'I hope he rots in hell': Victims' families react after Moors murderer Ian Brady dies, aged 79

Moors murderer Ian Brady has died at the age of 79.

The 79-year-old, who murdered five children with Myra Hindley during a killing spree in the 1960s, died after reportedly suffering from cancer.

His death comes just hours after he was urged to “do the right thing” and reveal where the last of his child victims, Keith Bennett, is buried.

Brady has refused to give details of where he hid Keith’s body despite numerous pleas from the boy’s mother, Winnie Johnson, and other relatives of his victims.

Families responded to Brady’s death with one saying they hoped he would “rot in hell”.

Terry West, whose sister Lesley Ann Downey was murdered aged 10 in 1964, said: “I poured myself a glass of wine when I found out – we’ve been waiting for this day for such a long time.

“I really feel for Keith Bennett’s brother Alan and the rest of his family – this probably means they’ll never know where his body was buried. He’s taken it to the grave. There’s still one poor kiddie up there on the Moors.”

A family member of Lesley Ann Downey reportedly posted online: ‘We as a family have had the best news ever! Brady the devil’s disciple is DEAD!!! May you rot in F****** HELL!!!!!!!!!!’

The body of Keith Bennett has yet to be found (PA)
The body of Keith Bennett has yet to be found (PA)

Terry Kilbride, the brother of John Kilbride, told The Sun: ‘It’s a lot to take in. It’s been years and years of anguish and pain for us and the families of the victims.

‘He’s ruined our lives all these years and he’ll still ruin it even though he’s gone. I feel numb. He was a murderous psychopath. What a bastard. We’re going to be taunted by a dead man from beyond the grave.’

Lesley Ann Downey (PA)
Lesley Ann Downey (PA)

The serial killer, who used the name Ian Stewart-Brady before his death, was a patient at Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside where he was reportedly receiving palliative care.

At a court hearing in February lawyers said he had been bedridden for the last couple of years and it was “fair to say” he was terminally ill, with emphysema among his ailments.

Ian Brady is being cared for at Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside (Wikipedia)
Ian Brady is being cared for at Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside (Wikipedia)

The serial killer and Myra Hindley, who died in prison in 2002, tortured and murdered five children in the 1960s.

Four of the victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines.

Earlier on Monday, it emerged Brady was very ill.

A source told The Sun: “Everyone there is prepared for him dying.”

MORE: Moors Murderer Ian Brady In Public Hearing
MORE: On This Day: Moors’ murderers’ first victim disappears

In the hours before Brady’s death, Terry Kilbride, whose 12-year-old brother John was also murdered by Brady, begged him to tell police where he dumped the body of Keith Bennett, who went missing aged 12 in 1964.

He told The Sun: “I would beg him to do the right thing on his deathbed and tell us where Keith is. Now is the time for him to stop playing tricks and come clean.

Brady and Myra Hindley tortured and murdered five children (Rex)
Brady and Myra Hindley tortured and murdered five children (Rex)

“If he takes it to the grave, I will feel so sorry for Keith’s family.

“There will only ever be another search if there’s fresh evidence. That has to come from him.”

At a court hearing in February lawyers said Brady had been bedridden for the last couple of years and it was “fair to say” he is terminally ill, with emphysema among his ailments.

The body of Keith Bennett has yet to be found (PA)
The body of Keith Bennett has yet to be found (PA)

Mr Kilbride said he hopes the killer “rots in hell”.

He added: ”We’ll certainly celebrate his death when it comes. Good riddance.”

Brady was jailed for three murders in 1966 and has been at Ashworth since 1985. He and Hindley later confessed to another two murders.

In 2013 he asked to be moved to a Scottish prison so he could not be force-fed – as he can in hospital – and where he could be allowed to die if he wishes.

His request was rejected after Ashworth medical experts said he had chronic mental illness and needed continued care in hospital.

In February he was refused permission to launch a High Court fight to have the lawyer of his choice representing him at a tribunal where the decision would be reviewed.

Brady had been at Ashworth since 1985.

Sadistic crimes that shocked nation

Even before his evil and sadistic crimes shocked and appalled Britain, Brady was a grim character.

As a young boy fascinated by horror movies, he was nicknamed Dracula by neighbours in Glasgow and later, locals who watched the young man slouch around the Hattersley Estate in Greater Manchester in his long trenchcoat dubbed him the Undertaker.

They were nicknames that would come back to haunt them with the knowledge he had brutally murdered five children, burying four bodies on isolated moorlands.

Across Britain there was an outpouring of loathing for the pair who snatched children off the street, sexually abused them and tortured them to death.

The evidence seen and heard at their Chester Assizes trial chilled the hearts of those who sat through it.

Their first victim was 16-year-old Pauline Reade, who vanished on July 12 1963, on her way to a disco near her home in Gorton, Manchester.

She was lured to the moors by Hindley who said she had lost her gloves there and needed help finding them.

It was two decades later when Pauline’s grieving parents discovered exactly what had happened to her.

Her body was discovered in 1987 after the murderers confessed to the killing.

They were taken to bleak Saddleworth Moor where they located the shallow grave dug over 20 years before.

Pauline was still wearing her pink and gold party dress and blue coat.

Brady had beaten her about the head and cut her 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.

In the shadow of the presidential assassination little attention was paid to the disappearance of the Manchester boy.

Brady while in police custody
Brady while in police custody

John 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.

Keith died after leaving his home in Chorlton-on-Medlock in Manchester on June 16 1964.

Police mounted an intensive search of the moor in 1986 amid reports that the pair had confessed to his murder.

But 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.

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.

The tape was recorded at the house in Wardle Brook Avenue, Hattersley, as Lesley Ann pleaded with them “Please God, help me” and “Don’t undress me, will you?”

Her cries reduced the judge, jury, courtroom spectators and even hardened police officers to tears.

John Stalker, former deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester, who was then a detective sergeant, expressed the feelings of many in the courtroom when he said: “Nothing in criminal behaviour before or since has penetrated my heart with quite the same paralysing intensity.”

Detectives could not say exactly how Lesley Ann died. Her body was dug up naked except for shoes and socks.

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.

Smith was summoned to the house by a phone call on a false pretext.

He was then forced to watch as Brady attacked Evans with an axe, smothered him with a cushion and completed his grim task with an electrical cable.

Shocked, Smith helped the pair carry the trussed-up body into a bedroom. He then fled terrified and called the police.

The next morning police searched the house, and began unravelling the gruesome evidence of Brady and Hindley’s appalling crimes.

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.

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Top pic: Rex