Moors Murderers torture tape (lost audio; 1964)

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The Moors Murderers (tape audio)
The Moors Murderers, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.
The Moors Murderers, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.
Status Lost

Infamous British Serial Killer couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley (who have come to be known by the media as the Moors Murderers) had taken photographic and audio mementoes of their murder of Lesley Ann Downey as well as the sexual torture and rape to her by Ian Brady.[1]

10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey was lured by Brady and Hindley from a fairground in Ancoats on Boxing Day, 1964. She was taken back to their home in Hattersley where they stripped her, tied her up, sexually assaulted and killed her, burying her on the Saddleworth Moor. Brady and Hindley had recorded the girl as she pleaded to be let go as they try to tie her up before Brady raped her. Brady took the nine obscene photographs of the little girl, and either he or Hindley recorded the scene on a reel-to-reel audio tape for posterity.[2]

The 13-minute tape was found within a brown suitcase, recovered from lost property at Manchester Central Railway Station on October 15, 1965, along with photographs of Downey, naked and with a scarf tied across her mouth. On the tape were two identical tracks of the voices of a man, a woman, and a child. At the end of each of these tracks was a recording of two songs, Jolly St Nicholas and The Little Drummer Boy, which a witness recognized as being from a long-playing record by The Ray Conniff Singers, called We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Another tape was found, containing four tracks: A recording of music, a Goon Show recording, a recording of a commentary by Freddie Grisewood, along with another recording of a man, a woman, and a child which was identical to the two tracks on the other tape.[3] Ann Downey was brought in to identify her daughter's voice on the tape, something that would haunt her until her death.[4]

The tape recording of Lesley Anne Downey, on which the voices of Brady and Hindley were clearly audible, was played in open court in May 1966. Jurors were horrified by the Downey tape, and by Brady's bland description of the recording as "unusual".[5]

The British Courts have access to the audio and photographs and have made it clear they have no intention of releasing them, partly out of respect for the family members involved, another part being due to the horrifically disturbing nature and likely due to the fact the pictures of Downey qualify as child pornography.

The transcript of the audio tape was taken down by shorthand typist of the Supreme Court in 1966, Leonard Milner and was published, along with one of the photographs (cropped) in The Trial of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady by Jonathan Goodman in 1986 and shown on the 1999 TV documentary 'Web of Evil'.

Hindley admitted later that photographs were taken of the murder of Keith Bennett, but she was ordered by Brady to burn them along with other documents after his arrest in October, 1965.[6]


WARNING: The page linked to below contains dialogue and pictures that are of a disturbing nature. Browse with caution!


  1. Wikipedia entry on the Moors Murders. Retrieved 27 Aug '13.
  2. Daily Mirror reporter recalls sheer terror of Ian Brady torture recording played in court. Retrieved 27 Aug '13.
  3. Transcript of the tape. Retrieved 27 Aug '13.
  4. entry on the murders. Retrieved 27 Aug '13.
  5. BBC profile on Ian Brady. Retrieved 27 Aug '13.
  6. Murderpedia entry on Ian Brady. Retrieved 27 Aug '13.




12 months ago
Score 16++
Some things are better off gone.


11 months ago
Score 0++
Can't upvote you enough for that comment.

Anonymous user #1

9 months ago
Score 1++
Why is it banned? Seems to be giving in to the scum who carried out this vile act - make them think they can produce something so evil we cannot confront it. Should be released without delay. let the world see how evil that cringing bastard Brady really is/ No sympathy for his winging. Let us hear and confront!


4 months ago
Score 2++
There is really no need to hear/see that. We did confront it, by arresting them and sending them both to prison. What's done has been done, it can't be undone. So as for releasing it, there is no reason to. It would be disturbing and not to mention illegal as far as the photographs go.

Anonymous user #2

6 months ago
Score 0++
i heard rumours that Genesis P-Orridge from Throbbing Gristle had access to the tapes and used them in the song "Persuasion"


1 months ago
Score 1++
Ian Brady died today. Now both of the Moors murderers are gone - good riddance if you ask me, although I hate saying things like that.

Anonymous user #3

1 months ago
Score 0++
I'm at least glad that the couple were brought to justice for what they had done to the poor, innocent children they had captured.

Anonymous user #4

24 days ago
Score 1++
Why is this considered "lost"? It was never meant for public viewing/listening nor should it be.

Anonymous user #5

18 days ago
Score 0++
Death they got was not one they deserved . nowadays we shall make sure that justice is dealt to people like this. Before they get prison .
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