Moors Murderers (lost audio of torture tape; 1964)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its disturbing subject matter.

Moors Murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady-825896.jpg

The Moors Murderers; Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.

Status: Lost

Infamous British serial killer couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley (who have come to be known by the media as the Moors Murderers) had taken photographic and audio mementos of their murder of Lesley Ann Downey as well as the sexual torture and rape to her by Ian Brady.

10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey was lured by Brady and Hindley from a fairground in Ancoats on Boxing Day, 1964. She was taken back to their home in Hattersley where they stripped her, tied her up, sexually assaulted and killed her, burying her on the Saddleworth Moor. Brady and Hindley had recorded the girl as she pleaded to be let go as they try to tie her up before Brady raped her. Brady took the nine obscene photographs of the little girl, and either he or Hindley recorded the scene on a reel-to-reel audio tape for posterity.[1]

The 13-minute tape was found within a brown suitcase, recovered from lost property at Manchester Central Railway Station on October 15th, 1965, along with photographs of Downey, naked and with a scarf tied across her mouth. On the tape were two identical tracks of the voices of a man, a woman, and a child. At the end of each of these tracks was a recording of two songs, Jolly St Nicholas and The Little Drummer Boy, which a witness recognized as being from a long-playing record by The Ray Conniff Singers, called We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Another tape was found, containing four tracks: A recording of music, a Goon Show recording, a recording of a commentary by Freddie Grisewood, along with another recording of a man, a woman, and a child which was identical to the two tracks on the other tape.[2] Lesley's mother, Ann Downey was brought in to identify her daughter's voice on the tape, something that would haunt her until her death.[3]

The tape recording of Lesley Ann Downey, on which the voices of Brady and Hindley were clearly audible, was played in open court in May 1966. Jurors were horrified by the Downey tape, and by Brady's bland description of the recording as "unusual".[4]

The British Courts have access to the audio and photographs and have made it clear they have no intention of releasing them, partly out of respect for the family members involved, another part being due to the horrifically disturbing nature and likely due to the fact the pictures of Downey qualify as child pornography.

The transcript of the audio tape was taken down by shorthand typist of the Supreme Court in 1966, Leonard Milner and was published, along with one of the photographs (cropped) in The Trial of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady by Jonathan Goodman in 1986 and shown on the 1999 TV documentary 'Web of Evil'.

Hindley admitted later that photographs were taken of the murder of Keith Bennett, but she was ordered by Brady to burn them along with other documents after his arrest in October, 1965.[5]

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