Sheffield professor calls for love letters between Ian Brady and Myra Hindley to be released in bid to find Keith Bennett's body
A Sheffield University professor has called for love letters between evil Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley to be released in a bid to find the location of Keith Bennett's body.
Brady's death yesterday at the age of 79 means he has taken some of the chilling horrors of his crimes to his grave with him, along with Hindley, who died in 2002.
But classified letters between the pair could offer clues to the location of the body of Keith Bennett, one of the twisted couple's five young victims in the 1960s.
Sheffield University professor Tom Clark, who is penning a book on serial killers, has previously called for the letters to be released - but the letters are set to remain classified for another three decades because of "secret" codes within them.
Police believe the notes contain clues which may finally lead to the discovery of Keith’s body, believed to be on Saddleworth Moor, where other victims were found.
Earlier this year, it was revealed bullet shells matching a Smith and Wesson revolver, which Brady may have used to murder 11-year-old Keith, had been found on the moors.
Police and Government officials believe the 1965 letters between the pair contain coded messages which if cracked could close the case.
But following a review, Ministers have agreed the letters should remain classified until at least January 2051.
Earlier this year a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The body of Keith Bennett is yet to be recovered, and the police are still hopeful that one day they will be able to effect this.
“The information in this file potentially still retains value in assisting the police to achieve this aim.
“Combined with new information, or re-interpreted, it could prove key in finally bringing this case to a conclusion.
“Therefore disclosure into the public domain may risk prejudicing the opportunity to resolve the final mystery in this, one of the defining criminal cases of the last century.”
The couple are already known to have used at least one code they called 6-7-8 to communicate. From the sixth line of a letter, the seventh and eighth words on alternate lines formed a message.
Prof Clark has been examining Hindley’s prison records for his book The Sociology of Evil, due to be published next year.
He said earlier this year: “These are all letters that Brady and Hindley wrote to each other in prison knowing they would be intercepted.
“I am very surprised and intrigued by the suggestion the letters might contain information to find Keith’s body.
“Why should they want to keep the letters kept secret when the police have not done anything for years?
“The frustrating thing is we cannot actually see the letters so there is no way of finding out what was in them using the secret code.
“There was only an eye witness to the last crime and I have always suspected there was more to come out.
“There are still records which have been redacted, such as the second chapter of the autobiography Hindley wrote in prison.
“But they are usually blanked out to prevent identification of someone working in the prison service not because they would identify where a body is buried."
He added that he thinks the letters should be published to solve one of the worst crimes in history.