The case of

Sixteen-year-old Pauline Reade, John Kilbride,  twelve-year-old Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey, and Edward Evans

Victim

Sixteen-year-old Pauline Reade, John Kilbride,  twelve-year-old Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey, and Edward Evans

Victim Race
Victim Date of Birth
Victim Age
Date Reported
Date of Death

1963-1965

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

England

Body Location
Date of Conviction

1966-05-06

Body Discovered Date
Murderer

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady

Moors Murders /Who Was Ian Brady?

One-half of this notorious couple of killers was a young man named Ian Brady. During the time when the murders took place, Ian was in his mid-twenties.

Ian was born in Glasgow in 1938 and had an unstable childhood. Due to neglect from his mother he ended up in foster care, living in the slums of Glasgow. He was found guilty of committing a spree of petty crimes when he was a teen, at which point he was once again sent to live with his mother in Manchester.

His mother had remarried a man named Patrick Brady by that point and Ian would take his step-father’s name, Brady. But even living with his mother and Patrick Brady, he continued to commit petty crimes and developed a drinking problem.

At one point he did decide to “better himself” but the way in which he did so was more disturbing than his petty crimes… he began to collect books on Nazi Germany, sadism, and sexual perversion.

Who Was Myra Hindley?

Myra Hindley was born in 1942 to a working-class family in Manchester. For her first few years of life, she lived with her father, who regularly abused her in addition to teaching the young girl how to fight and encouraging the use of violence to solve problems.

When she was four years old she was sent to live with her grandmother. At her grandmother’s home, she was able to live a normal childhood while preparing herself to formally enter the Catholic church.

Soon Ian and Myra Would Meet…

In 1961, when Myra was 18, she got a job as a secretary in a company called Millwards Merchandise. It was at this company that Myra would meet Ian, who was working as a store clerk. It was love at first sight, and the pair bonded quickly.

Among the list of their favorite topics to discuss was the Nazis, Ian was obsessed with them, and Myra soon began to share this obsession as well. She even started bleaching her hair blonde and altering her appearance in other ways in order to fit the Aryan ideal.

The couple also began talking about how they would like to commit some robberies together, but as they kept discussing crime, their interest would shift to murder instead. Ian would tell Myra that he wanted to “commit his perfect murder.” She would agree to help him.

And thus, their killing spree began.

The Moors Murders: 5 Children killed

The list of Ian and Myra’s victims, known as the Moors Murders, is as follows…

  • Pauline Reade – Pauline Reade was a 16-year-old girl who had been a classmate of Myra’s younger sister. On July 12, 1963, Pauline was on her way to a dance when Myra pulled up alongside her and lured her into the car.

Myra then drove Pauline out to Saddleworth Moor, telling Pauline that she needed help finding a glove. Ian met them there, proceeding to sexually assault Pauline before slashing her throat twice and burying her in the moor.

Pauline Reade’s remains would be found in 1985 after Ian led police to her grave.

  • John Kilbride – On November 23 of that same year, Myra would approach John Kilbride, who was only 12 years old, and offer him a ride home. She would drive him out to Saddleworth Moor instead.

Once they were there, Ian would meet them and sexually assault the young boy before strangling him to death with a string.

12-year-old John Kilbride’s body was found about two years later.

  • Keith Bennett – It was June 1964 when the couple committed their third murder. Myra would ask Keith Bennett, who was 12 years old and on his way to his grandmother’s house, to help load boxes into her car, and then she’d lure him into it.

She drove him out to Saddleworth Moor as she had the others, and Ian sexually assaulted and strangled Keith before burying him as they had the other two children.

Keith Bennett’s remains were sadly never found.

  • Lesley Ann Downey – Arguably, the most horrific murders happened in December 1964. Lesley Ann Downey, who at only ten years old would be their youngest victim, was abducted from a fairground and brought back to the couple’s home.

She was forced to pose for pornographic photos, sexually assaulted by Ian, and then killed, although it’s unknown how the girl was murdered. Ian and Myra actually made a tape of 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey’s murder, in which you can hear the girl calling for her mom and praying before she was killed.

They drove her to Saddleworth Moor the next day and buried her there. Her body was found the following year.

  • Edward Evans – This would be the murder that ultimately led to Ian and Myra being caught. It was also the only one of their murders that involved somebody else.

Ian needed some money for rent, so he and Myra Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, left to find someone to rob. They found Edward, a 17-year-old boy, at a railway station and lured him back to Ian’s home.

According to David, he only intended to beat and rob the boy but says that when he was in the kitchen, he heard a shrill scream and walked out to see Myra and Ian trying to make Edward stop screaming. He then witnessed Ian beat Edward with an ax until he ceased struggling.

Then Ian wrapped a pillow around the boy’s face and strangled him with a cord around the neck before reportedly remarking to Myra that “it was the messiest one yet.”

David said that he helped Ian and Myra clean up after the murder because he was afraid of being killed himself. When he returned home safely, he called the police and turned the couple in.

17-year-old Edward Evans’ body was found in their home.

Thankfully The Pair’s Killing Spree Was Over

After a two-week trial, they were both convicted of their crimes and sentenced to life in prison. In 1985 Ian was diagnosed as a psychopath and confined to the high-security Ashworth Hospital. Myra would serve her time until she died in 2002, and Ian would serve his sentence until he died in 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Did Myra Hindley take part in the sexual assaults of the victims?

A: According to Myra’s testimony, Ian was the one to assault and kill the victims involved in the Moors Murders, and she was only there to lure the children in.

Q: Why were they called the Moors Murders?

A: Because all the bodies were disposed of in Saddleworth Moor.

Q: Did Ian Brady ever show any remorse for the Moors Murders?

A: No, he did not. Reportedly he even sadistically requested that his ashes be spread in the Saddleworth Moors before his death as one last taunt to the victim’s families.

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