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Saturday, 16 November, 2002, 02:55 GMT
Moors murderer Hindley dies
Myra Hindley
Hindley was in hospital for some time
Moors murderer Myra Hindley has died in hospital from a serious chest infection following a suspected heart attack two weeks ago.

Hindley, 60, was taken to West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds at the beginning of the month.

She was admitted again on Tuesday and she died just before 1700 GMT after respiratory failure, having received the last rites from a Catholic priest.


I have no sympathy for her, even in death

Winnie Johnson, mother of victim Keith Bennett

Hindley was jailed for life in 1966 for murdering two children with her lover Ian Brady, and later confessed to killing two more.

A Prison Service spokesman said Hindley's next of kin had been informed of her death.

A coroner's inquest is to be held, as is routine following the death of any prisoner in custody, he added.

'Truly repented'

Hindley had made a number of legal bids for freedom, but had been told she would never be released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk.

She had also been suffering from angina and osteoporosis, and had been a heavy smoker.

In a statement Hindley's solicitors, Taylor Nichol, said their client had "truly repented" for her crimes.


She was acutely aware that she would not be forgiven by many

Taylor Nichol, Hindley's solicitors

"Myra was deeply aware of the terrible crimes she had committed and of the suffering caused to those who died and to their relatives," the statement said.

"She was acutely aware that she would not be forgiven by many."

The statement said Hindley left friends, family and an elderly mother "all of whom had supported her throughout".

Abuse

Brady and Hindley's crimes of sexual abuse, torture and murder of children shocked the nation.

Lesley Ann Downey, 10, John Kilbride, 12, Keith Bennett, 12, and Pauline Reade, 16, were all sexually assaulted before their deaths at the hands of the couple.

The victims
Lesley Ann Downey, 10
John Kilbride, 12
Keith Bennett, 12
Pauline Reade, 16
Edward Evans, 17
Their bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester, although Keith Bennett's body was never found.

Their final victim, Edward Evans, 17, was murdered in front of Hindley's 17-year-old brother-in-law, who alerted the police.

The mother of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, Winnie Johnson, said she feared her son's body would never be found.

Mrs Johnson, from Manchester, said: "I always hoped she would be able to tell me at least something of what I wanted to know and I've never given up that hope.

"Whatever happens, I'll never give up looking for Keith and I'll keep asking Brady.

"I have no sympathy for her even in death."

Terry Kilbride, the brother of 12-year-old victim John Kilbride, said his family had never got over his death.

"It's like a dagger. It digs in and it will still dig in, even though she is dead," he said.

Saddleworth Moor
Police search Saddleworth Moor
Phil Woolas, the Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: "Whilst nobody would wish anybody suffering and pain, it is with a sense of relief that we can now begin to put this nightmare behind us."

Hindley's cremation, at Cambridge City Crematorium, has been arranged in discussions between the crematorium and Cambridgeshire Police.

She drew up a list of about 12 close friends and family to attend the ceremony, which will be a high-security police operation to minimise disruption.

'Life means life'

In a statement issued after Hindley's death, Greater Manchester Police said the investigation into "issues arising out of the Moors murders case" was ongoing.

"We would always investigate any fresh evidence that might lead us to the location of the body of Keith Bennett," it said.

Successive home secretaries including David Blunkett had always said that in Hindley's case, a life prison sentence should mean life.

Brady, now 64, is on permanent hunger strike
The House of Lords is now considering stripping politicians of the power to intervene in sentencing in such cases.

Hindley became an icon of evil and the subject of media campaigns to keep her behind bars.

But she had supporters who campaigned for her release, especially in the clergy.

Her conversion to Roman Catholicism in prison made her cling to the possibility of redemption and release from jail.

Brady, now 64, is currently being held at the high security Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside, where he is on hunger strike and being fed through a plastic tube.

He has failed in several legal attempts to be allowed to starve himself to death.

For the past three years, he has remained on hunger strike, and the hospital authorities have been feeding him through a plastic tube.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"No other female killer has raised such public hostility"
BBC correspondent Richard Bilton
"Myra Hindley's death has brought back terrible memories"
Reverend Peter Timms, counsellor to Hindley:
"She hoped the system would treat her fairly and that never happened"

Key stories

The Moors murderers

Who was Hindley?

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