Reports by Matt Gaw
Thursday, January 3, 2013
SECRET details about Moors murderer Myra Hindley’s time in a Suffolk jail can today be revealed by the EADT – from her covert trips to the county’s hospitals, her last views on the infamous killings and how she hoped to work with the elderly if released.
Hindley, considered as the “most hated woman in Britain”, was jailed for life in May 1966 for the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, ten, and Edward Evans, 17, plus being accessory to the murder of 12-year-old John Kilbride by Brady.
In 1987 Hindley and Brady confessed to murdering Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, 12.
The killer, who from 1998 was at HMP Highpoint, died in 2002 aged 60 and her confidential files were supposed to have remained secret for another 50 years.
But, due to intense public interest, they have been released to the national archives and are now being studied and ordered by Dr Tom Clark, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield.
The typed reports, handwritten notes and prison correspondence, which Dr Clark has been working on for three years, give a unique snapshot of Hindley through the eyes of fellow prisoners, welfare workers, warders and chaplains.
The documents, which include letters to then Home Secretary Jack Straw, also chart Hindley’s faltering health and the top secret operations to transport her to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge.
Letters dated December 21, and addressed to senior members of the prison service, state that Hindley will be attending West Suffolk Hospital on December 30 as an in-patient for between two and five days after suffering “ill-health for some time.”
The letter goes on to say that the visit would not be able to be “out and back” before the “media are on the scent” and that Hindley was more at risk of attack than likely to escape.
An accompanying document said Hindley should be cuffed when travelling to the hospital and on a closeting chain when moving from her bed – “mainly to prevent abduction, though there is always a possibility of her attempting to escape.”
The report, which stressed that Hindley could not be relied upon to keep arrangements secret, added: “It is probably fair to say that neither she nor the staff who care for her here have much real idea of the true risks of her visit to hospital.”
Hindley was dogged by ill-health throughout her 36 years in jail and suffered from the heart condition angina, high blood pressure and the brittle bone disease osteoporosis.
Although the exact reason for her visit to West Suffolk Hospital is not contained in documents seen by the EADT, she is known to have had heart scans and suffered a stroke while at Highpoint - attributed to her heavy smoking - in January 2000.
One document in the archive gives details of ‘Operation Charlton’, the pre-planned admission of Hindley into Addenbrooke’s on January 13 2000.
The operation is named after Hindley’s pseudonym “Christine Charlton”, which was used at all times when communicating with the hospital.
The document, which includes exact route into the hospital, also explains how the prisoner should be guarded by officers in civilian clothing.
Hindley died in West Suffolk Hospital in November 2002 from a serious chest infection that followed a suspected heart attack two weeks before.
She received the last rites from a Catholic priest.