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Moors Murders: New hope for Keith’s family as Patel law passes | United Kingdom | News UK News

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s new policing legislation received royal assent this week. This means police can get a warrant for material that could reveal the location of a murder victim’s remains.

Officers can now request the seizure of two briefcases belonging to the Brady killer. So far, the police have been denied permission to review the cases.

Investigators are hoping the contents will provide clues or even “maps” showing where the young boy was buried.

Keith Bennett was one of five children killed by Brady and his evil partner Myra Hindley in the early 1960s, but the 12-year-old’s body has never been found.

John Ainley, the lawyer for Keith Bennett’s family, said the new bill was a “hopeful development” and would “put pressure on the police to deal quickly with his search” for the business and documents.

Ainley said the whereabouts of the two Samsonite briefcases was unclear because Brady’s will was never made public.

“They may be with his lawyers, or the executors, or the beneficiaries,” he said.

“It may take a few months for the police to file a request to obtain the evidence.”

Brady’s attorney took possession of the killer’s suitcases hours before his 79-year-old death in 2017.

Brady was serving a life sentence in Ashworth Hospital, a high-security mental institution.

He had always refused to give any clues as to where Bennett was buried.

Police from Manchester’s Moors Murders Cold Case Unit believe the suitcases may contain ‘maps’ and documents revealing the location of Bennett’s body, a new documentary has revealed.

The unit’s Martin Bottomley told detective writer Mark Billingham: “[The new law] will allow us to ask a judge that we have a reasonable suspicion that there is documentation that can identify the location of human remains – in this case, Keith Bennett.”

He added: “It will be Keith Bennett’s legacy, so it won’t happen to anyone else.” When asked what he thought was in there, he replied: “I think there will be a lot of ramblings, but there will be maps, documents… there might be something that would lead us to a closer place.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be ‘X Mark the spot for Keith’s body’.

“It’s by no means a given, but it’s a possibility. We have to do it.”

Asked about the hope that ‘maps’ might be in the cases, Mr Ainley said: ‘Any information would be helpful.

“Here is the hope that there are maps or other written information that would point us in the right direction to Keith’s body.”

The family “is doing well” but is studying “all avenues”, he added.

“Alan Bennett [Keith’s brother] will never rest until he finds Keith, and I hope it will be in his lifetime.”

Keith was murdered after Myra Hindley lured the 12-year-old into her Mini.

She and Brady traveled to Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester, with Bennett who was sexually assaulted and then strangled by Brady with a piece of string.

Despite numerous searches for the Moor, his body has never been found. Official police searches ended in 2009.

John Hunter, a forensic archaeologist, led the search to find Keith’s body.

He used both radar and depth profiling without success.

Hunter told Billingham, “Is he still there? Yes. Is there a good chance he’ll be found? Probably not.”

He explained that this is because Bennett was probably buried in a “peat scar” and “over time the peat moves” to conceal it.

Keith Bennett’s mother, Winnie Johnson, died aged 78 in 2012, after a long campaign to try to force Brady to reveal where Keith was buried.

Alan, 64, continued the family campaign. He said recently, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bill will pass as soon as possible and we might get some more answers.”

  • Once Upon a True Crime is available to stream on C+I PLAY from Tuesday and Monday at 9 p.m. on Crime + Investigation.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-01 17:46:00

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