`We have not formed a friendship'

Letter from a killer: Moors murderer writes to Independent denying she has ever been `hand-in-hand' with Rosemary West
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The Independent Online
On 7 May 1966, the day after my own trial and conviction 291/2 years ago, my name was on the front page of the Daily Mail and every other newspaper in the country.

On 23 November 1995, my name was on the front page of the Daily Mail in massive headlines: "Hand in Hand with Hindley", "reporting" my "macabre" friendship with Rosemary West. This was the day after her trial and conviction at Gloucester.

If this article is providing some light relief and entertainment at my expense from the heaviness of the Gloucester trial, it isn't only, yet again, disseminating yet another strand of fabricated garbage to weave into myth, it is also causing acute distress to my mother and family, who had to cope with the headline horrors of following my own trial and who have had little respite from them since.

I read this nonsense more than a week ago and decided to ignore it and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

But since then it has been picked up and reported by other tabloids and repeated in the Daily Mail. I now have no option but to issue this statement to say I will be making a formal complaint to the PCC about the Mail in particular and the Evening Standard which copied almost word for word the Mail's piece.

I will be refuting claims that Rosemary West and myself have formed a "macabre" friendship, that we have ever held hands, prayed together in the chapel or anywhere else, cooked snacks for each other, watched television together in each other's cells and that I sent her a "Good Luck" card before the start of the trial or at any other time.

Nor was I "fascinated" by her when she arrived on H-wing. She was on H-wing before I arrived and was just one of 44 immates.

Whoever these "prison sources" are who made these "revelations" to the Mail and other papers, it is obvious to me that they received money for this "information" and it is yet another example of cheque book journalism.

If not, it is just another opportunity to drag my name into the headlines to boost circulation, and says more about the journalists and their sources than about reality and the truth which, of course doesn't sell newspapers and which is something that tabloid editors and journalists wouldn't recognise anyway.