lesley ann downey

Mrs Ann Downey watching the police search Saddleworth moors for the body of her daughter Lesley, a victim of the Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. When her body was first discovered investigators thought it was John Kilbride, another victim, but her mother identified the clothes found with the body as that of Lesley’s. 


A letter written by Moors Murderer Myra Hindley to one of the victims mothers, Ann West. 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey was one of five children killed by Hindley and Ian Brady in the 1960s. In the letter, she is pleading for the victims family to stop campaigning against her release from prison

One line reads:

“I know almost everyone describes me as cold and calculating - ‘evil Myra’ - but I ask you to believe that I find all this deeply upsetting.”

Moors murderer, Myra Hindley, was portrayed as one of the most evil female killers of all time by the British media. Hindley was so desperate to redeem her reputation as a helpless accomplice that she made several public protests, claiming that her only role in the murders was to persuade children to go down to the Moors with her and Brady, so that he could then murder them while she waited in a rented vehicle. However, a disturbing tape recording was uncovered by police: The murder of Lesley Ann Downey. The courtroom was shocked as the sound of Downey’s cries, mixed with Hindley’s aggressive threats and retorts, made it evident that Hindley had been much more than an accessory to murder.

Photo of British serial killer Ian Brady seized by police after his arrest alongside his lover and accomplice Myra Hindley. The couple would photograph trips they made together frequently.

Between 1963-1965 Brady and Hindley operated as the ‘Moors Murderers’ murdering Pauline Reade (16), John Kilbride (12), Keith Bennett (12), Lesley Ann Downey (10) and Edward Evans (17).

The couple were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1966. Brady and Hindley remained in prison until their deaths in 2017 and 2002 respectively.

Ian Brady dead at age 79

The Moors Murderer Ian Brady has died at a high security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside.

Brady, 79, who tortured and murdered five children along with his partner Myra Hindley, was confirmed to have died by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Hindley died in prison in 2002 at the age of 60.

It was not clear what the cause of Brady’s death was but he was reported to be receiving palliative care from nurses around the clock in recent days.

Two private ambulances were seen leaving the grounds of the hospital on Monday night.

A spokesman for the NHS trust said: “We can confirm a 79-year-old patient in long term care at Ashworth High Secure Hospital has died after becoming physically unwell.”

Brady and Hindley together sexually tortured and murdered five children and teenagers, aged between ten and 17, in the 1960s.

Four of their victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.

The remains of one victim, 12-year-old Keith Bennett, have never been found despite extensive searches as recently as 2014.

Brady’s death means that his family will probably never find out his final resting place.

Terry Kilbride, the brother of another of the victims, said it was “going to feel good” to see Brady’s death in an interview hours earlier.

“Good riddance that he’s gone, I don’t drink but I will have a pint.

And I think that will be the opinion of most people.”


The killer was sentenced to life in 1966 after being convicted of the murders of John Kilbride, aged 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

He later confessed to the murders of Keith Bennett, 12, and Pauline Reade, 16, together with Hindley.

He has been held at the Ashworth secure psychiatric hospital for 32 years after being transferred there in 1985 to be treated for psychopathy.

Brady had been force-fed for many years after going in hunger strike from 1999 – though a court hearing in 2013 heard that he regularly ate toast and soup.

The killer had launched a legal bid in 2013 to be transferred out of the prison to a hospital so that he could stop being fed through a tube and be allowed to die if he wishes.

He was turned down at the mental health tribunal on the grounds that he was insane.

Brady, who had continued his legal challenges into his final months, was reportedly being given constant care from nurses specialising in terminal cancer, according to The Sun newspaper.

Transcript of the tape with recorded murder of Lesley Ann Downey

Man - This is track four.
Man - Get out of the fucking road.
Man - Get in the fucking basket.

(sound of door banging)
(crackling noise)
(steps across the room and then a recording noise followed by blowing sound into the microphone)

Woman - (Voice quiet, unreadable)

(footsteps, light, walking across room; whispered conversation at the same time)
(speech, distant, containing word ‘upstairs’; then two footsteps)

Child - (screaming) Don’t. Mum–Ah.
Woman - (whispering)Come on.


Woman(whispering) Shut up.
Child - (pleading)Oh, please.
Child - Oh. (then faintly:) Help - oh.
Child - Help. (followed by gurgling noise)
Woman - Sh. Sh.
Woman - Shut up. Shut UP.

(Screams and gurgles)

Child - Oh. Oh. Oh. (child crying)
Woman -(whispering) Keep - and you’ll be all right.
Woman(whispering) Go on.

(Quick footsteps mounting stairs, then entering room)

(Child crying, muffled)

Man(whispering) Here.
Woman - Hush, hush. Go on.

(woman speaking, unreadable)

(Child crying)

Woman - You are all right. Hush, hush. Put it in your mouth - hush and shift that hand.

(child crying)

Woman- Put it in your mouth and keep it in and you’ll be all right.
Woman - Put it in, stop it.
Woman- If you don’t–shh.

(child crying)

Woman - In your mouth. Hush, hush. Shut up or I’ll forget myself and hit you one. Keep it in.

(Child whimpering)

Man - Put it in.
Woman(Spoken quickly) Put it in.
Man - (speaks, but words unreadable except for the word 'hand’)


Man - Put it in. Keep it in. Stop it now. Stop it now.
Woman - I’m only doing this and you’ll be all right.
Woman - Put it in your mouth. Put it in–in.

(further words spoken by the woman which are unreadable except for 'put it in’)

Woman - Will you stop it, stop it.

(womans voice unreadable)
(Child whimpering)

Woman - Shut–
Man - Quick. Put it in now.

(Child whimpering)
(retching noise)

Man - Just put it in now, love. Put it in now.

