Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ian Brady v Neddie Seagoon

Aside from Emlyn Williams's True Crime classic, Beyond Belief, here are some other connections between the Moors Murders case and Wales:

On their first proper date Ian Brady entertained Myra Hindley by doing impressions of characters from The Goon Show. He was a huge fan of the radio programme and was particularly adept at mimicking Neddie Seagoon who was created and played by Harry Secombe. From that point on Hindley's pet name for Ian Brady was "Neddie".

In the trouser pocket of Brady's last victim, Edward Evans, (who had been axed to death) was found a blood-stained letter from a girl called Wendy. She had written to Evans from Penrhyndeudraeth where he had spent a summer holiday. In the letter she complained about the incessant rain. Another victim, Lesley Ann Downey, had also visited north Wales. She belonged to a Methodist organisation and came to Wales with her Sunday School group.

At the trial of Hindley and Brady the prosecution was led by Attorney General Frederick Elwyn Jones who was from Llanelli. During his absences William Mars-Jones stood in for him. He was from Llansannan. Brady's defence team was headed by Emlyn Hooson who was from Colomendy in Denbighshire. He was also the Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire.

When Myra Hindley was sent to Holloway Prison she befriended a 22-year-old Welsh jailbird called Carole Callaghan who was serving a six-year sentence for attempted armed robbery. Hindley and Callaghan had a shared interest in English Literature and philosophy. They listened to classical music and studied together. When Callaghan was released from the nick they continued to correspond. Eventually, however, Callaghan sold their letters to the Daily Star. Hindley responded by saying that her former friend had "syphilis of the brain."

When Myra Hindley decided to pen an autobiography - after encouragement from her supporters - she managed to get a literary agent. When Hindley asked for tips on writing style the agent suggested that she read the books of Welsh writer Jan Morris for guidance. Hindley completed the autobiography but it remains unpublished.