UK

Moors Murderers Victim: 'Fresh Search' For Body of Keith Bennett Claims 'Untrue'

09/06/2014 17:40 BST | Updated 09/06/2014 17:59 BST

Claims a new search is about to begin for the only victim of the Moors Murderers whose body was never found have been rubbished, as his family urge people not to take part in any unofficial searches for his remains.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley abducted 12-year-old Keith Bennett on June 16, 1964 and killed him. Despite pleas from his mother Winnie Johnson, who died in 2012, they never revealed what they had done with his body.

David Jones, a mountain rescue leader who has previously searched for the body, was reported by the Daily Mirror to be about to launch a new search on Saddleworth Moor next Monday on the anniversary but later denied this, saying: "Nothing is happening".

Keith's brother Alan Bennett has also distanced himself from the claims a new search was imminent, and his Searching For Keith campaign wrote online: "We urge people not to go on the moor to start a search of their own."

keith bennett moors murder victm

Keith Bennett is the only victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley whose body was never found

The Daily Mirror reported people hoped the search on Saddleworth Moor would bring them “closer than anyone has ever got” to finding Keith Bennett's body.

It reported the search area had been narrowed down to three areas, each around the size of a football pitch and said the search would begin next Monday, the 50th anniversary.

The Huffington Post UK understands this report conflates previous stories of planned new searches.

Speaking after it was published, Mr Jones said: "Nothing is happening I'm afraid. Hopefully we will be going back there but we don't know when."

Daily Brief

Brady was jailed for life in 1966 for the murders of three children. Hindley was convicted of two of the murders and shielding Brady after another murder, and given a life sentence.

They did not admit killing Keith Bennett until 1987.

Hindley died in jail in 2002 aged 60, while Brady is held at the high-security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside.

Alan Bennett, writing on his website, said: "There are reports of a search being conducted on the moor starting on 16th June.

"Neither myself nor anybody connected with me or to me, professionally or otherwise, has anything to do with this.

"I believe it will go the same way as the other unofficial searches of the past and therefore is of no great importance or relevance and is being led by or following people with theories that have no real basis or evidence to back it up.

"No proper professional search of this area could be conducted without proper consultation and guidance from the people involved with past searches, those in possession of up to date and accurate locations and information regarding that area."

The Searching For Keith campaign has petitioned the Home Office to re-open ithe polices inquiry into Keith Bennett, saying new technology could help find him.

But it has also strongly opposed unofficial searches, writing on its website: "We are also strongly against and wish to discourage anyone, however well-meaning, from attempting their own search of the moor, since more harm than good may well be done.

"We know this from experience - in the past, damage has been done by people who didn't have the necessary training to conduct such a search.

"There have also been many paranormal investigations into the location of Keith's grave but none have proved remotely useful.

"We believe the way forward is in facts and scientific examinations of the area. If this sounds abrupt then we apologise, but our aim is simply to raise awareness of the fact that Keith is still missing."