Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cold Case Missing - Manchester, England

Keith Bennett - White - Age 12 (1964)
Missing since June 16, 1964 from Manchester, England
Endangered Missing
Age in 2011: 59

Date of Birth: June 12, 1952

Keith was last seen near Manchester, England on June 16, 1964 walking to his grandmother's house. His mother, Winnie, accompanied him for half the distance; once he had crossed the zebra crossing on busy Stockport Road in Manchester it was presumed he was safe to complete the rest of his journey by himself.

The road Keith took once he was beyond Stockport Road had a small side street running off to the left - this led on to Westmoreland Street where Ian Brady lived with his mother. It is now known that Myra Hindley used to park on the side street whilst she waited for Brady. She was never allowed to call at the house for him.

When Brady arrived, he sat in the back of the car and they approached Keith, who was asked by Hindley if he would help her carry some boxes from an off-licence. He agreed, no doubt thinking he was just helping a lady out. Hindley told him she would drive him home after he had helped her. Once he was in the vehicle Brady was introduced as Hindley’s boyfriend who would also be helping with the boxes.

They drove Keith to an area of Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester. Brady led Keith on to the moor while Hindley locked up the vehicle. According to Hindley’s confession she then followed behind them, trying to keep them in sight. At some stage Brady motioned with his arm for Hindley to go up the banking in that area to act as look out. Hindley did so, knowing what was going to happen to Keith.

Brady then took Keith further along the ravine that leads from the road and together they disappeared from Hindley’s sight.

Keith was assaulted and murdered by Brady, who photographed his body before burying him. Hindley later claimed that Brady said he was going to destroy the photograph because it was blurred. The photograph was never found.

Keith’s family were not aware of his disappearance until the following morning (June 17, 1964). Neither house had a telephone and it was presumed by Winnie that Keith had arrived safely at his grandmother’s house; in turn, his grandmother assumed that Keith had changed his mind about staying with her and was at home instead. But while the rest of the kids were safely tucked up in bed and the adults had no real reason for concern, Keith had been murdered and buried on the moor.

Keith, unknowingly, met up with infamous child serial killers, also known as the "Moors Murderers". Keith was Ian Brady and Myra Hindley's third victim. Brady and Hindley were jailed for life at Chester Assizes on May 6, 1966, after being convicted of the murders of Edward Evans, 17, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and 12-year-old John Kilbride. Hindley later confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, whose body was found in 1987, and Keith Bennett. Hindley died in November 2002, aged 60. Brady is still being held at high-security Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside.

In 2003, police launched Operation Maida in an attempt to locate Keith's body. Their searches were based on information from Brady and Hindley, who died in 2002. The operation used information which was already in the public domain about what Hindley had said about where Keith's body was buried along with photographs taken by Brady at the time. Brady had taken photographs of Hindley over the graves of the other victims. Detectives believe that if those areas could be located it would provide a credible search area. Detectives used tools from spades to the most sophisticated equipment available in an effort to find Keith's remains. The scientists whose expert help they called upon were confident that the soil on the Moors would have preserved Keith's remains.

In July of 2009, police called off their 45-year search for the remains of Keith Bennett. Keith's mother, Winnie Johnson, 75, pleaded for Brady to disclose where he buried her son after police called off their search. However, Brady, 71, has written a letter to Mrs Johnson vowing never again to speak of the killings – ending her hopes of finding her son, who went missing in June 1964, aged 12. Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Heywood, head of GMP's serious crime division, said that, although the search was over, the case would never be closed.

Winnie has never stopped looking for her son.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Greater Manchester Police
0161 872 5050

No comments:

Post a Comment