HINDLEY BRADY

Twisted secret code in love letters between Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley could reveal burial site of last missing victim’s body

  • Love letters between killers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady are to remain classified 
  • Ministers fear they could include secrets to the whereabouts of Keith Bennett
  • Police and Government officials say the 1965 letters contain coded messages
  • Keith Bennett is said to be the last victim of the Moors Murders in Manchester 
Keith Bennett from Manchester went missing in June 1964

Keith Bennett from Manchester went missing in June 1964

Coded love letters between Myra Hindley and Ian Brady could contain clues which may lead to the discovery their last victim’s body and graphic details of his death.

Ministers involved in a new review of decided to keep the documents classified as they include secrets about the whereabouts of 11-year-old Keith Bennett who went missing in June 1964.

Politicians are also worried the families of Keith and the other victims would be traumatised if they knew what happened to their loved ones.

Earlier this year, it was revealed bullet shells matching a Smith and Wesson revolver, which Brady may have used to murder the boy, had been found on Saddleworth Moor, in greater Manchester, a spot that earned the killings the moniker the ‘Moors Murders.’

This has led to calls for a fresh search of the moor, 51 years after the pair were jailed.

Police and Government officials believe the 1965 letters between them contain coded messages which if cracked could close the case.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘The body of Keith Bennett is yet to be recovered, and the police are still hopeful that one day they will be able to effect this.

Myra Hindley and her partner carried out the Moors Murders between July 1963 and October 1965

Ian Brady (left) and Myra Hindley (right) carried out the Moors Murders between July 1963 and October 1965 in what is now Greater Manchester. The victims were five children between the ages of 10 and 17 years of age

‘The information in this file potentially still retains value in assisting the police to achieve this aim.

‘Combined with new information, or re-interpreted, it could prove key in finally bringing this case to a conclusion.

‘Therefore disclosure into the public domain may risk prejudicing the opportunity to resolve the final mystery in this, one of the defining criminal cases of the last century.’

Hindley and Bradys’ murders of five children in the 1960s have been exhaustively covered over the years in books, films and documentaries.

Brady, now 79, has never revealed the resting place of his final victim Keith Bennett despite desperate appeals from his mum Winnie Johnson, who died in 2012.

Hindley’s prison records were released into the National Archives after she died aged 69 in 2002.

They include five files of letters between the wicked couple – but only two have been made public.

The couple are already known to have used at least one code they called 6-7-8 to communicate.

The code would start on the sixth line of a letter.

The seventh and eight words on alternate lines would then he used to parcel together of a sentence, a secret code.

In one, Hindley used the code to suggest Brady should get someone to attack the brother of one of their victims with acid.

Other letters contained coded messages to plan an escape from jail while on remand awaiting trial. However police managed to crack the code and were able to quash attempts when Hindley requested a jail move.

Myra Hindley pictured on Saddleworth Moor in a photo taken by Ian Brady 

Myra Hindley pictured on Saddleworth Moor in a photo taken by Ian Brady

Years after the disappearance Greater Manchester Police search the moor for the remains of Keith Bennett 

Years after the disappearance Greater Manchester Police search the moor for the remains of Keith Bennett

A new review was carried out following requests to open the remaining three files under the Freedom of Information Act.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘One of the most notorious crimes of 20th century Britain, the story of Brady and Hindley and their victims remains a source of intense interest and speculation.

‘With Ian Brady still living and the body of one of the victims yet to be recovered, there is still public concern about the case.

‘Information that might help to explain the circumstances would not only be of interest but would help the community come to terms with a case that still causes considerable anxiety to this day.’

But following the review, Ministers have agreed the letters should remain classified until at least January 2051.

‘Whilst it is appreciated that a great deal of information about the’Moors Murders’ is already in the public domain, the level of detail in this file goes beyond what has already been made public,’ the spokesman added.

Keith's whereabout is still a mystery

Keith's mother Winnie Johnson. She died in 2012 buried with her son's

Keith’s whereabouts is still a mystery. Keith’s mother Winnie Johnson (right). She died in 2012 and was buried with her son’s glasses

‘It is considered that the release of this information would impart the risk of subjecting the surviving members of the families of victims whose bodies have been found and, just as importantly, those whose bodies have not yet been found to a totally unacceptable level of mental distress.’

Prof Tom Clark, of Sheffield University, has been examining Hindley’s prison records for his serial killer book The Sociology of Evil, due to be published next year.

He said: ‘These are all letters that Brady and Hindley wrote to each other in prison knowing they would be intercepted.

‘I would not have batted an eyelid if the request was refused on the basis Brady is not dead yet or because they mentioned someone still alive working in the prison service.

How did the Moors Murderers’ secret code work?

Hindley’s prison records were released into the National Archives after she died aged 69 in 2002.

They include five files of letters between the couple – but only two have been made public.

The couple are already known to have used at least one code they called 6-7-8 to communicate.

The code would start on the sixth line of a letter.

The seventh and eight words on alternate lines in the letter would then be used to parcel together of a sentence, a secret code.

‘But I am very surprised and intrigued by the suggestion the letters might contain information to find Keith’s body.

‘Why should they want to keep the letters kept secret when the police have not done anything for years?

‘The frustrating thing is we cannot actually see the letters so there is no way of finding out what was in them using the secret code.

‘So this seems very strange. Keith’s family are still desperate to find his body so if these letters could help they should be published to solve one of worst crimes in history.

‘These letters are mentioned a lot in Hindley’s prisoner reviews so there could be quite a lot of them, especially since she was a prolific letter writer.’

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ‘The current status of the investigation is that it is with our Cold Case team which means it has not been closed. If new information comes to light then the Cold Case team will investigate those leads.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4459914/Moors-Murderers-Ian-Brady-Myra-Hindley-Keith-Bennett.html#ixzz4fkYi7v00
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