolate and lonely Saddleworth Moor near Oldham, Lancsahire and her body was not discovered until 1987.

John was sexually assaulted on the moor, before having his throat slit and strangled with a piece of string.

Keith was strangled on Saddlewoth Moor and was buried there. To this day his body has never been found. 45 years later, his 75-year-old mother is still seen on vast Saddleworth Moor with a shovel searching for Keith's remains.

Lesley was undressed and forced to pose for pornographic photographs with a gag in her mouth, and in the last four of them with her hands bound – the last kneeling as if in prayer. Brady took nine obscene photographs of the girl, and either he or Hindley recorded the scene on a reel-to-reel audio tape. The sixteen-minute tape contains the voices of Brady and Hindley relentlessly cajoling and threatening the child as they try to photograph her. Lesley is, horrifically, heard crying, retching, screaming, and begging to be allowed to return home safely to her mother. Lesley was then raped and fatally strangled with a piece of string.

Edward was hacked to death with an axe at 16 Wardle Brooke Avenue.

For these sickening crimes, Hindley and Brady were sentenced to die in gaol in May 1966 (if they were found guilty just two years earlier, they'd have hanged).

Hindley died of a heart attack, aged 60, in gaol in November 2002.

In 1998, Brady, now 71, was moved to Broadmoor loony bin, and is now in Ashworth loony bin, with no hope of ever being released. Since 1999 he has regularly gone on hunger strike and, when he does, is force fed.

Now, chilling pictures of Hindley standing over a "grave" have been released by detectives. The pictures, taken in 1964, are believed to have been taken on Saddleworth Moor close to where Keith Bennett is believed to have been buried.

Pictured: Chilling photos of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley standing over victim's 'grave'

By Daily Mail Reporter (external - login to view)
01st July 2009
Daily Mail

Detectives today released haunting ‘souvenir’ photos of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley standing near what was thought to be the grave of her last untraced victim.

The chilling pictures show Hindley smiling in front of accomplice Ian Brady’s lens close to where the body of Keith Bennett was believed to have been buried.

Police hoped the photos would help them find the 12-year-old’s remains because Hindley had also posed for the camera on Saddleworth Moor over the grave of another of the couple's victims, John Kilbride.

Ghoulish: Myra Hindley smiles on Saddleworth Moor over what is believed to be the grave of Keith Bennett, 12, who was snatched off the street and killed in 1964. The picture was taken by her accomplice Ian Brady

They were crossed-referenced with aerial shots and scientific expertise to pinpoint a small area of the vast tract of land to focus their search for Keith Bennett's remains.

But a year after the pictures prompted the renewed hunt, officers revealed today they have been forced to give up their search for Keith, who was snatched from the street in 1964.

Police were able to find the spot where the photo was taken but said the location had been ruled out as his possible burial site.

The news that Keith's body is unlikely ever to be found will be a devastating blow to his mother Winnie Johnson, 75, who today vowed to continue the search ‘as long as I have breath in my body’.

Hindley died in jail in 2002 aged 60 and Brady, 71, who is locked up in Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside, has refused to help police.

Chilling: Hindley stares at a stream in a 1964 shot police used to help pinpoint an area for them to focus their search

Today Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘The Moors Murders have cast a long and dark shadow over the history of our region.

Keith Bennett: The 12-year-old was the third of the Moors Murderers' five child victims and the only one whose body has still not been found by police

‘We had all hoped that we would find the body of that little boy who was taken so cruelly away all those years ago and finally allow his family to lay him to rest.

‘Sadly we have not found his body and we reluctantly have to say that for now we have exhausted all of the avenues available to us.’

Referring to Brady, he added: ‘In the end one man holds the key to where Keith Bennett’s body is.

‘One act of humanity would help Winnie find some peace and allow her to give her son the burial she so desperately wants.

‘We are very disappointed we have not located Keith’s remains, but we will never close this case and remain open to pursuing any new lines of inquiry which may come about as a result of significant scientific advances or credible and actionable information.’

Mrs Johnson said: ‘I am 76 in September and I just want Keith found.

‘I will never give up as long as I have breath in my body - not just for me but for my family and all of those around me.

‘What Brady’s done and continues to do is just so cruel.’

Using state-of-the-art chemical testing equipment, sniffer dogs and metal detectors, detectives had thought they might have solved one of Britain’s most protracted murder-mysteries when they found traces of chemicals thought to indicate the presence of a body.

Evil: Brady and Hindley after their arrest in 1965. Neither have divulged the whereabouts of Keith Bennett's body. Hindley died in 2002.

But no body was ever found - and later analysis revealed the chemicals could have been produced naturally in the soil.

Hindley and Brady were jailed for life in May 1966 for the murders of ten-year-old Lesley Ann Downey in 1964 and 17-year old Edward Evans, 17, in 1965.

Brady was also convicted of murdering John Kilbride, 12 - with Hindley an accessory.

Twenty-one years later they confessed to killing Keith Bennett, 12, and Pauline Reade, 16. Keith had disappeared as he walked from his home in Eston Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, to his gran’s house in Longsight on June 16, 1964.

In the 1980s, both killers were taken up on the moor to try to help find the bodies of the two children.

Pauline’s body was found preserved in the peat in July 1987. Keith’s was not.

Grief: Keith Bennett's mother Winnie Johnson, seen beside Saddleworth Moor, is desperate to bury her son

In 2003, police launched Operation Maida in a bid to persuade Brady to help them find Keith’s body. He refused.

During years of painstaking preparatory work, detectives were helped by experts gave their time free of charge.

They included six of the world’s leading experts in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, archaeology, anthropology and clinical psychology.

The search itself began last year. Police believed they were making significant progress when they found traces of chemicals associated with human bodies.

Fruitless: A year-long search (above and below), was unable to lead police to where Keith's body was dumped

But when they realised those chemicals could also be caused naturally by soil they had to accept their task was impossible.

The total bill for the operation, which ended in November last year, was £97,148.

Despite the relatively modest bill, police sources say they have no intention of widening the search because it would be futile on such a vast area of land.

The last dark secret of Brady and Hindley is therefore likely to remain forever hidden.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Jul 1st, 2009 at 12:14 PM..