Myra and the trapdoor

David McKittrick@IndyVoices
Saturday 16 November 2002 01:00

I saw Myra Hindley a few times inside Holloway prison in the 1970s, remembering her as a quiet, mousy woman who kept herself to herself.

At the time I was employed by the prison as a civilian labourer, doing tasks such as mending windows and unblocking drains.

Overall, security at the jail was fairly lax, given that most of the women were being held for offences such as prostitution and drugs.

Things were, though, different for Hindley and a small number of other prisoners. They were held in a kind of central keep. Inside this more secure area the prisoners seemed to have formed a little community where they worked and lived together. Hindley's chosen job was that of sewing.

Another prison labourer, who had worked in Holloway for decades and had the singular name of Dick Alcock, told me he had assisted in the hanging of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain.

He quietly pointed out markings on the floor underneath Hindley's sewing machine. Outside the keep he said: "That's the trapdoor where they hanged Ruth Ellis. They put Myra Hindley's machine right over that spot, but they've never told her about it."

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