Moors Murderer Ian Brady dies

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Media captionDaniel Sandford looks back at the revulsion caused by Brady’s crimes

Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who tortured and killed five children with Myra Hindley in crimes that shocked the nation, has died.

The 79-year-old died at Ashworth Hospital, a secure psychiatric unit in Merseyside where he had been detained since 1985.

Brady, who was jailed in 1966, buried four of his victims in graves on Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester.

One victim’s brother said Brady’s death would not end their “nightmare”.

A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said Brady had died at 18:03 BST on Monday.

Body never found

Brady, who was born in Glasgow but later moved to Manchester, was jailed at Chester Assizes 51 years ago for the murders of 12-year-old John Kilbride, Lesley Ann Downey, aged 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

In 1985 he also admitted to the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, who was 12.

The children had been abducted by Brady and his lover Hindley, who died in prison in 2002, between 1963 and 1965.

Brady never revealed where Keith’s remains were buried. The boy’s mother Winnie Johnson, who died in 2012, had repeatedly pleaded for Brady to do so.

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Brady never revealed where Keith Bennett’s remains were buried

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Keith Bennett’s mother Winnie Johnson, pictured here in 2009, never gave up on the search for her son’s body

Martin Bottomley, the head of Greater Manchester Police’s cold case unit, said the force would never give up the search for Keith and Brady’s death did “not change that”.

He said: “Our aim, as it always has been, is to find where Keith is buried and give closure to his surviving family members so they can give Keith the proper burial they so desperately want.

“Whilst we are not actively searching Saddleworth Moor, we will act on credible and actionable information that will help lead us to him.”

‘Grief and torment’

Keith’s brother Alan runs a website, Searching for Keith, in an ongoing attempt to locate his body.

John Kilbride’s brother, Terry, told the Sun newspaper Brady was a “murderous psychopath”.

“It’s been years and years of anguish and pain for us and the families of the victims,” he said.

“But nothing will change. He’s dead but we will have to still live with the nightmare that he left behind.”

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Brady and Hindley murdered five children in the 1960s

Speaking about the case of victim Lesley Ann Downey, former police officer Norman Brennan told of the “grief and torment” he had seen on the faces of her mother and father.

He told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “To know that your daughter was lost, alone and murdered and then actually her death was recorded, the grief can never ever be etched from your mind.

“Those two individuals, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, they didn’t just destroy five young children’s lives.

“The… false hopes that they gave the families for over 50 years destroyed all of the families as well, even to this day.”

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Julia Quenzler

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Brady last appeared before a mental health tribunal in 2013

Brady had been on successive hunger strikes since 1999, arguing he should be allowed to die, but had been force-fed because he was considered mentally ill.

He campaigned for several years to be moved from Ashworth to a Scottish prison where he would not be force-fed and would be allowed to die if he wished.

The Mersey Care Trust was unable to confirm the cause of Brady’s death, but said he had been given oxygen for a while.

Brady was not found dead in his room, its spokesman said, but he was unable to confirm if anyone was with him when he died, adding: “Quite possibly. I don’t know.”

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Police searches of the moor began in the 1960s, including this area where the body of Lesley Downey was found

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Searches continued in areas of identified interest up until 2009

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