Ian Brady

Ian Brady

Infobox Serial Killer
name=Ian Brady|

caption=Mugshots of Ian Brady and his partner Myra Hindley at the time of their arrest in October 1965
location= Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland
apprehended=6 October 1965
penalty=Life imprisonment

Ian Brady (Born: Ian Duncan Stewart on January 2, 1938) is known primarily for the series of sadistic murders that he committed with his lover Myra Hindley in England from 1963 to 1965, which were dubbed the Moors murders; all but one of the known victims were buried along the Saddleworth Moor near Oldham in Lancashire.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in May 1966; since 1999 he has been in a mental hospital. Since 1999 Brady has been trying to gain the right to commit suicide through hunger strikes. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1380047.stm BBC News Online] - Brady: My fight goes on] He has been force-fed through feeding tubes intermittently since beginning the strike. [ [http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/predators/moors/update_10.html The Crime Library] - Murder on the Moors: The Ian Brady and Myra Hindley Story]


Early life

Ian Duncan Stewart was born at the Rottenrow Maternity Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland and grew up in the Gorbals. He was adopted by a local family named Sloane, as his mother could not afford to look after her newborn. His father has never been identified; his mother claimed that he was a journalist who died a few months before their son was born. As a child, Ian resented his illegitimacy. In 1949, he passed his exams and attended Shawlands Academy. Throughout school, he was recognised as a very bright pupil by his teachers, but one who never realised his potential. After starting at Shawlands, he became lazy, did not apply himself and began to misbehave. At school, he was hopeless at football, but demonstrated a talent for music and learned to play the piano. He left school early with no formal qualifications to his name. While in Glasgow, he developed a fascination with Nazi Germany, especially its pageantry and symbolism. He was noted as being callous towards animals.

Two years after starting at Shawlands, at age 13, Ian made his first ever court appearance and was sentenced to five years probation for housebreaking and theft. In 1953 he received probation, but on the third time he was brought before a court and a year later he was ordered to leave Glasgow to live with his mother. She had since moved to Manchester and had married an Irish laborer named Brady, and so in November 1954, Ian left the Sloane household and travelled by train to join his mother and her new husband. Although he did not get along with his stepfather, he took his stepfather's surname of Brady and agreed to take a job that his stepfather found for him as a porter at Manchester market.

In Manchester, he developed an interest in the writings of the Marquis de Sade and Friedrich Nietzsche, giving particular attention to Nietzsche's theories of "Übermensch" and "The Will to Power". He became increasingly interested in a philosophy that championed cruelty and torture, and the idea that superior creatures had the right to control (and destroy, if necessary) weaker ones. Brady avidly collected books about sadomasochism and other paraphilias relating to domination and servitude. About this time, he left the porter's job and worked as a butcher's assistant. He also began drinking heavily and gambling. He found a job in a brewery but was fired for aiding and abetting. He resorted again to thieving, and after being convicted several more times, was sentenced to two years training at Borstal schools in Hatfield and Hull prison, as well as serving a three-month sentence in Strangeways Prison.

He studied bookkeeping while incarcerated, hoping to avoid manual labour. His release in November 1957 led to stretches of unemployment. His next job was as a labourer for Boddingtons brewery, rolling barrels and cleaning out vats, between April and October 1958, before spending four months unemployed. On 9 June 1958 he was fined £1 for drunk and disorderly behaviour in a Manchester street. Brady eventually found a job in February 1959 as a stock clerk at Millwards Merchandising. Almost two years later, in January 1961 at age 23, he met Myra Hindley, and they soon began a relationship.

Myra Hindley

The relationship between Brady and Hindley developed in unison with Brady's increasingly rabid identification with Nazi-era atrocities and his growing sadomasochistic sexual appetite. Hindley was Brady's eager student. However, she remained Catholic and continued to attend St. Francis' monastery in Gorton.

Soon after they became a couple, Brady and Hindley began planning a series of bank robberies, which they never carried out. When Brady became fascinated with the idea of rape and murder for sexual gratification, Hindley, who was 4 years his junior, actively participated in procuring child victims, as well as sexually abusing, torturing and murdering them.

