British police on Friday said they were investigating after an author probing the notoriouskilling of a 12-year-old boy in 1964 claimed to have found human remains. The boy, Keith Bennett, was one of five victims of child serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who buried all but one of their victims on bleak moorland near the northwestern city of Manchester.
The brutality of the crimes — carried out between July 1963 and October 1965 and which in several cases included sexual assault — still inspires horror today.
Greater Manchester Police said they had been contacted on Thursday by a representative of the author, who had been researching the death of Keith Bennett.
“We were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the moors,” a statement said.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity,” he said, adding that it was “far too early to be certain” if the remains were human.
Brady and Hindley were jailed in 1966 for the murders of John Kilbride, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.
The horrifying evidence included pictures of Lesley Ann Downey naked, bound and gagged, and a tape recording of her begging for help as she was tortured and sexually assaulted.
Years later, the pair confessed to Keith Bennett’s murder and that of 16-year-old Pauline Reade.
Pauline Reade’s body was eventually located in 1987 in a shallow grave still dressed in the party frock she had been wearing when she disappeared.
But Brady never expressed remorse for the killings and the judge in his trial branded them both “evil beyond belief.”
Over the years, police took Hindley twice and Brady once back to the moors in an attempt to locate where they had buried their victims’ bodies.
Although Pauline Reade’s body was found, all efforts to locate Keith Bennett’s body failed.
The author who contacted police, Russell Edwards, made the find after bringing together a team of experts in order to try to solve the long-running mystery of where the boy was buried, the Manchester Evening News said in a report.
It said a tiny piece of clothing had been found along with part of a skull buried at a depth of three feet.
The new information saw police travel on Thursday evening to “dig at the spot where his (Edward’s) team found the remains”, the report said.
Hindley died in prison in 2002, followed by Brady in 2017.
Keith Bennett’s mother Winnie Johnson, who died in 2012, spent her life trying to locate her son, even taking to the moor herself, armed with a spade, the BBC reported.
A plaque in her and Keith’s memory was placed on the moor, with the inscription: “To Winnie and Keith. May you both RIP. Keith will come home.”
Keith’s brother had been told about the “potential development,” police said.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family,” Greater Manchester Police Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said.