How I escaped the infamous Moors murderers

Murderous couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley became some of the most notorious killers in British history after slaughtering children and burying them on moorland close to Manchester.

They murdered five children, aged between 10 and 17. But, it may well have been six. Tommy Rhattigan, who is now 61, has come forward to say that he escaped through a window at the age of seven. A child beggar, the Moors murderers had persuaded him to go to their home with promises of bread and jam for him to eat.

Mr Rhattigan, one of 12 siblings, was starving, growing up in terrible poverty in Hulme, Manchester, when he was asked to go to the couple’s home in nearby Gorton for a “jam buttie”. He said that he had thought she was being kind to him, until she spoke unkindly to him and he smelt alcohol on her breath. At that point, Mr Rhattigan said he was overwhelmed with a feeling of panic.


He said he quietly stood up and tried to open a window, but it was stuck. Suddenly, it shot upwards and Mr Rhattigan managed to jump out, even though he felt someone grab his foot and heard the back door being opened as Brady ran after him. He managed to leap over a back wall and get away in an escape he says has haunted him for his entire life.

Brady and Hindley killed Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans. Only Keith’s body has never been found and his mother went to her grave without ever being able to give her son a proper burial. The killings all happened in two years from 1963, and the couple were both handed life sentences in 1966. While Hindley has died in jail, Brady is being held in Ashworth Hospital. According to letters sent by him to a journalist, he is dying as a result of a terminal lung and chest condition.


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