The press have reported Ian Brady is providing his first public explanation for why he murdered five children in the 1960s, in evidence to a mental health review tribunal. Brady, it is reported, has requested the transfer to be allowed to kill himself by starvation. But is he truly bent on suicide, or is this all a charade to get media attention?
I began my career in journalism with a number of ambitions. They did not include striking up a correspondence with a serial killer. Yet little over a year into my first posting, with a leading freelance news agency, I was asked to become the point of contact for a man whose very name continues to anger and unsettle...
Brady and his crimes, of course, stir up strong emotions and continuing interest from law enforcement. Only in August, Ms Powell was arrested after telling the makers of a television documentary that Brady had sent her a letter to be given after his death to Winifred Johnson, the mother of Keith Bennett, the only one of his victims whose body has still not been found.
Why did you write a novel about her? About Myra Hindley, a woman who killed children? It's the question I'm most frequently asked about my novel, Myra, Beyond Saddleworth, and is both hard and easy to answer. The material was dark and disturbing, and many people can't understand why a writer would persevere with it. But that's the point. Unless we look, really look at the terrible things human beings do to each other, we have no chance of understanding how and why they happen.