Police dig for Moors victim Keith Bennett after skull reportedly found

Group of amateurs searching for body made discovery and alerted Greater Manchester police

Police were digging on Friday on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester after a skull was reportedly found that could belong to Moors murder victim Keith Bennett.

Keith was murdered 58 years ago at the age of 12 by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, but his body has never been found. Brady died in 2017 and Hindley in 2002.

Greater Manchester police were alerted to the discovery on Thursday morning, which was made by a group of amateurs searching for Keith’s body.

While police said it was too early to confirm whether human remains have been found, they have informed Keith’s closest surviving family member, his brother Alan.


Forensic teams were forced to halt the crime scene work at about 4.45pm on Friday due to bad weather. Wind and sleet battered the moor, uprooting the two blue forensics tents.

The site has been covered with a tarpaulin and work will restart on Saturday morning.

If the remains are identified as Keith’s, it will prove especially tragic as the crime scene is only a few hundred metres away from where his mother, Winnie Johnson, was regularly pictured, having returned to Saddleworth Moor often before her death in August 2012.

Author Russell Edwards, who has spent years trying to find the schoolboy’s remains, contacted detectives after digging in an area with soil that appeared to have been disturbed and finding what he believed to be Keith’s body.

Keith was last seen by his mother in the early evening of 16 June 1964 after he left home in Eston Street, Longsight, Manchester, on his way to his grandmother’s house nearby.

Brady and Hindley’s other victims, who were killed in and around Manchester, were Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on her way to a disco on 12 July 1963; John Kilbride, 12, who was snatched in November the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed to death in October 1965.

The killers were caught after the Evans murder, and Lesley and John’s bodies were recovered from the moors.

Both Brady and Hindley were taken back to Saddleworth Moor to help police find the remains of the outstanding victims, but only Pauline’s body was recovered. Brady claimed he could not remember where he had buried Keith.

Keith’s is the only body that has still not been found. - Guardian