A VERY ARTICULATE Monster; Again and Again, He Cited Literature and Philosophy to Sickeningly Justify Killing Children as He Revealed for the First Time the True Story of His Depraved Life and Love for Hindley. the Mail Accepts That Some Will Be Upset by His Words - but Believes They Provide an Important Insight into the Nature of Evil

Daily Mail (London), May 17, 2017 | Go to article overview

A VERY ARTICULATE Monster; Again and Again, He Cited Literature and Philosophy to Sickeningly Justify Killing Children as He Revealed for the First Time the True Story of His Depraved Life and Love for Hindley. the Mail Accepts That Some Will Be Upset by His Words - but Believes They Provide an Important Insight into the Nature of Evil


Byline: Dr Alan Keightley

DR ALAN KEIGHTLEY was head of religious studies at a West Midlands sixth-form college when he began writing to Ian Brady in 1992 at the suggestion of the mother of his youngest victim, Lesley Ann Downey. For years, he visited Brady in prison every month, spoke to him on the phone every day and received hundreds of letters from him.

Dr Keightley built up a detailed archive of material he has now turned into a biography of Brady that provides a disturbing and unique insight into the man himself -- and the nature of evil.

MY FIRST meeting with Moors Murderer Ian Brady was chilling. He was tall and sinister, wearing a black polo neck sweater, blue jeans and dark glasses

As he towered over me, I saw myself reflected in the lenses -- and realised that, in their dying moments, this must have been the last view his young victims had of him.

I had come to see him in Ashworth Hospital, a high security psychiatric unit, one Sunday afternoon in 1994, 28 years after his conviction -- along with his girlfriend Myra Hindley -- for multiple murder.

By then I had been corresponding with him for two years. During that first meeting he demonstrated how easy it was to kill someone. Strangulation was best, he told me: simple, silent and quick. He claimed he could do this with one hand.

I asked the question that continues to puzzle and appal us all, even now, more than half a century after his evil deeds, he is dead.

'Why children?' I demanded to know. He answered immediately, not batting an eyelid: 'Existential exercises.' Brady was an evil, sadistic psychopath who considered himself an existentialist, in that he believed it was entirely up to him as an individual to live in whatever manner he chose. He was also a nihilist who thought that life was meaningless, the universe had no purpose, and religion was a delusion.

Five young people died in horrible circumstances in and around Manchester between July 1963 and October 1965, their parents were put through unspeakable anguish, and all, it seemed, because of this man's perverted philosophical view of the world.

I was to explore his reasons further as I got to know Brady in visits over the following years. I quickly realised that he was intellectually gifted and very widely read. He was clearly one of the most articulate of killers -- and all the more fascinating and dreadful for it

At Ashworth, he spent his daily life alone in his room, refusing to talk to staff or inmates, whom he considered beneath him.

When I came, he let fly, and I was blasted non-stop as he expounded his nihilistic view that this is a world without meaning or morality -- a world in which men like him can do as they please.

Our conversations roamed over religion, philosophy and literature. We talked in depth about Dostoevsky, Sartre and Shakespeare. Through all this, I came to follow his perverted thinking and his strange logic.

As he spoke and his grey eyes penetrated the fog from the French cigarettes he constantly smoked, there was something incandescently evil about him.

But I never for one moment thought I was speaking with a madman. He didn't feel he was insane either.

'The morons out there are the ones who are mad,' he told me contemptuously. 'People who live conventional, dull, boring lives.'

If there was a single word that summed him up, it would be contempt -- 'my contempt for everyone who breathed,' as he once put it: contempt for religion, authority, respectability, convention. Contempt even for himself. One of the first stories he told m about himself was of going to the cinema as a youth in the Fifties and pushing his way out during the final credits of the film to avoid having to stand for the national anthem (which was the tradition back then).

'A man in the aisle stood in my way as the anthem began. In a rage, I lifted him from the ground and threw him between the seats amongst the litter. …

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A VERY ARTICULATE Monster; Again and Again, He Cited Literature and Philosophy to Sickeningly Justify Killing Children as He Revealed for the First Time the True Story of His Depraved Life and Love for Hindley. the Mail Accepts That Some Will Be Upset by His Words - but Believes They Provide an Important Insight into the Nature of Evil
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