Ian Brady and Myra Hindley: Pedophile and child killer couple

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley: Pedophile and Child Killer Couple

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were another ruthless predator couple who preyed on the weakest – children. The story is somewhat similar to the case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, but unlike Karla, Myra wasn't able to get away with murder and rape.

The victims were children between the ages of 10 and 17, boys and girls. At least four of them were sexually assaulted. The cruel acts performed by the couple were named The Moors murders – after a rocky moorland in Northern England where two of the victim's graves were discovered.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

Just like the majority of serial killers, Brady came from a broken home. Born to single mother Peggy Stuart, he was given up for an unofficial adoption. Peggy visited her son regularly until he was 12, but never revealed to him that she was his biological mother. Brady never knew his father. He enjoyed torturing and killing animals. At school, he was considered a loner and an underachiever, obsessed with the Nazis and the writings of Nietzsche. At the age of 13, he began a career in petty crime and burglary.

Hindley grew up with her grandmother, her alcoholic father abused her as a child. At 13, she witnessed the drowning of a boyfriend. Seeking relief, she converted to Roman Catholicism. Despite having a poor attendance record at school, she did have excellent grades, and was much more intelligent than Brady.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

In 1959, Brady became a stock clerk and met 17-year-old Hindley, who was working in the typing pool. Ian taught her about Marquis de Sade and shared his belief that rape and murder are not wrong. She was devoted to him, dressing for his pleasure in short skirts and long boots, she bleached her hair and stopped going to church. Despite being much more intelligent, she gave her new boyfriend total control over herself.

Plotting the "perfect murder"

In 1963, 25-year-old Ian Brady and 21-year-old Myra Hindley started their ambition to commit the perfect murder.

Later the very same month, they claimed their first victim. 16-year-old Pauline Reade, who was on her way to a disco, was lured into a minivan by Myra. Brady followed behind on his motorcycle. They drove up to Saddleworth Moor where Hindley asked Pauline to help her look for a lost glove. While she was busy searching the moors, Brady pounced upon Pauline and raped her. He then smashed her skull in with a shovel and slashed her throat so violently that she was almost decapitated. Hindley then buried Pauline's body on the moor, where it remained for over 20 years.

Pauline Reade
Pauline Reade

During the time-frame of 2 years, the coupled claimed another 4 victims:

John Kilbride. The Moors murders: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Hindley lured 12-year-old John Kilbride into her car from a local market and drove him to Saddleworth Moor. Brady was waiting and ordered Hindley to wait for him in a nearby village in their hired car. While Hindley waited in her car, Brady attempted to stab the boy with a knife, but the weapon was too blunt. Brady lost his temper and strangled him to death with a string before burying his body in a shallow grave.
Keith Bennett. The Moors murders: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
12-year-old Keith Bennett, whom they enticed from a street and drove to a moorland once again. Hindley stood and watched from the top of an embankment while Brady sexually assaulted Keith, before strangling him to death with a piece of string. His body has never been found.
Lesley Ann Downey. The Moors murders: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey was lured from a fairground. Brady took nine pornographic photographs of her, showing her naked, bound and gagged. Hindley recorded the scene of the child’s rape and torture on an audio tape. The tape clearly records (the transcript of the tape is at the bottom of the page) the voices of Brady, Hindley and the child, who is heard to scream and protest, asks to be allowed to go home and pleads for her life.
Edward Evans. The Moors murders: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Fifth and final victim, 17-year-old Edward Evans. They met him in the Manchester Central Railway Station and lured the boy to their home, where Hindley’s 18-year-old brother-in-law David Smith was visiting. Brady smashed Edward's head in with an axe. He ordered Smith to help him carry the dead body to an upstairs bedroom and tie it up, but Smith fled and contacted the police.

All the victims were buried in shallow graves. The couple took hundreds of pictures near the graves of their victims, possibly to relive the murders for sexual pleasure.

Myra Hindley near the shallow grave
Myra Hindley near the shallow grave.

Arrest and trial

The public interest in the case was massive, the courtroom was fitted with security screens to protect Brady and Hindley. The pair was charged with three murders. The photographs and tape recording of the torture of Lesley Ann Downey were exhibited in court to a disbelieving audience.

During the time Brady and Hindley were held on remand, the death penalty had just been abolished. The judge passed the only sentence that the law allowed: life imprisonment. While Ian was declared criminally insane and has been confined in a high-security hospital, he has made it clear that he never wants to be released and has repeatedly asked that he be allowed to die.

Hindley, on the other hand, is characterized as the most evil woman in Britain, because of her attempts to secure her release even after confessing her guilt. Later Hindley claimed she was a reformed woman and no longer a danger to society, but she was never released. She died in 2002, at the age of 60.

Ian Brady is still alive and serving his sentence.

Pictures of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley now today
Latest up to date photos of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
Myra Hindley
Ian Brady arrested
Young Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Young Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

The transcript of the Lesley Ann Downey tape

Man – This is track four.

Man – Get out of the fucking road.

Man – Get in the fucking basket.

