Moors Murders
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Moors Murders: How many victims did Ian Brady and Myra Hindley kill? How did they get caught?

The serial killers are two of the UK's most notorious criminals

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The Moors Murders were committed by two of the UK’s most hated serial killers – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Their savage crimes remain some of the worst ever investigated by the police.

But why did Ian Brady and his lover Myra Hindley carry out the Moors Murders?

How were they caught, and what happened to them?

Here’s everything you need to know about the Moors Murders.

Moors Murders
Myra Hindley and Ian Brady pose on Saddleworth Moor in North West England where they buried their child victims (Credit: Shutterstock)

Read more: How did Ian Brady die and what happened to Myra Hindley? Britain’s most evil serial killers

Moors Murders – How many victims did Ian Brady and Myra Hindley kill?

Lovers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are two of Britain’s most prolific serial killers ever.

Their crimes are worse perhaps because their victims were children.

The evil pair were sentenced to life in prison for the murders of John Kilbride, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

However, years later, they would confess to killing more innocents.

Almost 20 years after being sent to prison, Ian Brady admitted to killing two more.

He and Myra also took the lives of 16-year-old Pauline Reade and 12-year-old Keith Bennett.

In total, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley killed five children in what came to be known as the Moors Murders.

When did Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley kill?

The Moors Murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley killed their first victim in 1963.

They killed a total of five children between 1963 and 1965.

Luckily police caught them before they could harm anyone else.

Moors Murders
Police seen digging up the back garden of Ian Brady’s house in Wardle Brook Avenue in Hattersley (Credit: Gordon Priestley/Shutterstock)

Who were the victims and what did they do to them?

The Moors Murders victims were five children.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley killed Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans.

They were all aged between 10 and 17.

Tragically, at least four of them were sexually assaulted.

Ian Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered the five children from 1963 to 1965.

They buried their bodies on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester.

Moors Murders victim Pauline Reade – July 12 1963

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s first victim was teenager Pauline Reade.

Pauline vanished on 12 July 1963 while on her way to a disco near her home in Gorton, Manchester.

She was just 16.

On that day, Myra Hindley had borrowed a van especially to target victims.

Ian Brady followed closely behind her on a motorbike.

When Pauline appeared, Myra Hindley instantly recognised the schoolgirl, who was a friend of her sister Maureen.

She asked Pauline if she would hop in the van and help her look for an expensive glove she’d lost in Saddleworth Moor.

Because they knew each other, Pauline thought nothing of going to help her look for the glove.

However, once there, Ian Brady turned up insisting he was there to help.

But Ian raped and murdered the schoolgirl and almost decapitated her body.

He beat the teenager about the head and cut her throat with such force that her spinal cord was severed.

Ian then buried her in a shallow grave, where her body lay undiscovered for over 20 years.

In June 1987, Myra Hindley was taken out of prison to the Saddleworth Moors, where she tried to help police locate missing victims.

Pauline’s body was found still wearing her pink and gold party dress in a shallow grave on Saddleworth Moor.

She was finally laid to rest.

Myra Hindley claimed she did not see the attack as she was waiting in the van, but Ian Brady alleged she did take part in the sexual assault.

Pauline Reade (Credit: Channel 5)
Pauline Reade was just 16 when she was killed (Credit: Channel 5)

Moors Murders victim John Kilbride – November 23 1963

Just four months after Pauline’s death, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady struck again.

This time, they targeted 12-year-old John Kilbride.

On November 23 1963, Myra Hindley approached John Kilbride in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancs, and offered him a lift home.

Ian Brady told the schoolboy he would give him some sherry, but they would have to make a detour to the Moor first.

Once he was inside their rental car, they asked the young boy if he would help them look for an expensive glove they’d lost on the Moor.

After they arrived on Saddleworth Moor, Myra is believed to have waited in the vehicle while Ian took John out.

Ian Brady then sexually assaulted the schoolboy, attempted to slit his throat with a six-inch serrated blade, before strangling him to death with a shoelace.

John’s body was buried on the Moors.

John Kilbride (Credit: Channel 5)
Brady murdered 12-year-old John Kilbride (Credit: Channel 5)

Keith Bennett – June 16 1964

Keith Bennett, whose body has never been found, was the twisted pair’s third victim.

The 12-year-old was on his way to his grandmother’s house when Myra Hindley lured him into her van.

She asked the boy to help her load boxes into her van, in exchange for a free lift.

She drove them all to a lay-by on the Moor and kept watch while Brady killed him – again using the excuse of an expensive glove.

