12th July 1963

Glasgow-born Ian Brady commits first Moors Murder

Ian Brady was born in Glasgow in 1938 and became notorious as one half of the Moors Murderers, alongside Manchester-born Myra Hindley. Brady already had a criminal record and had served time for theft when he and Hindley met at a chemical distribution company where they worked, in her home town.

First murder

They both developed an interest in Nazi history, moved in together, and eventually killed 16-year-old Pauline Reade, on 12 July 1963, after taking her to Saddleworth Moor. She was to be the first of five victims. Their second killing – of 12-year-old John Kilbride – took place in November the same year, and they killed Keith Bennet in February the following year. They killed 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey at Christmas 1964, and 17-year-old Edward Evans in October 1965.

Ian Brady killed Edward Evans in the presence of Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, who reported it to police. Police went to the house where Evans had been killed, and arrested Brady. Myra Hindley was arrested later in the week, and police later found evidence, including photos, linking the pair to the dead children.

Brady and Hindley on trial

The pair eventually stood trial for the killings of Edward Evans, John Kilbride, and Lesley Ann Downey. Both pleaded not guilty, but it took the jury only two hours and fourteen minutes to convict them on 6 May 1966 at the end of their two-week trial. They were sentenced to life in prison, on a whole life tariff.

The day after they were sentenced, the Daily Mirror wrote that “after the jury’s verdicts, the judge, Mr Fenton Atkinson, said to Brady: ‘Ian Brady, these were three calculated, cruel, cold-blooded murders’. He added: ‘In your case, I pass the only sentence which the law now allows, which is three concurrent sentences of life imprisonment.’ Brady, impassive, then left the dock… leaving Myra Hindley to hear her sentence.”

Death in prison

Both killers died in custody: Hindley in 2002, aged 60, and Brady in 2017, aged 79. Police were still searching for the grave of Keith Bennet at the time of Brady’s death, and it is believed that he may have recorded the location of the boy’s body in documents, which were kept in locked briefcases. However, these were removed from his hospital room prior to his death and police were not allowed access.

Brady’s funeral was handled by Thameside Borough Council, upon a judge’s ruling that it should not be handled by his executor. The Guardian, on 3 November 2017, reported that “Court documents reveal that Brady’s body was incinerated without ceremony in Southport on Wednesday 25 October. His ashes were placed in a weighted biodegradable urn, driven to Liverpool Marina and dispatched at sea on Thursday 26 October at 2.30am.”



Other events that occured in July

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