(retching noise)

Child(muffled) What’s this in for?
Man - Put it in.
Child - Can I just tell you summat? I must tell you summat. Please, take your hands off me a minute, please, please– Mummy–please.
Child- I can’t tell you.


Child(in quick sequence) I can’t tell you, I can’t breathe. Oh.
Child - I can’t–Dad-Will you take your hands off me?

(man whispering)

Man - No. Tell me.
Child -  Please God.
Man - Tell me.
Child - I can’t while you’ve got your hands on me.

(mumbling sound)

Man - Why don’t you keep it in?
Child - Why? What are you going to do with me?
Man - I want some photographs,  that’s all.
Man - Put it in.
Child - Don’t undress me, will you?
Woman - That’s right, don’t –
Child - It hurts me. I want to see Mummy, honest to God.
Man - Put it in.
Child - I’ll swear on the Bible.
Man - Put it in, and hurry up now. The quicker you do this, the quicker you’ll get home.
Child - I’ve got to go, because I’m going out with my Mamma. Leave me, please. Help me, will you?
Man - Put it in your mouth and you’ll be all right.
Child - Will you let me go when this is out?
Man - Yes. the longer it takes you to do this, the longer it takes you to get home.
Child - What are you going to do with me first?
Man - I’m going to take some photographs. Put it in your mouth.
Child - What for?
Man - Put it in your mouth.(pause) Right in.
Child - I’m not going to do owt.
Man - Put it in. If you don’t keep that hand down, I'll  slit your neck.(pause) Put it in.
Child - Won’t you let me go? Please.
Man - No, no. Put it in, stop talking.
Man - What’s your name?
Child - Lesley.
Man - Lesley what?
Child - Ann.
Man - What’s your second name?
Child - Westford. Westford.
Man - Westford?
Child - I have to get home before 8 o'clock. I got to get –(pause) Or I’ll get killed if I don’t. Honest to God.
Man - Yes.

(Quick footsteps of woman leaving room and going downstairs; then a click; then woman’s footsteps coming upstairs; then eight longer strides)

Man - What is it?
Woman - I’ve left the light on.
Man - You 'ave?
Woman - So that –(remainder of sentence unreadable)

(Child starts crying)

Child - It hurts me neck.
Man - Hush, put it in your mouth and you’ll be all right.
Woman - Now listen, shurrup crying.
Child(crying) It hurts on me –
Woman - (interrupting) Hush! Shut up. Now, put it in. Pull that hand away and don’t dally and just keep your mouth shut, please.
Woman - Wait a bit, I’ll put this on again. D'you get me?
Child - (whining) No, I – (remainder of sentence unreadable)
Woman - Sh. Hush. Put that in your mouth. And again, packed more solid.

(whispered sentences, unreadable)

Child - I want to go home. Honest to god. I’ll (further speech muffled but uninterrupted) – before eight o'clock.
Woman - No, it’s all right.
Man - Eh!

(Music commences, country-style tune followed by 'Jolly St Nicholas’, during which various non-vocal noises can be heard; then tune 'The Little Drummer Boy’ during which a voice speaks -unreadable)
(Three loud cracks, systematic, even-timed)
(Music- 'The Little Drummer Boy’ – goes fainter)
(Sounds on tape cease)
(Child sobbing frantically) 

Child: “I’ve got to get back before eight o’ clock. I got to get…or I will get killed if I don’t. Honest to god!”
Man: “Yes.”

(movement, steps, etc)

Man: “What is it?”
Woman: “I’ve left the light on.”
Man: “You ‘ave?”
Woman: “So that…”

(Child crying loudly)

Child: “It hurts me neck.”
Man: “Put it in your mouth and you’ll be alright.”
Woman: “Shut up crying!”
Child: (shrieking) “It hurts me!”
Woman: “Hush. Shut up now. Put it in and don’t dally. Just keep your mouth shut, please.”
Woman: “Wait a bit. I’ll put This on again. Do you get me?”
Child: (whining) No, I…


Woman: “Sh. Shush. Put it in your mouth!”
Woman: “And again, packed more solid…No, it’s alright." 
Man: "Eh?" 

[Three loud cracks were heard next on the tape. Brady explained that they were the sound of his Camera tripod being lowered. Mrs. Downey heard most of the Tape in court, and we can bask in her distress. Christmas music, "The Little Drummer Boy”, was the last thing heard on the Tape.]

In a letter written by Myra Hindley to Ann West, the mother of Lesley Ann Downey, one line reads: “I know almost everyone describes me as cold and calculating - ‘evil Myra’ - but I ask you to believe that I find all this deeply upsetting.”
10 year old Lesley was one of the five children murdered by Hindley and her lover, Ian Brady, during the 1960s. The couple became known as the infamous ‘Moors Murderers.’

Police officers digging at Saddleworth Moor during the investigation into the Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Police officers targeted their investigation there due to the discovery of a photograph of Myra Hindley on the moor with her pet dog, hoping to find the body of 11 year old John Kilbride. During this search they discovered a bone from a human arm sticking out of the peat, which turned out to be the body of another victim - Lesley Ann Downey. The bodies of both Downey and Kilbride had to be identified from items of clothing they wore, due to the extent of decomposition.

Tattooed portrait of Ian Brady.

The Moors murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in and around what is now Greater Manchester, England.

The victims were five children aged between 10 and 17—Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans—at least four of whom were sexually assaulted.

The murders are so named because two of the victims were discovered in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor; a third grave was discovered on the moor in 1987, more than 20 years after Brady and Hindley’s trial in 1966. The body of a fourth victim, Keith Bennett, is also suspected to be buried there, but despite repeated searches it remains undiscovered.