The Moors murderer Ian Brady is showing early signs of suffering from dementia, his close confidante and mental health advocate has claimed.
Jackie Powell, who has represented Brady since 1999 and also says she is a co-executor of his will, said medical experts now believe he is seriously ill.
She told the Daily Mirror that dementia was a “worst nightmare” for Brady, who was jailed for life in 1966 for killing five young children in Manchester with his girlfriend Myra Hindley.
The body of one of those victims, Keith Bennett, has never been found, and last night a solicitor for the 12-year-old’s family appealed for Brady to give up the location while he still can.
“If he deteriorates and is not able to impart this information then it may be that Keith is never found,” John Ainley said.
Brady, now 76, has been detained at the Ashworth maximum-security psychiatric hospital since 1985, and had a recent appeal to be transferred to prison turned down.
Ms Powell said that during a recent meeting with him she witnessed the signs of behaviour that experts said were symptoms of dementia, and that he now seems to be “waiting to die”.
But she added that Brady refused to accept there was anything wrong, and did not want to undergo tests that could confirm whether or not he has Alzheimer's disease.
She said: “Brady has to be in control and getting dementia is his worst nightmare.
“No one who meets him could ever deny that he had a very sharp mind. He is highly intelligent and insists on dealing with things on his own terms. He never wants to expose his feelings so he is terrified of losing his self-control.
“Everything he does has always been very calculated and he could not imagine anything worse than his own mind slipping away from him. He'd never admit it, but I believe he is frightened about what is happening to him.”
Ms Powell said she believed it highly unlikely he would ever reveal where Keith Bennett is buried, saying that he refuses to even discuss it. She has previously said she never discusses the murders with Brady, adding: “Every human being, whoever they are, should be treated with some amount of respect and dignity.”