Myra Hindley was born on 23 July 1942, in Crumpsall and raised in Gorton, which was a working class area at that time. Her parents, Nellie and Bob Hindley, used to beat her regularly when she was young, but taught her how to fight. Her father, who served the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War, had been known in the army as a hard man and he expected his daughter to be equally tough. As their house was in poor condition, Myra had to sleep in a single bed next to her parents' double and within a year after the birth of her sister Maureen in August 1946, she was sent to live with her grandmother. There she had a normal childhood, readying herself for formal reception into the Catholic Church. However, after the drowning death of a close male friend, she left the school at the age of 15 and converted to Roman Catholism.
She started her life as a junior clerk at a local electrical engineering firm, where she typed, ran errands and even made tea. Her next job was at Bratby and Hinchliffe, an engineering company in Gorton. Unfortunately, she was dismissed for absenteeism, only after six months of her joining the firm. In 1961, she joined Millwards Merchandise, a small chemical distributing firm in Gorton, Manchester and the 18-year-old Myra Hindley immediately became infatuated with Ian Brady. After a year, the pair began to live together at her grandmother’s house.
Before their marriage, the couple made it a habit to watch X-Rated Blue films together and Brady encouraged Myra to read the works of the sexual sadist, the Marquis De Sade. Brady was also deeply inclined to Nazi philosophy and at his instance, the pair started to spend their work lunch breaks reading aloud to one another from accounts of Nazi atrocities. To emulate an ideal of Aryan perfection, Myra began bleaching her hair peroxide blonde, applying thick crimson lipstick, sporting short skirts, leather jacket and high boots. As a qualified driver, she often hired a van, in which the two planned bank robberies. The plans for robbery came to nothing, but they became interested in photography and started to take photographs of each other, which would have been considered explicit. But their talk soon turned more menacing, as Brady began to talk about committing the perfect murder in July 1963.
On July 12, 1963, the couple killed their first victim, 16-year-old Pauline Reade, a neighbouring girl, who disappeared on her way to a disco near her home in Gorton. That evening, Brady told Hindley to drive her van around the local area, while he would follow her on his motorcycle. He also said that, as soon as he would spot a likely victim, he would flash his headlight as a signal and accordingly she would stop and offer that person a lift. Brady spotted a girl shortly after 8 pm, wearing a pink and gold party dress, a blue coat and white high-heeled shoes, walking away from them. Immediately he signalled the van to stop and Hindley recognized the girl as Pauline Reade, a friend of her younger sister, Maureen. As Pauline got into the van, Myra Hindley asked her if she would mind to spare a few minutes to enable her to search for an expensive glove that she had lost on Saddleworth Moor. Pauline readily agreed and they started to proceed. As Myra stopped the van at the moor, Brady arrived shortly afterwards on his motorcycle and Myra introduced him to Pauline as her boyfriend and said that he had come to help her to find the missing glove. Later, Myra Hindley claimed that Brady took Pauline onto the moor while she waited in the van and after about 30 minutes Brady returned alone. He then took Myra to the spot where Reade lay dying. Her throat had been cut twice with a large knife and the collar of her coat had been deliberately pushed into the larger wound, a four-inch incision across her voice box.
Later, Brady claimed that, Myra was not in the van, she was very much present on the spot of the incident and assisted him for the sexual assault on Pauline. Nevertheless, on their way back, they stopped at Paulin’s house and as a good gesture, accompanied Pauline’s mother, Joan and her son search the streets for Pauline.
The couple lured their second victim, 12-year-old John Kilbride, in the same way as before, in the early evening of November 23 and the third, Keith Bennett, in the early morning of 16 June1964. As in the case of Pauline Reade, Myra Hindley offered them a lift, took them to the moor on the same pretext to search for a lost glove. According to Myra, in both the cases she waited in the car, while Brady took them out to the moor, sexually assaulted them and killed them brutally.
While searching for their next victim, they came across Lesley Ann Downey in a fairground on Boxing Day in 1964. Like the previous incidents, they again persuaded the ten-year-old girl for a lift, but this time, instead of the moor, they took her to their house. There, on the upper floor of the house, the poor girl was forced to undress, gagged and compelled to pose for photographs before being raped and killed, possibly strangled with a piece of string. In the ensuing struggle, the little girl cried and screamed and pleaded time and again to let her go, which were caught on a tape-recorder and would be played later at the trial. In the next morning, her body was loaded in their car, driven to the moor and buried, naked with her clothes at her feet, in a shallow grave. Subsequently Myra claimed that she went to fill a bath for the child and found the girl dead, when she returned. However, Brady maintained that, it was Hindley, who actually killed Lesley Ann Downey.
For the reasons best known to them, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were keen to recruit Myra's brother- in-law, David Smith, in their human hunting team and arranged the stage for David to witness their attack on the next victim, Edward Evans, a 17 year old apprentice engineer. Brady met him at the Manchester Central railway station on the 6th October 1965 and immediately targeted him for his next victim. Brady invited him to his home for a drink, which he gladly accepted. While they were relaxing over a bottle of wine, Brady sent Myra to bring her brother-in-law, to be introduced to the guest.
Meanwhile, David Smith, who was in the kitchen, heard a hell of a scream and at the same, also heard Myra’s shout, urging him to help Brady. Immediately, he rushed into the living room to find Brady repeatedly striking Evans with the flat of an axe and watched as he then strangled the young man with a piece of electrical cord. The job was completed, but Brady’s ankle was sprained in the melee and he asked David to help him to wrap the body and put it in a spare room. David complied with the request and also agreed to meet Brady the following evening to dispose the body. But back in his own home, as he related the whole story to his wife, Maureen, she insisted him to call the police, without any delay.
Shortly after receiving Smith's call, Police arrived at the back door of 16 Wardle Brook Avenue, early in the morning of 7th October 1965 and found the body of Edward Evans in a locked room. Later, they also found some suitcases of Brady in the left-luggage room of Manchester Central Railway Station. One of the suitcases contained nine pornographic photographs taken of a young girl, naked and with a scarf tied across her mouth and a 13-minute pre recorded tape, containing her crying, screaming and pleading for help. Subsequently, after the police had discovered the body of her missing 10-year-old daughter, Lesley Ann Downey's mother listened to the tape and confirmed that it was a recording of her daughter's voice. In the house Police found an old exercise book with the name of John Kilbride scribbled on it and lots of pictures taken on the Saddleworth Moor. The entire picture became crystal clear, after thoroughly searching some specific areas of the moor.
Beginning on 19 April 1966, the trial continued for more than 14 days. Brady and Hindley denied everything and pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Finally, on 5 May, after discussing for a little over two hours, the jury found Ian Brady guilty of all the three murders and Myra Hindley guilty of the murders of Downey and Evans. However, as the Death Penalty for murder had already been abolished, the couple were sentenced to life imprisonment. Ian Brady was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences and Myra Hindley was given two, plus a concurrent seven-year term for harbouring Brady in the knowledge that he had murdered John Kilbride.
Until her death in 2002, at the age of 60, Myra Hindley kept up the pretense that she was not responsible for the Moor murders, she had been an innocent soul. She always maintained that, it was Brady, who had corrupted her slowly and steadily and she was drawn into all of his murderous activities by Brady and implicated in them against her will.