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EUROPE > British police probe Moors murderer's 'letter'

LONDON - Agence France-Presse

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British police were Friday scouring documents seized from the house of serial killer Ian Brady's mental health advocate after she said he may have revealed the location of 12-year-old Keith Bennett's body.
 
A woman identified by the BBC and other media as Jackie Powell, 49, appointed the murderer's mental health advocate in 1999, was arrested on Thursday and has been bailed on suspicion of "preventing the burial of a body without lawful exercise".
 
She had told a television documentary that Brady, 74, known as the Moors murderer, had given her a sealed envelope to be handed to the mother of Bennett, who was murdered in 1964, in the event of his own death.
 
He is the only one of the victims of Brady and his lover Myra Hindley whose remains have never been found.
 
But police played down the significance of the claim, with Martin Bottomley of the Greater Manchester Police saying: "We do not know if this is true or simply a ruse." He added in a statement: "The Moors murders cast a long and dark shadow over the history of our region but in 2009 we reluctantly concluded there was no longer any specific information to identify new search areas and the investigation to find Keith entered a dormant stage.

"However, we have always stressed this is a case we will never close....
 
"What we are looking at is the possibility, and at this stage it is only a possibility, that he has written a letter to Keith's mum Winnie Johnson which was not to be opened until after his death." Between 1963 and 1965, Brady and Hindley, who died in prison in 2002, lured five children and teenagers to their deaths, burying four of them on the windswept Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.
 
Brady was convicted of three of the murders and later confessed to two more.
 
The bodies of Lesley Ann Downey and John Kilbride were found in 1965, and Pauline Reade's remains located in 1987, but Bennett's body has never been found.
 
Bennett was abducted on June 16, 1964, after he left home to visit his grandmother, and his family have since waged a relentless campaign to locate his remains.
 
His mother Winnie, 79, has long urged Brady to reveal the location of her son's grave so she can bury him before she dies. She is suffering from cancer and is being treated in a hospice.
 
Brady has been tube-fed for the past 12 years after refusing food and is battling to be transferred to prison from a secure hospital and allowed to die.

August/17/2012

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