With the aid of a time-delay device and a self-devised darkroom, Brady and Hindley set about taking photographs of themselves acting out sadomasochistic sexual fantasies. They later took pictures of each other standing or kneeling at the moorland burial sites of their victims.

Moors killings

Brady was responsible for the murder of five children during the 1960s. In August 1987 he claimed to police that he had carried out another five killings and even said where he had buried the bodies, but the police were never able to prove whether these claims were true.

The five murders that Brady admitted responsibility for were committed with Hindley as his accomplice. These were the infamous Moors Murders, which are still some of the most reviled crimes in Britain, with the judge at Brady and Hindley's trials even saying they were the worst murders in the past century. As a result, Brady and Hindley became two of the most hated individuals in British criminal history.

On 12 July 1963, the couple claimed their first victim. Hindley enticed 16-year-old Pauline Reade into her minivan while Brady followed behind on his motorcycle. They drove up to Saddleworth Moor, where Hindley asked Reade to help her look for a lost glove. They were busy "searching the moors" when Brady pounced upon Reade and raped her. He then smashed her skull in with a shovel and slashed her throat so violently that she was almost decapitated. Brady then buried Reade's body on the moor, where it remained for over 20 years.

On 23 November, Hindley lured 12-year-old John Kilbride into her car from a market place in Ashton-under-Lyne, and drove him to Saddleworth Moor. Brady was waiting there and ordered Hindley to wait for him in a nearby village in their hired Ford Anglia. While Hindley waited in her car, Brady raped and attempted to stab the boy with a knife, but the weapon was too blunt. Brady lost his temper and strangled him to death with a string before burying his body in a shallow grave.

On 16 June 1964 they killed another 12-year-old boy, Keith Bennett, whom they enticed from a street near his home in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, and drove to Saddleworth Moor. Hindley stood and watched from the top of an embankment while Brady raped Bennett in a ravine before strangling him to death with a piece of string and burying his body. His body has never been found, the only one of the victims not to be so.

The fourth victim, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey, was lured from a fairground in Ancoats and taken to the new council estate in Hattersley, where Hindley lived with her grandmother, Ellen Maybury. Brady took nine obscene photographs of Downey, showing her naked, bound and gagged (which were later found in a suitcase in a left luggage locker). Hindley recorded the scene of the child's rape and torture by Brady on audio tape. The tape clearly records the voices of Brady, Hindley and the child, who is heard to plead for her life. It is believed that Brady committed the actual murder. The following morning, Brady and Hindley drove Downey's body to Saddleworth Moor, and buried it in a shallow grave.

On 6 October 1965, the couple claimed their fifth and final victim, 17-year-old Edward Evans. As with the Downey murder, they enticed Evans from Manchester Central Railway Station to Hindley's home in Hattersley, where Hindley's 17-year-old brother-in-law David Smith was invited later that evening. Brady then crept up on Evans in the kitchen and smashed his head in with the blunt edge of a hatchet, bludgeoning him 14 times before strangling him with a length of electrical flex. Brady ordered Smith to help him carry the corpse to an upstairs bedroom and tie it up ready for disposal, but Smith then ran home and contacted the police. Smith explained later that, while apparently giving assistance to cleaning up, his sole concern was to escape the house alive.

Other sources say that Smith and Hindley were in the kitchen and when Evans started screaming in the living room, Hindley said, "Go and help Ian." Smith subsequently informed the police.


The death penalty had been abolished just one month after Brady and Hindley were arrested. By the time they went on trial the following April, the mandatory punishment for murder was life imprisonment. This meant that a murderer was liable to be detained for the whole of his or her natural life, but could be released on life licence when no longer judged to be a risk. On 6 May 1966, Brady was found guilty on three counts of murder and sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment. Hindley was found guilty of murdering Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans and given two life sentences; she also received a concurrent seven-year sentence for harbouring Brady in connection with the murder of John Kilbride. The key evidence against the couple included the tape recordings of Downey made while they photographed her naked; the name of John Kilbride in a notebook; and a photograph of Hindley standing on top of the shallow grave where Kilbride was buried. Brady immediately admitted to carrying out the murder of Edward Evans, and said Smith was his accomplice. He repeatedly and adamantly insisted that Hindley had no part in it. Brady said she wasn't even in the house when it happened and had no knowledge of it.

