• Emma

Not all scum floats: The death of Ian Brady


Headlines reporting the death of Scottish child killer Ian Brady, who died on May 15 2017

Alive, the mere mention of his name was enough to provoke anger and rage - but death did little to weaken Ian Brady's ability to trigger mass disgust.


Today, January 2, would have been Ian Brady's 82nd birthday. But if people thought that he was able to rile people up while he was alive, public hatred hit entirely new heights after he died from heart failure aged 79 in May 2017.


The Scottish child-killer, who survived accomplice and lover Myra Hindley by seven years, never revealed where they had buried one of their five victims, Keith Bennett. It was this refusal - and the fact the tragic lad's mother died not being able to say a proper goodbye to her son - that really elevated him to truly 'evil' status, and he was already a confirmed child killer, animal torturer, narcissist and Nazi-obsessive.


No one ever forgot the couple's two year killing spree, which ran from 1963-1965, but once . he died it was a chance to revisit his sickening crimes. The press was full of stories about how evil he was, how he should have been allowed to starve to death. How the nurses at maximum security Ashworth Hospital feared dealing with him, how his passion for Hitler fuelled his passion for learning the German language, how it had cost £300,000-a-year to keep him alive - at taxpayers' expense.


Even Peter Sutcliffe slammed him for being a "poor loser" after he beat him at a game of chess when they were both locked up in Wormwood Scrubs.


In a letter to a penpal published by the Sunday People, he sneered: “I played chess with him and I beat him, so he’s not that bright.


“He was upset about that. He takes everything seriously and thinks he’s the bees knees, but he’s just an idiot.


“He had an air of kind of feeling as though he was very important. It was like he thought he was a snob.”


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But there was more than just prison games and prices at the top of the news agenda.


Ian Brady generated as many hysterical headlines as when he was alive - especially as it emerged his dying wish was to have his ashes scattered on Saddleworth Moor, the bleakest stretch of the Peak District where he murdered and buried four of his victims - including, police suspect, young Keith.


Instead, after many discussions behind closed doors between local council chiefs who wanted nothing to do with his body, Brady's solicitor and executor of his estate Robin Makin, and legal boffins, drastic measures were taken.


Makin wanted to take possession of the ashes, but would not reveal what he intended to do with them. It was feared it could trigger a public outrage, or rioting. And there was also the risk Brady's remains would be scattered on the Moor.


After one and a half days of deliberations and discussions, Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos deemed that he was to be cremated without ceremony, flowers or music, meaning his dying wish to have the fifth movement of the Symphony Fantastique - a piece of music that depicts a 'Satanic orgy' - was denied.


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He said: "I decline to permit the playing of the fifth movement of the Symphony Fantastique at the cremation as Mr Makin requested.


"As the composer's programme notes describe, the theme and subject of the piece means legitimate offence would be caused to the families of the deceased's victims once it became known it had been played.


"It was not suggested by Mr Makin that the deceased had requested any other music to be played or any other ceremony to be performed, and in those circumstances, I propose to direct that there be no music and no ceremony."


More importantly, there would be no memorial for vigilantes or twisted 'admirers' to adorn or destroy.


Almost six months after his death Ian Brady's body was incinerated in secret at 10:30pm, and his ashes dropped in the sea off the coast of Liverpool in a weighted urn a week later on November 25.


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