1. ITV Report

'Brady letter' could lead to location of victim's body

Moors murderer Ian Brady. Photo: PA Wire

A legal advocate for the Moors murderer Ian Brady has revealed the possible existence of a letter that could lead police to the body of one of his victims - 12-year-old Keith Bennett.

In a documentary for Channel 4, Jackie Powell said that Brady gave her a sealed envelope addressed to Bennett's mother. Brady allegedly said the envelope must not be opened until after his death.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that its officers arrested Ms Powell on suspicion of preventing the burial of a body, but that she has now been released on bail. A statement read:

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.

– Greater Manchester Police statement
Keith Bennett was snatched on June 16 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother. Credit: PA Wire

Channel 4 has released the transcript of an interview from the documentary 'Ian Brady: Endgames of a Psycopath' in which Powell talks about the letter.

I received a letter and a sealed envelope which said on the front of it, to be opened in the event of my death.

He says that he doesn't wish to take secrets to his grave and that within the sealed envelope is a letter to Winnie Johnson and that within that is the means to her possibly being able to rest.

And that's paraphrase, that's not verbatim.

– Jackie Powell, Ian Brady's legal representative

ITV News can confirm that the interview was conducted on July 20 and that police have been aware of Ms Powell's claim since July 30.

Ms Powell told Sky News this morning that her words had been "misrepresented" and "blown out of all proportion". She reportedly contacted the police herself after being advised to by the television producers who interviewed her.

Winnie Johnson, mother of Keith Bennett Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Keith Bennett is the only one of Brady's victims who body has not been found. He was snatched on June 16 1964 after he left home to visit his grandmother

Winnie Johnson, his mother, is not aware of the recent developments. Over the years, she has appealed directly to Brady for him to reveal the final resting place of her son.

Ms Johnson's lawyer, John Ainley, said that members of Ms Johnson's family are "sceptical" about the news and that they consider it to be in her best interests to remain unaware of the claim until it is substantiated. Ms Johnson is very ill with cancer and lives in a hospice.

Mr Ainley added that it was "very timely" that the news had emerged just a day before the documentary is due to be aired.

The director of the documentary, Paddy Wivell, told the BBC that the claim should be treated with caution. He said: "This seems to me like very much part of Brady's pathology, one of power and control.

"He is a sadistic psychopath and it would appear that this is some sort of victory dance, a kind of power game."

Teams searching for Keith's remains on Saddleworth Moor above Oldham Credit: Press Association

Brady and his partner, Myra Hindley, were responsible for the murders of five youngsters in the 1960s. They lured children and teenagers to their deaths, with victims sexually tortured before being buried on Saddleworth Moor above Manchester.

Brady was sentenced to life at Chester Assizes in 1966 for the murders of three of the children.

Hindley was convicted of killing two of them and for shielding Brady. She too was jailed for life.

In 1987, the pair finally admitted killing Keith and Pauline whose murders had remained officially unsolved.

Hindley died in jail in November 2002, aged 60. Brady has spent the last 25 years at the high-security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside.

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