Moors Murderer Ian Brady letter could reveal Keith Bennett’s grave
MOORS murderer Ian Brady’s mental health advocate has told police she gave a letter in which he apparently reveals the location of one of his victims back to him, sources said last night.
• Mental health advocate claims Brady gave her envelope to give to victim’s mother
• Killer wants message to be opened in the event of his death
Police launched an investigation after Jackie Powell told a Channel 4 documentary that Brady gave her a sealed envelope to pass to Winnie Johnson, mother of 12-year-old Keith Bennett, in the event of his death.
The TV production team passed on the information to Greater Manchester Police on 30 July. Ms Powell, 49, who was appointed Brady’s mental health advocate in 1999, was detained on Thursday on suspicion of preventing the burial of a body without lawful exercise.
But police sources said Ms Powell claimed she returned the envelope to Glasgow-born Brady at some point between 30 July and her arrest.
Detectives examining a large number of documents seized from Ms Powell’s home in south Wales have found no letter or any evidence to suggest Brady has disclosed the location of Keith’s body.
A search of Brady’s cell at Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside has also failed to uncover the alleged letter.
Ms Powell has been released on bail pending further inquiries. It is thought she operates on a freelance basis.
Martin Bottomley, head of investigative review at Greater Manchester Police’s major and cold case crime unit, said his
officers were trying to establish if the letter existed or was “simply a ruse”.
He said: “I want to be explicitly clear about this: Ian Brady has not revealed to police the location of Keith’s body.
“What we are looking at is the possibility – and at this stage it is only a possibility – that he has written a letter to Keith’s mum, Winnie Johnson, which was not to be opened until after his death.
“We do not know if this is true or simply a ruse, but we clearly have a duty to investigate such information on behalf of Keith’s family.”
Brady, 74, has always refused to disclose the location of Keith’s body. His refusal has caused constant heartache for Mrs Johnson, who has cancer, and recently appealed to him to break his silence before she died.
She is receiving care in a hospice and is said to be unaware of the developments.
Her lawyer, John Ainley, said he was “sceptical” about the possibility that Brady had revealed the location of Keith’s body.
He said: “Over the years she has appealed directly to Brady and, through me, for him to reveal where Keith’s body was hidden, so she could at least give her son a decent burial before she died.”
Brady and his partner, Myra Hindley, who died in jail in 2002 aged 60, were responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s. Their victims were tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor.
Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on 12 July, 1963, and John Kilbride, 12, was snatched in November the same year.
Keith Bennett was taken on 16 June, 1964, after he left home to visit his grandmother. Lesley Ann Downey, ten, was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964, and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.
Brady was jailed for life at in 1966 for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward.
Hindley was convicted of killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John’s murder. She was jailed for life.
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