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1987: Brady to help search for Moors victims

Moors murderer Ian Brady has offered to assist police searches of Saddleworth Moor for the first time since his conviction 21 years ago.

In 1966 Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley were given life sentences for the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, John Kilbride and Edward Evans, but police kept files open on two other missing children, Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett.

When news of the body found at Saddleworth yesterday reached Brady at Park Lane Mental Hospital in Liverpool he told his solicitor that he was prepared to return to the Manchester moors.

Police were directed to the shallow grave at Hollin Brow Knoll by Hindley.

She began to co-operate with the police in November 1986 after she received a letter from the mother of Keith Bennett who disappeared in 1964.

Hindley had also been visited twice by the head of Manchester CID, Peter Topping, in Cookham Wood prison, Kent.

Under heavy police guard she returned to the moor twice last autumn as Detective Chief Superintendent Topping and his squad of eight officers had sealed off the area for further investigation.

On her second visit in February Hindley confessed that she and Brady had committed two other murders.


"We want to bring peace to parents "

Det Chief Supt Peter Topping

Pathologists cannot confirm the identity of the body recovered yesterday but there is a strong possibility that it is that of 16-year-old Pauline Reade, missing since the 1960s.

The remains were well preserved in peat and were unearthed close to where Moors murder victim, Lesley Ann Downey, was found 23 years ago.

Police visited the house of Pauline Reade's parents in Oldham late last night.

"We want to bring some peace to parents who have waited so long," said Det Chief Supt Topping.

Brady's assistance might finally bring that wait to an end.

In Context
Days later pathologists confirmed that the body was that of Pauline Reade.

The inquiry was re-opened by Det Supt Topping in April 1986 despite criticisms from some members of the public and Parliament that the renewed investigations were macabre and expensive.

The body of Keith Bennett has never been found and the police do not have plans to search the Moors again.

Myra Hindley died in prison on 15 November 2002 from a serious chest infection. She had battled since her original 30 year sentence expired in 1996 to win her freedom, but successive home secretaries ruled that "life should mean life".

Ian Brady went on hunger strike at high-security Ashworth psychiatric hospital in 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.


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