Ian sexually assaulted Keith before strangling him with a piece of string and burying him with a spade he had hidden nearby.

Tragically, Ian Brady took the whereabouts of Keith’s body to the grave with him.

Keith Bennett (Credit: Channel 5)
Police never found Keith Bennett’s body (Credit: Channel 5)

Moors Murders victim Lesley Ann Downey – December 26 1964

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley made Lesley Ann Downey their next victim.

Desperate for another kill, the cruel duo visited a fairground on Boxing Day 1964, and came across 10-year-old Lesley.

In a bid to get her into their car, they asked the young girl for help with carrying their shopping back home.

They lured her back to their house, where she was undressed, gagged and forced to pose for photographs before being raped and having her throat slit.

The following morning, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley drove Lesley’s body to Saddleworth Moor, where she was buried, naked with her clothes at her feet, in a shallow grave.

At the trial in 1966, all-male jurors fell silent for 16 minutes as the tape recording of Lesley Ann Downey’s terrified last moments was played to the court.

Ian Brady accused Myra Hindley of murdering Lesley.

However, she denied the allegations, claiming she was in the bath.

Lesley Ann Downey (Credit: Channel 5)
Lesley Ann Downey was their youngest victim at 10-years-old (Credit: Channel 5)

Edward Evans – October 06 1965

Seventeen-year-old Edward Evans was their last victim.

On October 6 1965, Ian Brady met 17-year-old apprentice engineer Edward Evans at Manchester Central railway station and invited him to his home.

At this point, Ian and accomplice Myra Hindley were intent on corrupting Myra’s brother-in-law, David Smith.

David was a petty criminal, who Myra’s family did not approve of.

He was in awe of Brady and the pair had established a solid friendship over the prior 12 months.

They hoped to recruit him into their twisted circle – but he was horrified when he witnessed Ian Brady kill Edward Evans.

Ian struck Edward 14 times with a hatchet before finishing the job by strangling him.

Thankfully, David Smith phoned the police the next morning and directed them to Ian Brady’s address.

Officers searched 16 Wardle Brook Avenue where they discovered Edward’s corpse wrapped in plastic sheeting.

Ian Brady had wanted to bury the body on the Moor but it was too heavy so they left it in the spare room.

The bloody murder weapon was also recovered, along with Brady’s collection of books on perversion and sadism.

Police arrested Ian Brady and Myra Hindley on suspicion of murder.

Edward Evans (Channel 5)
Police found Edward Evans’s body in Brady and Hindley’s house (Channel 5)

Read more: This Morning fans slam interview with convicted killer who shared prison with Myra Hindley and Rose West

How and when were Ian Brady and Myra Hindley finally caught?

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were caught when her brother-in-law David Smith witnessed the horrific murder of Edward Evans.

David Smith returned home to his wife Maureen at around 3am that night.

Maureen was the sister of Myra Hindley.

Traumatised by what had just happened, David vomited before confessing all to his wife.

Despite promising Ian Brady he would help move Edward’s body the following morning, he phoned the police.

Police officers arrested Ian Brady and Myra Hindley at home on October 07 1965.

They found the body of 17-year-old Edward at the couple’s home in Hattersley.

David, who died in 2012, potentially helped save the lives of countless future victims.

Moors Murders: Where were the victims killed? Where are they buried?

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady killed their victims in and around Manchester, England.

Three of the victims were buried in graves on Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester.

Edward Evans’ body was found in Ian Brady’s house.

Tragically Keith Bennett’s body was never found.

Ian Brady
Moors Murderer Ian Brady on his way to face trail (Credit: Manchester/Shutterstock)

Who wasn’t found?

To this day, the body of Keith Bennet has not been found.

His body is also believed to be on Saddleworth Moor but it was never discovered.

Despite pleas from Keith’s mother Winnie Johnson, Ian Brady did not reveal where her son was buried.

Devastatingly, she died in 2012 having never found out where her son was.

Moors Murders – Tommy Rhattigan

Tommy Rhattigan believes he escaped the clutches of the Moors Murderers.

He claims Myra Hindley grabbed him by the foot as he fled a house they lived in.

Tommy Rhattigan was aged seven when he was approached by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in a Manchester park where he’d been begging.

The killers lured him to Hindley’s grandmother’s house in the city, with the promise of a jam sandwich.

Mr Rhattigan said he went to the house in 1963 but fled through a window after sensing “something was not right”.

He said he was later dubbed “the one that got away” by the media, but believed there were many children like him.

Myra Hindley
Moors murderer Myra Hindley pictured in 1990 (Credit: Channel 4)

Why did Ian Brady and Myra Hindley kill?