Brady finally confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett in November 1986 and, along with Hindley, helped police uncover Pauline's body on 3 July 1987, but the body of Keith Bennett has yet to be found.


Brady spent 19 years in HMP Parkhurst, at one point befriending serial poisoner and fellow Nazi aficionado Graham Frederick Young. In 1985 he was diagnosed as suffering from a mental disorder and sent to Broadmoor Hospital, a high security mental health hospital for mentally disordered individuals who pose a high risk to others. He is currently a patient in Ashworth Hospital, a high security hospital in the district of Maghull, a suburb of Liverpool,Merseyside. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2819573.stm BBC News Online] - Ian Brady wants only to die]

The trial judge spoke of his doubt at the possibility that Brady could ever reform, and described him as "wicked beyond belief"; and effectively granted little hope for an eventual release. Successive Home Secretaries have agreed with that decision, while Lord Lane (the former Lord Chief Justice), set a 40-year minimum term in 1982, meaning that he could not be freed until at least 2005. In 1990, Home Secretary David Waddington imposed whole life tariffs on both Brady and Hindley. His successor Michael Howard agreed with this judgement in 1994 and told Brady of his decision; after November 2002, politicians could no longer decide the minimum number of years that any life sentence prisoner would have to serve. He has had to be force-fed since going on hunger strike in September 1999, after the High Court refused him the right to starve himself to death. In 2001 Brady wrote a book called "The Gates of Janus", which was published by the underground American publishing firm Feral House. The book, Brady's analysis of serial murder and specific serial killers, sparked outrage when announced in Britain. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1605638.stm BBC News Online] - US publisher defends Brady book]

Despite his long incarceration, Brady (and his murders) still provide headlines for the UK tabloid press. Fellow prisoner Linda Calvey recently told the "The Daily Mirror" that, before her death in November 2002, Hindley confessed their killing of a young female hitch-hiker. It has not yet been established whether this murder really did take place.

It has been reported that Brady devised a secret code to stop the police from finding out where the body of Keith Bennett is buried, and that he is furious that a drama documentary based on the murder was shown on ITV1 in May 2006. He has bragged to various newspapers that he has stopped four previous films from being made. In early 2006, it was reported that a woman tried to smuggle 50 paracetamol tablets to Brady while he was in the hospital. The amount could have been sufficient for a successful suicide attempt. Hospital employees foiled the attempt using X-ray screening, which revealed the pills in two sweets tubes inside a hollowed out crime novel. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4657436.stm BBC News Online] - Brady drugs smuggling bid foiled] Winnie Johnson, the mother of Brady's one undiscovered victim, 12-year-old Keith Bennett, received a letter from Brady at the end of 2005 claiming that he could take police to within 20 yards of her son's body, but the authorities would not allow it. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4735068.stm BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Brady writes to victim's mother ] ]

In September 2007, Brady embarked on the first step of a legal bid to be allowed to kill himself. He requested that he be moved out of Ashworth mental health hospital to prison in order that he can starve himself to death. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7093090.stm BBC News Online] - Ian Brady refused public hearing] His lawyer stated, "he should be allowed to move as he serves no purpose in life". It was later reported that Brady had written his autobiography and gave his solicitor instructions that it may only be published posthumously. [ [http://serialkillercalendar.com/IANBRADY.HTML Ian Brady Bio In The Serial Killer Calendar ] ]

The death of John Straffen, who had spent 55 years in prison for a triple child murder, in November 2007 meant that Brady was now the longest serving prisoner in England and Wales [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1569929/UK's-longest-serving-prisoner,-Straffen,-dies.html]

On 25 July 2008 Brady was taken from Ashworth High Security Hospital to Liverpool's Aintree Hospital after complaining of feeling unwell. He was discharged after about four hours and returned to Ashworth where he remains, having made a full recovery. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7526809.stm BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | 'Unwell' Brady taken to hospital ] ]

Fictional portrayals

Brady was portrayed by Andy Serkis in the 2006 made-for-TV film "Longford". The same year, he was portrayed by Sean Harris in "".



