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Should Myra Hindly Be Released Essay, Research Paper

Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley – A sadistic temptress, the aid and probable prompt of an evil and cold blooded killer. Or a ‘political prisoner being used as a scapegoat by politicians and the media’? This is a very sensitive subject and people often respond with fear and anxiety when we decide to examine things like the Moors murders. We are told that our curiosity is ‘unhealthy’, and that wanting to know,or openly debate about a matter which is ‘naturally’ closed, can only be the desire of a sick mind. We are encouraged to turn a blind eye and leave well alone.

It is obvious to me that to wish to examine something is not to condone it. Yet when somebody tries to ask questions about taboo subjects today, they are assumed to be sympathetic to the subject, maybe even a little deranged, and certainly suspect. They become an outcast, and this coming adrift from the herd is also something which many fear. Many say better to be seen to be part of the lynch-mob than to become its quarry but these are the people who don’t have the strength of character to even attempt to be the quarry.

During their trial, neither Hindley nor Brady showed remorse. Both were sentenced to life. They are still in prison at this time. The judge has stated that she will indeed spend the rest of her days in prison with no chance of ever being paroled, so why does she still argue against the judges decision ?

A lot of pressure is put on Governments to keep Hidley inside and whether or not she is to be released is now often stated in party political statements prior to elections, as it is feared that the overriding pubic opinion could win or lose elections. On November the twenty – first supporters of Hindley called for a review of sentencing procedures after Jack Straw reaffirmed the decision of his predecessor, Michael Howard, of never releasing Hindley from prison. The ruling came under immediate attack from penal reformers and civil liberties campaigners.

Myra Hindley is still petitioning for her release On October the seventh, 1998 Hindley concluded a hearing at the Court of Appeal trying to overrule her “whole-life tariff.” In her new attempt at overturning her life sentence and win the right to a parole hearing, Hindley claimed that she can prove that she took part in the Moors murders only because Brady abused her, and threatened to kill her mother, grandmother and younger sister if she did not comply with his wishes.

Freedom seeking Hindley alleges that Brady bit, strangled, whipped, drugged and even blackmailed her into taking part in the murders. Her lawyers claimed that the new material that was presented to court includes photographs taken by Brady showing her naked with bruises and injuries caused by bites, whips and canes. Then again, they did have a sadomasochistic relationship, and bruises and bite marks are something that goes with the territory.

This latest court action represents the third strategy Hindley has adopted since conviction. At first she stayed silent, and then later revealed evidence of other murders in a fruitless bid to convince the public that she had reformed. Now she is claiming that she took part in the crimes unwillingly.

Hindley has many supporters including Lord Longford, who has lobbied for Hindley’s release, and describes her as a “good woman”. Lord Longford said that Hindley had been a good young woman “until she began to work under a very gifted, but mentally disturbed man, Ian Brady. She was an infatuated accomplice 31 years ago”.

In December 1995, Hindley, who is in jail in northern England , gave her first public account of her crime spree, admitting she had been wicked and corrupt but claiming she was now a changed woman. Hindley described herself as a political prisoner who was being used as a scapegoat by politicians and the media. The formerly monstrous killer said: “The majority of people don’t want to accept that people like myself can change, They prefer to keep me frozen in time together with that awful mugshot so that their attitudes, beliefs and perceptions can remain intact.” This seems like a well thought out statement prepared by an inteligent woman who has had 30 years to think it up.

The mugshots Hindley refers to are part of the results of the horrifying pressure exerted by the tabloids, Hindley, the Moors Murders they all make for a great story as the editor for once has the upper hand and knows what the public opinion is and that a story like this will recreate a public uproar and of course sell papers.


On May 21 the High Court announced a judicial review of their 1990 decision of imposing a “whole-life” sentence. Hindley’s lawyers argued that the decision did not reflect the views of the judge in the case, Mr. Justice Fenton, who recommended only that she serve “a very long time.” this could be interpreted in many ways and according to her lawyers the “whole-life” sentence represented an “irrational leap” from the 30-year period fixed by the Home Office in 1985.

If we truly want an answer we could ask Hindleys accomplice Brady but he is not very complimentary saying that “33 years of duplicity” had driven “her into the realms of psychotic delusion and absurdity”. In other words – not the sort of person we want roaming the streets! But then Brady is the betrayed lover, and has even blatantly written to the home secretary saying ”It appears that the neurosis bred by her own pathological machinations has developed into psychosis. She appears to be suffering from a histrionic personality disorder, adopting manipulative attention seeking behavior . . . an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, concealing a strong tendency towards rebellion and acting on impulse.” From this it would seem he was prejudiced and by doing this to her he has considerably lessened her chances of parole. This then proves that Brady and Hindley are no longer allies.

In February, 1997, her lawyers made a plea to win her release. However, a London Superior Court decreed that Hindley will spend the rest of her life behind bars with no possibility of parole. This seems a little unfair as Hindley is very obviously being treated differently to other killers of her genre.

Hindley did not work alone. In fact, according to her, Ian Brady was not only her accomplice, but the mastermind and motivator of the murders.

So why is Hindley so vilified? Why have the Moors Murders remained stamped so strongly in the British public’s psyche? Does it mark some imagined loss of innocence? And after more than 30 years and enough atrocities to satisfy the devil himself, Hindley is still singled out as the incarnation of evil. Is it because she is a woman who killed children? And if she is so disturbed, so clearly mentally ill, why doesn’t she receive treatment? Is it because we don’t want her to be helped; because we want her and others like her to remain as monsters to satisfy our own imaginations? I think Hindley should be freed .

No issue is ever really closed. But eyes can be closed, along with ears, mouths and minds. In writing this piece, I ask people to open up not just their hearts but their heads, too. I don’t ask anybody to throw away their compassion; I just ask them to think.

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