Britain’s most notorious child murderer, who died this week aged 79, continues to pose a significant problem for the authorities despite no longer being alive.
Ian Brady (pictured) abducted, tortured and killed five children with his accomplice and girlfriend Myra Hindley in northern England in the 1960s. The pair were caught and jailed in 1966 and swiftly dubbed the ‘Moors Murderers’ because they buried the children in makeshift graves on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester.
Brady’s dying wish was to be cremated and have his ashes scattered on the River Clyde in Glasgow, the city of his birth.
However, the council there has said it would refuse any request to deal with his remains and advised private crematoria to do the same.
Sefton council, the area near Liverpool where Brady died in a psychiatric unit for the criminally insane, has also said it would refuse to deal with his remains.
This presents a conundrum which has no easy solutions given the extent of the hate which the public continues to feel towards Brady.
Professor Douglas Davies of the Centre for Life and Death Studies at Durham University told the BBC: “There’s no easy answer…I feel sorry for funeral professionals, for funeral directors and crematoria staff, who day in and day out serve our society remarkably well and now, as it were, have the spotlight thrown on them.”
Prof Davies said he didn’t think there was an “obvious legal route” for deciding how to dispose of Brady’s remains. Brady’s lawyer, Robin Makin, must take the decision as to what to do with the ashes.
Brady and Hindley were jailed for life for the killings of John Kilbride (12), 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans (17). They went on to admit the murders of Pauline Reade (16), and 12-year-old Keith Bennett, whose body has never been found.
According to sources, Brady asked in his will to be cremated to the sounds of Symphonie fantastique, by French 19th century composer Hector Berlioz. This piece of music is about a young artist who poisons himself with opium after suffering from unrequited love.
The killer’s will, seen by reporters, also calls for his paintings and photos of himself to be auctioned to pay for the publication of his autobiography, entitled Black Light, with any spare money to go to charity
Hindley died in prison in 2002.