* "The Moors Murders: The Trial of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady", Jonathan Goodman, David & Charles 1986. ISBN 0-7153-9064-3
* "The Lost Boy" by Duncan Staff 2007
* "Devil's Discples" by Robert Wilson 1986
* "Return To Hell" by Robert Wilson 1987
* "Brady and Hindley: The Genesis of the Moors Murders", Fred Harrison 1986 Grafton. ISBN 0-906798-70-1
* "Myra Hindley: Inside the Mind of a Murderess", Jean Ritchie, Paladin 1991, paperback. ISBN 0-586-21563-8
*"On Iniquity", Pamela Hansford Johnson 1967, Macmillan.
*"The Monsters Of The Moors", John Deane Potter, Ballantine Books 1967.
* "", Emlyn Williams, Pan 1992. ISBN 0-330-02088-9
*" Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: 100 Tales of Infamy, Barbarism and Horrible Crime", Joyce Robins. ISBN 1-85152-363-4.
*"The World's Most Infamous Murders". ISBN 0-425-10887-2.
* "Behind the Painted Smile", Gary Cartwright 2004. ISBN 1-4120-2647-4.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ian Brady — Ian Duncan Stewart (n. 2 de enero de 1938 en Gorbals, Glasgow, Escocia) es un famoso asesino en serie británico. Se dio a conocer en el Reino Unido por su participación en una serie de asesinatos ocurridos en Gran Manchester entre 1963 y 1965.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ian Brady — (Geburtsname Ian Duncan Stewart; * 2. Januar 1938 in Glasgow) ist ein britischer Serienmörder, der gemeinsam mit Myra Hindley als Moormörder in die Kriminalgeschichte einging. Er wurde als das Kind einer Kellnerin in Gorbals, einem der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ian Brady — (né le 2 janvier 1938) est un homme britannique, connu pour avoir commis une série de meurtres avec sa compagne Myra Hindley en Angleterre. Sommaire 1 Histoire 1.1 Débuts 1.2 Incarcération …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brady — bezeichnet als Wortbestandteil von Fremdwörtern aus dem Griechischen: langsam (βραδύς), siehe Liste griechischer Wortstämme in deutschen Fremdwörtern Brady (Schlagzeug), Schlagzeughersteller Brady Corporation, ein internationales Unternehmen im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ian Stewart — may refer to:*Ian Stewart (racing driver) (born 1929), Scottish Formula One driver *Ian Stewart (Conservative politician) (born 1935), former MP for Hitchin, England *Ian Stewart (musician) (1938 ndash;1985), Scottish rock musician and early… …   Wikipedia

  • Ian Stewart — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Stewart.  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie différentes personnes partageant un même nom. Ian Stewart est le nom de plusieurs personnes : Ian Stewart (pilote) né en 1929, pilote de course automobile… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ian Nelson — (* 5. September 1982 in Madison, Wisconsin) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Karriere 2 Filmografie (Auswahl) 3 Weblinks …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ian Masters (journalist) — Ian Masters is an Australian born, American BBC trained broadcast journalist, commentator, author, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker.Masters is host of the eponymous KPFK, Pacifica Radio programmes, Background Briefing , and Live From the… …   Wikipedia

  • Ian Nelson — is an American actor.infobox actor occupation=Film, television actor Years active = 2001 presentFilmography* Private Practice (2008) Kirk Jensen * True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet (2008) Eli Walsh * Legacy (2008) James * Dakota Skye (2008) …   Wikipedia

  • Brady — Brady, Ian →↑Moors Murderers, the …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.