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Myra Hindley The 1956 Meyer Levin novel, 'Compulsion', is a story about two privileged young men who attempt to murder a 12-year-old boy and then escape the death penalty because of their age. Creepy book that is. Plus let's not forget that it also inspired the crimes depicted in this one hour documentary made in 2005. Huh? Mores the pity.

'Born to Kill? Myra Hindley

In this episode of 'Born to Kill'; Steven Furst narrates the decrepit life and times of one of the most hated women in British history -- 'moors murderer', Myra Hindley. Now to help complement Steven's oration within this program, on display there's stock-photography, archived footage, re-enactments, as well as one and one interview's with people familiar with Myra's pastimes. Such as Criminal Experts: Christopher Berry-Dee, Geoff Knupfer, and David Holmes; Acquaintances: Alan Grafton, Marie Cheffings, Laurence Jordan, and Elizabeth Cummings; Journalists: Tony Brooks and Linda Malvern; Myra's Lawyer: Andrew McCooey; Author: Jean Richie; Plus two of the Victims Relatives: Danny Kilbride and Winnie Johnson.

What now follows is a basic break-down of how this program plays out:

  • Who was Myra Hindley and what was her early life like?   Myra was born on the 23rd of July, 1942, in Gorton, Manchester. When her parents, Nellie and Bob Hindley, gave birth to her sister, Maureen, Myra was sent to live with her grandmother nearby due to the additional expense. Nonetheless, on the surface this event did not appear to affect her in any way shape or form. She got good grades at school, and then at seventeen she married Ronnie Sinclair before turning towards Catholicism.
  • What were her crimes?   Myra, along with her accomplice, Ian Brady, murdered at least five children from Greater Manchester, England, between July 1963 and October 1965.
  • Who's Ian Brady then?   Ian Brady's real name is actually Ian Duncan, and was born on the 2nd of January, 1938, in Glasgow, Scotland. Ian never knew who his real father was, and his mother -- a waitress called Maggie Stewart -- sent him to stay with a family nearby when she could not make ends meet. Moreover, as time past, Ian grew up to become a very unruly type of a character indeed. And was eventually ordered by the authority's to live with his mother again -- whom by this time was staying in Manchester -- due to his brash actions.
  • Where did they meet?   In 1961 Myra met Ian whilst working at a local engineering company called 'Millwards'. Straight away Myra became besotted with Ian because of his criminal record. To such an extent that he even managed to teach her his right wing ideals -- leading to murder.
  • Who were their known victims?
    • Pauline Reade -- 16 years old neighbor of Myra's -- disappeared on the 12th of July, 1963, whilst going to a dance at a Railway Club.
    • John Kilbride -- 12 years old -- went missing on the 23rd of November, 1963, whilst walking home from a market situated in Ashton-under-Lyne.
    • Keith Bennett -- 12 years old -- vanished on the 16th of June, 1964, whilst walking to his grandmother's house in Longsight.
    • Lesley Ann Downey -- 10 years old -- disappeared on the 26th of December, 1964, whilst at a fairground. 
    • Edward Evans -- 17 years old -- went missing on the 6th of October, 1965, whilst alighting at Manchester's Central railway station.
  • What was Myra's and Ian's Modus Operandi?   (1) By in large Myra tricked their victims to get into her car with her, and then she drove them to either the moors or their very own home. Meanwhile, Ian trailed them from behind in his motor bike. (2) They sexually assaulted most of their victims before savagely killing them. (3) They buried their naked dead bodies in a shallow grave on the moors and took pictures of the locations afterwards. Also, in the case of Lesley Ann Downey, they recorded her on tape too.
  • How were they caught?   Ian thought that it was a good idea to enlist Myra's sister's boyfriend, David Smith, into their sordid game of death. But he was wrong. Ian told the police about Edward Evan's demise, which resulted in both Myra and Ian being sentenced to life in prison.

EPILOGUE: Myra Hindley died on the 15th of November, 2002, of heart failure. Ian Brady is still incarcerated.

Aesthetically this episode of 'Born to Kill?' is trying to imply that Myra Hindley would not have become a murderer if she never meet her accomplice, Ian Brady. Personally speaking -- no -- I don't really buy into this stance myself. In fact, I think that this 'trigger theory' only holds water if their bond was substantiated with a common denominator -- like blood or honor for instance -- which would cement them together even after they both got caught. Which it didn't. 

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley with their victims

You see, one of the defining factors within this implication, is that when Myra witnessed the death of a very close friend of hers as a child, somehow this ghastly event shaped the way she perceived death from then on in.

Myra Hindley TimelineGranted, on a conceptual level this of does make some sort of sense. Heck, I know from my own personal experience with death of this nature, that it is a very harrowing experience to witness. However, this scenario does not justify why she then went on to become a devout Catholic and then yearned to associate herself with a rough and ready, Ian Brady? Moreover, it does not explain away why she then joined Brady on his series of heinous crimes either!

If anything, I thought the opposite would be more than true. With this death paving the way for her to defend the innocent and not kill them!

Well, I've seen this type of 'justification' imparted again and again and again in the comic books. If the Joker didn't have one bad day he'd be as right a rain. If the Penguin wasn't picked on at school he would not have turned to a life of crime. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera. This type of thing doesn't work in the real world though, does it? This type of thing needs to be substantiated with a bond that is as air tight as an airplane, or else -- BOOOM!  

OK, I know in the past 'strong characters' have bent other people to their will -- like Adolf Hitler for example. But from what has been presented to us in 'Born to Kill? Myra Hindley' -- no -- it does not come across in this manner one little bit. Instead, it comes across as if a mixed up woman wanted to find some direction with her life no matter who got hurt in the process -- the b*tch.

Mother of Myra Hindley Victims

The victims are people I feel most sorry for the most. Plus the relatives of the victims as well. Because their lives have been forever changed no matter what questions are asked or answered.

Hmmm. So I best stop now, shouldn't I?

Nice, simple, yet moving documentary. As always for this series (click here for the section).


BORN TO KILL? MYRA HINDLEY BORN TO KILL? MYRA HINDLEY Reviewed by David Andrews on September 10, 2012 Rating: 5
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