`I have authorised no one to write my biography'

The following is an edited version of Hindley's open letter to Labour's former deputy leader
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The Independent Online
Dear Roy Hattersley,

The purpose of this open letter is two-fold: to respond to your article of 7 August in the Daily Mail, and to challenge Head Office's [the Home Office's] reaction to all the publicity, because it has become obvious to me that far more people than just the Daily Mail readers are under the same delusion as you are about the headlines and contents of what you refer to as "Why we must ban Hindley's pornography".

I first want to make it absolutely clear that I have authorised no one to write my biography or so-called memoirs, and will vigorously oppose anyone who attempts to.

And should I ever decide to write an autobiography, it would certainly contain nothing of what you variously describe as "the unspeakable details of what happened to those five tragic children" or "relive the terrible events in which I took part".

Furthermore, it would not be entitled "The Other Side of the Coin", nor would I attempt to justify what is beyond justification, or claim that "I was an almost innocent party to the horrible events".

You base these various descriptions on sheer conjecture, saying "It seems the Hindley memoirs are a serious proposition", adding that at least three reputable publishers are considering paying half a million pounds for the "privilege" of marketing "The Other Side of the Coin".

God forbid that they or anyone else would lower themselves to become involved in such a spurious book. I have absolutely no idea of what the "touted around London" synopsis contains, except for what I have read in the News of the World on 6 August, about which I will say no more here. I have not, ever, written any synopsis, and disown that which is referred to.

You say: "It is more than 30 years since she and Ian Brady lured their five young victims to mutilation and death." It is lamentable that you, too, together with the tabloid press, find you need to portray the crimes as more heinous than they already are, with conjecture rather than the facts contained in the trial transcripts.

You add that what happened is still part of a recurring national nightmare, "something that should never be forgotten but recalled only to remind the comfortable and complacent of how bestial human nature can be".

You don't need to remind me of this; I know just how low humans can fall.

But you should address that message to the gutter press and its editors and owners who have constantly and relentlessly reminded the nation for 30 years of what the trial revealed had happened, embroidered with their own lurid versions. And, even worse, have never ceased to distress the families of the victims and my own mother, by equally relentless phone calls and visits with "revelations" and for comments. I recently received a letter from Mrs Ann West [mother of Lesley Anne Downey, murdered by Ian Brady and Hindley] expressing her distress about what she's been told is my book and of constantly being pestered by the press.

You should address that message to the authors of all the books that have been written about the case and myself, not one of whom contacted me or informed me of their intentions, except for one "unauthorised biographer" who was written to by my then solicitor telling her that I totally opposed her proposed biography. She still wrote it and later went on to co-write the memoirs of ex-Chief Supt Peter Topping [who led the police inquiry to find victims' bodies in mid-1980s] and serialised them in the Sun.

I wish you had publicly called for the banning of that book, for if ever there was a book that chose to describe in unspeakable detail what happened to those tragic children, it was Mr Topping's publication of confessions made in confidence and under caution. You refer to "blood money in the literal and most nauseating sense of that term" being earned by everyone involved in the writing, publishing and sales of "this book".

Please exclude me from that list and include me amongst those rightly calling for a ban on its publication. My name is (mis-) used yet again, but I disown and disassociate myself from every word it contains. I wholly agree that its publication would be a callous and calculated decision to open wounds of more than 30 years ago.

You further refer to "the bizarre arrangements in her prison which allowed her access to a biographer".

I can assure you no such arrangements were made. I have no biographer. In another article, it was alleged that a serving prison officer acted as a go between to set up a series of telephone interviews. This is manifestly untrue, and Head Office knows it is.

By their implacable silence, the Home Office and Prison Service long ago gave the green light to the gutter press to write whatever they want about me. It makes one wonder what they most fear - being perceived as "soft" on criminals, or the power of the tabloids.

I and others believe that, in my case, the media heavyweights are the circumscribers of Home Office policy where I am concerned. And why have the [Home Office] not quoshed all the speculation about this book that they know is not mine?

Yours sincerely,

Myra Hindley