The killers who will never go free

Judge saw hope for `corrupted' woman should serve
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The Independent Online
This is the text of a letter from the trial judge in 1966.

Dear Home Secretary, I did not make a recommendation in passing sentence because the only possible one would have been at that stage that neither of them should ever be set free again.

Though I believe that Brady is wicked beyond belief without hope of redemption (short of a miracle), I cannot feel that the same is necessarily true of Hindley once she is removed from his influence.

At present she is as deeply corrupted as Brady but it is not so long ago that she was taking instruction in the Roman Catholic Church and was a communicant and a normal sort of girl.

One watched them day after day, looking for the smallest flicker of an expression indicating some shame or regret or realisation of the horror of what was being unfolded in the evidence, but it never came. There can be no doubt they tortured and later killed children because they enjoyed it and I am convinced that they regard those who are horrified by such conduct as "morons'' and beneath contempt.

I hope Brady will not be released in any foreseeable future (assuming his fellow prisoners allow him to live) and that Hindley (apart from some dramatic conversion) will be kept in prison for a very long time. Indeed I would not expect to be available for consultation when any question of release comes up for consideration. But I do not claim sufficient prophetic insight to venture to suggest any terms of years.

Yours sincerely, Fenton Atkinson