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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 17:32 GMT
Killers locked in a bitter feud
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Brady and Hindley kept in touch after their conviction

Myra Hindley was without doubt the most hated woman in Britain.

Many could not understand how a woman could be actively involved in abducting, torturing and killing children.

Despite her protestations, there is little doubt that she was an equal partner in crime with her lover Ian Brady.

Rarely has there been such a terrible example of a couple bound together by murder.

After they were jailed for life in 1966, Brady and Hindley continued to write to each other from their prison cells.

But the relationship came to an abrupt end, and for most of their time in captivity, the two killers regarded each other with hatred and contempt.

It turned into a bitter feud, and at its root was the very different attitude of the two killers to their crimes.


Ian Brady, who was eventually moved from prison to a mental hospital, knew he would never be freed. He told me on many occasions that he would never apply for parole.

Ian Brady
Ian Brady is on hunger strike
His only wish, he said, was to be released from captivity by being allowed to die.

Three years ago, he began a hunger strike, and is kept alive by hospital staff, who feed him through a plastic tube.

By contrast, Myra Hindley tried to create an image of a corrupted woman, drawn under the spell of a perverted man, and forced to participate in his crimes.

She may have been innocent at the start of the relationship, but her claims that she was an unwilling accomplice were never credible.

She had many opportunities to go to the police, to end the killings, but chose not to.

Crucially, her presence enabled Brady to kidnap their young victims. A child might not get into a car with a strange man, but a couple did not seem so threatening.

And Brady was unable to drive. It was Hindley who drove their car onto Saddleworth Moor where the children were killed and buried.


It may have been Brady who committed the final act, but she made the crimes possible, and her attempts to distance herself from the murders infuriated Brady.

His opportunity came when Myra Hindley began her campaign to be released. Her lawyers went to court to challenge the power of the home secretary to keep her locked up.

From his cell in Ashworth Hospital, on Merseyside, Brady poured scorn on her efforts to present herself as an unwilling partner in the relationship.

Myra Hindley
Mrya Hindley created an image of a corrupted woman
Photographs taken by the couple at around this time also present a very different image. One shows Brady and Hindley laughing and smiling together, as they pose for the camera.

In another picture, taken by Brady, Hindley is seen kneeling at the spot where one of their victims was buried. It was a macabre souvenir of murder.

In her efforts to win freedom, Hindley must have come to dread the written interventions by Brady, many in letters to News Online.


But when Hindley went into hospital for treatment for a cerebral aneurism - which could have killed her - Brady said he envied her.

"Myra gets the potentially fatal brain condition, whilst I have to fight simply to die," he complained.

The irony will not be lost on Brady as he hears of Hindley's death from the TV set in his hospital ward.

He still wants to die but is not allowed to starve himself to death. She has now been released from 36 years of captivity...but not in the way she dreamed.

Ian Brady still has many of the letters written to him by Myra Hindley after they were convicted.

Also in a safe, he says, is his autobiography. But it will not be made public until after his own death.

Only then may we get a better understanding of the strange relationship between Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.

Key stories

The Moors murderers

Who was Hindley?

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