Brady accused of playing mind games with victim’s mother in days before her death
Moors Murderer Ian Brady has been accused of playing mind games with the dying mother of one of his victims by giving her false hope that he might finally reveal the whereabouts of her son’s remains.
By Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent
10:00PM GMT 11 Feb 2013
Winnie Johnson went to her grave last August without ever finding out where Brady and accomplice Myra Hindley had hidden the remains of her son, Keith Bennett, after abducting and murdering him in June 1964.
But in her final days Brady once again tried to torment the 78-year-old by claiming to have written a letter containing details of the location of Keith’s body.
Brady allegedly passed the letter to his mental health advocate Jackie Powell who was later arrested on suspicion of preventing a burial by withholding information.
Yesterday it was announced no further action would be taken against Miss Powell after police admitted they had been unable to find any sign of the letter.
And the detective leading the investigation accused Brady of playing mind games adding that he had once again put Keith’s family through “unimaginable torment”.
Martin Bottomley, Head of Greater Manchester Police’s Cold Case Crime Unit, said: “As soon as we were made aware of the existence of this alleged letter, we made exhaustive attempts to obtain it to establish whether or not its contents would assist us in finding Keith’s body.
“That resulted in the warrants we carried out in the South Wales area and at Ashworth Hospital in August 2012.
“However, despite seizing numerous documents and a search of Brady’s cell, no such letter has been recovered. That in itself does not prove or disprove the letter’s existence – it might have been destroyed, it might be hidden elsewhere, it may be in someone else’s possession, or it may simply never have existed in the first place and this has been yet more mind games by Brady.”
He added: “This whole episode about the letter came at a time when Winnie was sadly in her final days.
Winnie and the rest of her family have suffered unimaginable torment. Keith still has surviving relatives deserve to know the truth and Greater Manchester Police will continue to act on any credible evidence to bring this torment to an end.”
Miss Powell, who has two teenage children, was arrested at her home in Llangennech, near Llanelli in August following claims that she was in possession of a letter written by Brady that could identify the location of Keith, the only victim whose body has never been found.
Her arrest followed information passed to the police by a Channel 4 documentary maker suggesting that she had been given a letter by Brady pinpointing the child’s resting place.
Miss Powell had allegedly told filmmakers that she had been given the letter by Brady because he did not want to take the information to the grave.
But she claimed she had given the sealed envelope back to him.
John Dilworth, Head of the CPS North West Complex Case Unit, said: “After careful consideration, we have decided that Ms Powell should not be charged, as it cannot be established that she knew the contents of the letter referred to, that the letter in question existed or what information it might have contained. “
Credit: © Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2013