Filling the final moments of their victims’ lives with terror wasn’t enough for evil Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, and the sick couple wanted to relive their deaths over and over again.
The twisted pair tortured children before burying the bodies of their young victims on Saddleworth Moors, near Manchester.
In the tragic case of 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey, the sadistic pair recorded the moment they took her life.
“Don’t undress me, will you?” she begged, her voice riddled with fear. “I want to see Mummy.”
Those were the youngster’s harrowing last words. The tape then captured the blood-curdling sound of little Lesley being murdered.
Corbis via Getty Images)
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And 56 years to the day since the pair were found guilty of murder, the case is still considered to be one of the most shocking in this country’s history.
Serial killer expert Prof David Wilson said: “At the time this case was pretty unique. It is part of history.
“The Moors murders were shocking. You have a woman and a man torturing children. A woman is more shocking.
“The reason we know so much about this case is because of the dreadful way Lesley Ann Downey lost her life and that it was recorded.
“It was sadistic.”
Brady and Hindley first met when she was working as a secretary and he was a store clerk at a company in Manchester. It was love at first sight.
On July 12, 1963, twisted Brady told a besotted Hindley that he wanted to “commit his perfect murder.”
Spotting 16-year-old Pauline Reade, Hindley approached her and asked if she would help her find a glove she had lost on Saddleworth Moor.
Pauline was never to be seen again.
Four months later, Hindley offered a lift home to John Kilbride, 12, in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, promising him sherry.
Instead, Brady sexually assaulted the youngster and attempted to slit his throat with a six-inch serrated blade, before strangling him with string.
The boy’s body was then dumped on Saddleworth Moor.
A photo Brady took of his lover with her pet dog, standing by the grave, eventually led police to the site two years later.
Keith Bennett, 12, was on his way to his grandmother’s house on June 16, 1964, when Hindley enticed him into her van.
She drove to a lay-by on the moor, where Brady sexually assaulted and strangled Keith.
The evil pair lured Lesley to her death after spotting her at a fairground on Boxing Day 1964.
Taking her back to their house, they undressed and gagged her and forced her to pose for photographs.
She was then raped and killed, which the couple also recorded.
The following morning, Brady and Hindley buried her naked in a shallow grave on Saddleworth Moor with her clothes at her feet.
It was only when the couple tried to recruit Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, into their twisted circle that their reign of terror ended.
On October 6, 1965, Brady offered to show Smith a practical demonstration of murder and, after luring Edwards Evans, 17, into their clutches, Brady struck the teenager 14 times with a hatchet before strangling him.
Horrified, Smith called the police, later telling them: “Ian had a hatchet in his hand… I heard the blow, it was a terrible, hard blow.”
Police found Edward’s body in the spare bedroom of the couple’s home, wrapped in plastic sheeting, along with the bloody murder weapon.
A further search found two luggage tickets for Manchester Central station and two suitcases containing pictures of Lesley with a scarf tied around her mouth. Police also found the horrific tape recordings.
A series of snapshots showing random sections of Saddleworth Moor were also discovered, and an exercise book with John Kilbride’s name scribbled in it.
An extensive search of the moors began and, on October 16, police found an arm sticking out of the ground, belonging to Lesley Ann.
John Kilbride’s body was found five days later.
On May 6, 1966, Hindley and Brady were found guilty of the murder of Edward and Lesley Ann.
Brady was also convicted of murdering John Kilbride, while Hindley was convicted of being an accessory after the fact.
Jurors fell silent as the tape recording of Lesley Ann’s death was played to the court.
In his closing remarks, Mr Justice Atkinson condemned the accused as “two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity”.
Brady was sentenced to three concurrent life terms, while Hindley received two concurrent life terms, plus a concurrent seven-year sentence for the Kilbride case.
It was 19 years later that Brady finally confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett.
On June 30, 1987, after more than 100 days of searching, Pauline Reade’s body was found. Keith’s remains were never recovered, with Brady refusing to say where they were hidden.
Myra Hindley, who died aged 60 on July 23, 2002, often claimed she had also been a victim, and that her lover “made her do it”.
She once said: “He used to threaten me and rape me and whip me and cane me.”
Ian Brady died aged 79 on May 15, 2017.
Over half a century has passed since the murders, yet the haunting mugshots of the depraved couple will live on forever, along with the memories of their sickening crimes.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.