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Myra Hindley (July 23, 1942 - November 15, 2002) was a British serial killer. Along with her partner-in-crime Ian Brady, she carried out the Moors murders in and around Manchester, England between July 1963 and October 1965. She and Brady were responsible for the kidnapping, torture, and murder of five children.
Hindley was later sentenced to two life sentences with no chance for parole (known as a whole life tariff in the British penal system) for her role in the murders. She died from pneumonia in a prison hospital on November 15, 2002, at age 60.
Hindley was once described as "the most evil woman in Britain."
Born on July 23, 1942 in Manchester, England, Myra Hindley grew up with her grandmother. Hindley's father had served with the Parachute Regiment and had been stationed in North Africa, Cyprus and Italy during the World War II. He had been known in the army as a "hard man" and he expected his daughter to be equally tough; he taught her to fight and insisted that she "stick up for herself". When Hindley was 8, a local boy scratched her cheeks, drawing blood. She burst into tears and ran to her father, who threatened to "leather" her if she did not retaliate; Hindley found the boy and knocked him down with a series of punches.
After the drowning death of a close male friend when she was 15, Hindley left school and converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1961, she met Ian Brady, a stock clerk who was recently released from prison. She fell in love with him, and soon gave herself over to his total control.
Testing her blind allegiance, Brady hatched plans of rape and murder. In July 1963, they claimed their first victim, Pauline Reade. Four months later, 12-year-old John Kilbride disappeared, never to be seen again. In June 1964, 12-year-old Keith Bennett followed. On the afternoon of Boxing Day, 1964, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey disappeared from a local fairground.
Finally, in October 1965, police were alerted to the duo by Hindley's 17-year-old brother-in-law, David Smith. Smith had witnessed Brady killing 17-year-old Edward Evans with an axe, concealing his horror for fear of meeting a similar fate. Smith then went to the police with his story, including Brady having mentioned that more bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor.
Hindley and Ian Brady were brought to trial on April 27, 1966, where they pleaded not guilty to the murders of Edward Evans, Lesley Ann Downey, and John Kilbride. Brady was found guilty of the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, John Kilbride, and Edward Evans, while Hindley was found guilty of the murders of Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, and also for harboring Brady, in the knowledge that he had killed John Kilbride. They were both jailed for life.
In 1970, Hindley severed all contact with Brady and, still professing her innocence, began a lifelong campaign to regain her freedom. In 1987, Hindley again became the center of media attention, with the public release of her full confession, in which she admitted her involvement in all five murders. Her subsequent applications for parole were denied. She died of respiratory failure on November 16, 2002.