BBC Home
Explore the BBC
6 May  
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1966: Moors murderers jailed for life
Ian Brady and his lover Myra Hindley have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the so-called Moors murders at Chester Assizes.

Judge Fenton Atkinson imposed three concurrent life sentences on Ian Brady, aged 28, for what he called "three calculated, cruel, cold-blooded murders".

The couple were tried for the killing of Edward Evans, 17, Lesley Ann Downey, aged 10, and 12-year-old John Kilbride - a case that has shocked the nation.

Hindley, 23, was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences for the murder of Edward Evans and Lesley Ann Downey and found not guilty of the killing of John Kilbride.

The bodies of the three children were found on Saddleworth Moor in the Pennines seven months ago.


Brady, a stock clerk from Glasgow and Hindley, a shorthand typist from Manchester, lured the children into their home in Manchester, tortured, then killed them.

It was Hindley's brother-in-law, 17-year-old David Smith, who called the police after witnessing the brutal murder of Edward Evans at the couple's home in Hattersley, East Manchester. He told them that Brady had boasted that he had buried other victims at the moors.

The judge praised the "utmost skill and thoroughness" of the police working on the case. They had discovered a left-luggage ticket in Hindley's communion prayer book.

This led them to a suitcase containing pornographic photographs and tapes that proved to be valuable evidence against the pair. One of the photos showed Hindley posing with her dog at what turned out to be the site of John Kilbride's grave.

The Home Office has said that anyone sentenced to life imprisonment is liable to be held for the whole of his or her natural life but the Home Secretary could release a prisoner on licence.

Two children believed to be victims of Brady and Hindley - Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett - are still missing.

 E-mail this story to a friend

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady
Myra Hindley and Ian Brady: Suspected of killing other children

Special report on the Moors Murders

In Context
Both Brady and Hindley were taken back to the moors, separately, in the 1980s, when Greater Manchester Police began a new search for bodies.

They discovered the remains of Pauline Reade in 1987 but failed to find any trace of Keith Bennett's grave.

Ian Brady has been on hunger strike at high-security Ashworth psychiatric hospital since October 1999.

The High Court in London rejected his appeal for "the right to die" in April 2001. Later that year American publishers controversially released a book by Brady analysing serial killers.

Myra Hindley's original 30-year sentence expired in 1996 and she has tried to win her release since then. But successive home secretaries have ruled that "life should mean life".

Hindley's last appeal for freedom failed in the House of Lords in March 2000.

She died on 15 November 2002 from a severe chest infection aged 60.

Stories From 6 May

Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy