News In Depth
Life of Britain's most hated woman
Reviled as "the most hated woman in Britain", Myra Hindley's crimes with Ian Brady shocked the nation - a disgust that is felt to this day.
But her early life belied the monster she became after falling in with Brady.
Hindley was born in a working class suburb of Manchester in July 1942.
Her father Bob, a labourer who served with the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War, was a tyrant and beat her regularly when she was young but also taught her how to fight.
Conditions at home were cramped and when her sister Maureen was born in 1946, Hindley was sent to live with her grandmother, who lived nearby.
As a teenager Hindley was a normal girl. She dyed her hair blonde and practised judo, but became increasingly drawn to Catholicism and readied herself for formal reception into the Church.
After leaving school at 15 she learned how to type, working at a local electrical engineering firm.
In 1961 the 18-year-old joined Millwards Merchandise, a small chemical distributing firm in Gorton, Manchester, where she met Brady, who had a number of minor criminal convictions.
She became infatuated with him, and after a year the pair began a love affair, living together at her grandmother's house.
Brady was obsessed with Nazi philosophy and he and Hindley began reading books on Nazi atrocities to each other, and watched X-rated films.
Their interests became increasingly perverse, and the pair planned bank robberies and took explicit photos of each other.
Their talk turned to murder, and on July 12 1963 they killed their first victim, 16-year-old Pauline Reade, a friend of Hindley's sister Maureen, after luring her to Saddleworth Moor in the Pennines above Manchester.
Hindley was eventually convicted of killing Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, and of shielding Brady after John Kilbride's murder. She was jailed for life in 1966.
In 1987 she and Brady finally admitted murdering Keith Bennett and Pauline Reade, and following a return to the moors Pauline's remains were discovered.
Hindley waged a long campaign to be released, but in 1998 the Appeal Court backed the decision by former Home Secretary Jack Straw that she should stay in prison until she died.
She became a devout Roman Catholic in prison and gained a degree in humanities.
Despite taking her case to the House of Lords in 2000, the Law Lords again ruled Mr Straw's decision had been lawful and justified.
Hindley died in jail in November 2002, aged 60, after suffering respiratory failure following a heart attack.
She was cremated following a private funeral conducted by Father Michael Teader, a Roman Catholic priest at Highpoint Prison, Suffolk, where Hindley spent her final years in jail.
A member of the public left a banner at the entrance to the crematorium which read "Burn in hell".
what do you think?
I thought the most hated woman was the home secretary who has brought families nothing but misery and grief if you are married to a non EU person. I now have to revise my thinking the second most hated woman in Britain
A degree in "Humanities" ???, how is that possible in her case ???
Humanities is not the same as humane Gordon
Let us hope she is stlll burning................
I am not defending her but at the end of the day she has paid for her crimes to society however horendous they are. There is nothing more you can say as she is dead. Brady is still alive and he is the only one with all the answers
I think it's up to the individual to decide who their "most hated woman" is! I would imagine it would be the one who harmed THEIR loved one...
The crimes Hindley and Brady committed were horrendous but I am puzzled by the way are still absolutely villified almost 50 years after the events. There are people who have committed equally vile crimes, some would say worse and yet they don't seem to attract the hatred these two do. Fred West, Peter Sutcliffe to mention just 2
I always wonder about this too, as there are so many evil people. Perhaps because it happened in a more "innocent" time, when people were not so used to reading about horrendous crimes, in gruesome detail, every day in their newspapre. I certainly think that those two photographs, now so familiar to us, have something to do with their legendary status
Yes. We seem to be creating legends of monsters. I think the notoriety is fed by the innocence of the era and, of course, the fact a woman murdered children, which is still far more rare than men committing murder. Some think we shouldn't watch the documentary on Br*dy tonight and give him our time and attention, but as I shuddered at what he has done, I was able to also spout some poison about the old ar*e! For the relatives of the victims, there are certainly offenders just as bad, though - you're right!
Louisa. The picture of Hindley at the top of the piece is the one used over and over again when she is mentioned. You are right, it certainly does her no favours
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The enormity of her crimes lie in the fact that she used her femininity to lure the kids to their deaths. Brady would have had no chance, as even in those days; the 'don't talk to strange MEN' jingle was taught to kids. No-one would have thought that a woman could have sunk so low. That is why she was and always will be reviled. Her turn to Catholicism was nothing more than a ploy to get out, which thankfully failed. She would not have lasted long outside.