28 June, 2013


Most people of my age remember the Moors murders in the 1960s. Five children were kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. It was all the more shocking then because no one had ever heard of this sort of thing. Perhaps we're now used to it.

Hindley died ten years ago, and it is said that they opened champagne at the Home Office where they had received regular appeals for her release, having to refuse on grounds of society's revulsion at the crime (any Home Secretary releasing her would have been hounded out of his job).

Ian Brady was declared insane in 1985 and is being held in a mental institution. He is on hunger strike (some evidence denies this) and being fed through a tube. He says he is not insane and wants to be transferred to a normal prison where, it is reported, he believes he would be able to kill himself.

I don't know if Brady is insane. There are some crimes so awful one would have thought you would have had to be insane to commit them and this is surely up for consideration on that ground. They made tape recordings of the tortured children and a chap I knew had spoken to a barrister who had heard the tapes, who said it would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Brady has never disclosed the whereabouts of Keith Bennet's body, although he has confessed to the crime. It is believed he is withholding the information in order to manipulate the proceedings.

The deal I would make is that if he discloses information leading to the recovery of Keith's remains, for which the family have been waiting for half a century, he should be transferred to an ordinary prison and, yes allowed to die of that is what he wants. No remains, no transfer, and until then I believe we have a duty to keep him alive.

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