(sound of door banging)

(crackling noise)


(steps across the room and then a recording noise followed by blowing sound into the microphone)


Woman(Voice quiet, unreadable)

(footsteps, light, walking across room; whispered conversation at the same time)


(speech, distant, containing word 'upstairs'; then two footsteps)

Child – (screaming) Don't. Mum--Ah.

Woman – (whispering) Come on.


Woman(whispering) Shut up.

Child – (pleading) Oh, please.

Child – Oh. (then faintly:) Help – oh.

Child – Help. (followed by gurgling noise)

Woman – Sh. Sh.

Woman – Shut up. Shut UP.

(Screams and gurgles)

Child – Oh. Oh. Oh. (child crying)

Woman(whispering) Keep – and you'll be all right.

Woman(whispering) Go on.

(Quick footsteps mounting stairs, then entering room)

(Child crying, muffled)

Man(whispering) Here.

Woman – Hush, hush. Go on.

(woman speaking, unreadable)

(Child crying)

Woman – You are all right. Hush, hush. Put it in your mouth – hush and shift that hand.

(child crying)

Woman – Put it in your mouth and keep it in and you'll be all right.

Woman – Put it in, stop it.

Woman – If you don't--shh.

(child crying)

Woman – In your mouth. Hush, hush. Shut up or I'll forget myself and hit you one. Keep it in.

(Child whimpering)

Man – Put it in.

Woman(Spoken quickly) Put it in.

Man – (speaks, but words unreadable except for the word 'hand')


Man – Put it in. Keep it in. Stop it now. Stop it now.

Woman – I'm only doing this and you'll be all right.

Woman – Put it in your mouth. Put it in--in.

(further words spoken by the woman which are unreadable except for 'put it in')

Woman – Will you stop it, stop it.

(womans voice unreadable)

(Child whimpering)

Woman – Shut--

Man – Quick. Put it in now.

(Child whimpering)

(retching noise)

Man – Just put it in now, love. Put it in now.

(retching noise)

Child(muffled) What's this in for?

Man – Put it in.

Child – Can I just tell you summat? I must tell you summat. Please, take your hands off me a minute, please, please-- Mummy--please.

Child – I can't tell you.


Child(in quick sequence) I can't tell you, I can't breathe. Oh.

Child – I can't--Dad-Will you take your hands off me?

(man whispering)

Man – No. Tell me.

Child – Please God.

Man – Tell me.

Child – I can't while you've got your hands on me.

(mumbling sound)

Man – Why don't you keep it in?

Child – Why? What are you going to do with me?

Man – I want some photographs, that's all.

Man – Put it in.

Child – Don't undress me, will you?

Woman – That's right, don't --

Child – It hurts me. I want to see Mummy, honest to God.

Man – Put it in.

Child – I'll swear on the Bible.

Man – Put it in, and hurry up now. The quicker you do this, the quicker you'll get home.

Child – I've got to go, because I'm going out with my Mamma. Leave me, please. Help me, will you?

Man – Put it in your mouth and you'll be all right.

Child – Will you let me go when this is out?

Man – Yes. the longer it takes you to do this, the longer it takes you to get home.

Child – What are you going to do with me first?

Man – I'm going to take some photographs. Put it in your mouth.

Child – What for?

Man – Put it in your mouth. (pause) Right in.

Child – I'm not going to do owt.

Man – Put it in. If you don't keep that hand down, I'll slit your neck. (pause) Put it in.

Child – Won't you let me go? Please.

Man – No, no. Put it in, stop talking.

Man – What's your name?

Child – Lesley.

Man – Lesley what?

Child – Ann.

Man – What's your second name?

Child – Westford. Westford.

Man – Westford?

Child – I have to get home before 8 o'clock. I got to get --(pause) Or I'll get killed if I don't. Honest to God.

Man – Yes.

(Quick footsteps of woman leaving room and going downstairs; then a click; then woman's footsteps coming upstairs; then eight longer strides)

Man – What is it?

Woman – I've left the light on.

Man – You 'ave?

Woman – So that – (remainder of sentence unreadable)

(Child starts crying)

Child – It hurts me neck.

Man – Hush, put it in your mouth and you'll be all right.

Woman – Now listen, shurrup crying.

Child(crying) It hurts on me --

Woman – (interrupting) Hush! Shut up. Now, put it in. Pull that hand away and don't dally and just keep your mouth shut, please.

Woman – Wait a bit, I'll put this on again. D'you get me?

Child – (whining) No, I – (remainder of sentence unreadable)

Woman – Sh. Hush. Put that in your mouth. And again, packed more solid.

(whispered sentences, unreadable)

Child – I want to go home. Honest to god. I'll (further speech muffled but uninterrupted) – before eight o'clock.

Woman – No, it's all right.

Man – Eh!

(Music commences, country-style tune followed by 'Jolly St Nicholas', during which various non-vocal noises can be heard; then tune 'The Little Drummer y' during which a voice speaks -unreadable)

(Three loud cracks, systematic, even-timed)

(Music- 'The Little Drummer Boy' – goes fainter)


(Sounds on tape cease)

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