Sordid sadism, sick Nazi love tokens and macabre photo shoots at the graves of their victims: How a twisted infatuation spawned the most shocking murders in modern history
- Ian Brady quickly amassed a criminal record after a broken childhood in Glasgow
- Myra Hindley became obsessed with him when they met at a chemical firm
- She shared his twisted fantasies of cruelty and sadism inspired by the Nazis
- They continued communicating in prison in coded letters after they were jailed
It was an infatuation that would spawn some of the worst crimes in modern British history.
She was an impressionable, religious 18-year-old from suburban Manchester. He was a petty criminal from Glasgow, four years her senior.
But Ian Brady’s fascination with Nazism and sexual perversion would take hold of his younger lover Myra Hindley as they plotted and carried out the abduction, torture and murders of children.
Ian Brady, who died yesterday, met Myra Hindley when they both worked at a chemical company. The pair went on to commit some of the most shocking murders of modern history
A similar photo which some speculate could be the site of missing victim Keith Bennett’s grave
Watching him reading Hitler’s Mein Kampf in his lunch breaks at the chemical company they both worked for in Manchester in 1961, Hindley began to see Brady as a sophisticated older man.
Brady, who was initially rejected by the mother he was later sent to live with, already had criminal record for burglary and had spent time in Strangeways jail when he met Hindley.
When the pair became lovers, they pushed each other towards an increasingly horrific sadism that would lead to the terrible murders of their child victims.
The couple watched films on Nazism, about which Brady had built up a library of books, and Hindley dyed her hair blonde to imitate an ideal Ayran woman.
Hindley was obsessed with him and he grew to love the idea of being worshipped and adored and decided to include her in his plans for a crime spree.
He made her buy a car and taught her to shoot, but on realising how much his young lover would do for him he persuaded her to become involved in his twisted fantasies.
Their first victim was 16-year old Pauline Reade, who was murdered after Hindley asked her to help find her glove lost on Saddleworth Moor.
He started life as the illegitimate son of a tearoom waitress, born into the Glasgow ghetto of the Gorbals. He never learned who his father was and was soon fostered out by his mother
When Hindley first arrived at the factory at the age of 18, 23-year-old Brady ignored her and it was only a year later that she managed to break through to him and their sick love affair began. Brady. who was obsessed with Nazism, called her Myra Hess
Brady had cut the teenager’s throat with such force that her spinal cord was severed. Pathologists said it was impossible to say whether Brady had sexually assaulted her.
Four months after Pauline vanished, the day after President John F Kennedy’s assassination in the US, 12-year-old John Kilbride became Brady’s second victim.
He was lured on to the moor where he was sexually assaulted and murdered. Brady took a photograph of Hindley standing on the edge of his grave holding her pet dog. The photograph would later lead police to the young boy’s resting place.
The body of the third victim, Keith Bennett, 12, has never been found. He died after leaving his home in Chorlton-on-Medlock in Manchester on June 16 1964.
Even though Brady and Hindley were both permitted to travel to the moor to try to remember where the boy’s remains were, they were not found.
The pair took photos of each other on Saddleworth Moor, where they buried their victims
Myra was rarely seen without her pet dog, but Brady had tortured animals before the killings
It was Brady and Hindley’s next killing that sealed their reputation for pure wickedness – the murder of 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey on Boxing Day in 1964.
She became their youngest victim when she was lured from a fairground to the house Hindley shared with her grandmother in Hattersley.
Brady stripped, sexually abused and tortured her, forcing her to pose for pornographic photographs.
Her last moments were recorded on a harrowing 16-minute, 21-second audio tape.
The terrified girl begged for mercy, called out for her mother and appealed to God for help before her voice was stifled forever.
Her cries reduced the judge, jury, courtroom spectators and even hardened police officers to tears.
Detectives could not say exactly how Lesley Ann died. Her body was dug up naked except for shoes and socks.
Hindley enticed one victim to her death by asking her to help her find her a glove she had lost
Had the pair not made a crucial blunder in involving Hindley’s brother-in-law David Smith in their next enterprise, the murder of Edward Evans, 17, might not have been their last.
Edward was lured from a gay bar to a home then shared by Hindley and Brady on the Hattersley estate at Hyde. Brady then attacked Evans with an axe, smothered him with a cushion and completed his grim task with an electrical cable.
Brady was 28 in May 1966 when he and Hindley were convicted of murdering Lesley Ann and Edward.
He was also convicted of the murder of John Kilbride and received three life sentences to run concurrently.
In 1987 Brady finally confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett but he was never tried for the crimes.
Hindley (pictured in 1996) and Brady (right in 2013) continued to communicate behind bars
It later emerged that the pair continued to communicate after they were jailed.
Hindley’s prison records were released after she died aged 69 in 2002 and they included five files of letters between the wicked couple – but only two have been made public.
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.
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.