Myra Hindley was known as “the most evil woman in Britain”.

But she always maintained that her abusive lover Ian Brady made her do it.

Doctors diagnosed Ian Brady as a psychopath before his death.

During the 1990s, Myra Hindley claimed that she took part in the killings only because Brady had drugged her.

She claimed Ian was blackmailing her with pornographic pictures he had taken of her.

Myra also said Ian had threatened to kill her sister Maureen.

Did they ever show remorse?

Ian Brady died having shown no remorse for his victims or their families.

In fact, the families of his victims claim he tormented them by never revealing the location of the final body.

However, Myra did seem to regret her actions.

In 2008, Myra Hindley’s solicitor, Andrew McCooey, reported that she told him: “I ought to have been hanged.

“I deserved it.

“My crime was worse than Brady’s because I enticed the children and they would never have entered the car without my role…

“I have always regarded myself as worse than Brady.”

Moors Murders
David and Maureen Smith (Myra’s sister) on their wedding day (Credit: Channel 4)

Moors Murders: Where did Ian Brady and Myra Hindley live?

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley lived at Wardle Brook Avenue in Hattersley, Manchester, when they were arrested.

Myra lived in the two-bedroom council house with her grandmother.

It’s where officers found the corpse of their final victim, 17-year-old Edward Evans.

How and where did Myra and Ian meet?

Ian Brady was born Ian Duncan Stewart in Glasgow on January 2 1938.

His mum Maggie Stewart placed him into the care of a local couple when he was just a few months.

Ian Brady never knew his dad’s identity.

He repeatedly appeared in court for petty crime and allegedly tortured animals, hurling a cat out of a top-floor window.

He was subsequently sent to live in Manchester at the age of 16 with his mum and her new husband Patrick, whose surname he took.

In 1959, he gained a clerical job at Millward’s Merchandising in Gorton, Manchester.

This is where he met Manchester-born Myra Hindley, then 18, who was working as a secretary.

When Myra Hindley was four-years-old, her parents had another daughter, Maureen.

At this time, Myra was sent to live with her grandmother to give her parents some more space with the new baby.

However, Myra Hindley never really returned home.

Myra and Ian were in their 20s when they moved in together and turned to murder.

Before meeting Ian, Myra had attended Ryder Brow secondary modern school where she was known to be one of the most intelligent in the class, with an above average IQ.

David Smith
David Smith, Hindley’s teenage brother-in-law, who witnessed Edward Evans’s murder (Credit: Channel 4)

Moors Murders: Where is Myra Hindley now? Is she dead or alive?

A judge sentenced Myra Hindley to life in prison for her role in the murders.

She was told that she should spend 25 years in prison before being considered for parole.

Myra appealed her life prison sentence several times but was denied.

She corresponded with Brady by letter until 1971, when she ended their relationship.

The two remained in sporadic contact for several months, until Myra Hindley fell in love with one of her prison warders, Patricia Cairns (who was later jailed for her part in a plot to free Myra).

Myra Hindley went to HM Prison Holloway, but was later moved to HM Prison Durham.

Eventually, she went to medium security prison HMP Highpoint in Suffolk.

Dubbed the most evil woman in Britain, she died aged 60 from a heart attack on 15 November 2002.

She had spent 36 years in prison.

Myra was cremated in Cambridge.

Orders had been given for her ashes to be scattered at a secret location.

It was claimed she wanted no gravestone because it would be a target for those seeking revenge.

Is Ian Brady dead or alive?

Ian Brady was sentenced to life in prison.

He notoriously went on several hunger strikes during his time in jail, but the High Court ruled the hospital had the legal right to force-feed him to keep him alive.

The killer eventually died at Ashworth High Security Hospital in Maghull, Merseyside, having been held there since 1985.

He was 79 when he died at Ashworth Hospital, a secure psychiatric unit, in May 15 2017.

He had tried to take his own life by going on hunger strike before he died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Speaking from prison, he said: “I have had enough. I want nothing, my objective is to die and release myself from this once and for all.

“I’m only sorry I didn’t do it decades ago, and I’m eager to leave this cesspit in a coffin.”

The ashes of Moors Murderer Ian Brady were disposed of at sea in the middle of the night.

The child killer was cremated without ceremony.

It was reported that Brady wished to have his remains burnt and ashes scattered in Glasgow, where he grew up.

But the city’s council said it would refuse any request for Brady to be cremated in the area.

Ian Brady’s urn was made of salt and it disintegrated after about 10 or 15 minutes of being in the water.

In a cruel twist of fate, Ian died on the birthday of his victim John Kilbride.

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