Greater Manchester Police is currently investigating allegations that Ian Brady may have disclosed the whereabouts of Keith Bennett’s body.
On 30 July 2012, the Force received information that led officers to believe that Ian Brady had recently given details of the location of Keith Bennett’s body to one of his long-time visitors. It was claimed that Brady had written a letter to Keith’s mum Winnie Johnson that was not to be opened until after his death.
Officers in Greater Manchester Police’s Cold Case Unit have made inquiries to try to verify accuracy of this report and have since had extensive contact with both Ashworth Hospital and Keith’s close family. As a result, warrants obtained under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act were executed at Ashworth Hospital and a private address in South Wales on Thursday 16 August 2012.
A 49-year old woman was arrested in South Wales on suspicion of preventing the burial of a body without lawful exercise and has been bailed pending further inquiries. A number of documents were seized from the address in south Wales and are currently being examined.
Martin Bottomley, Head of Investigative Review of Greater Manchester Police’s Major and Cold Case Crime Unit, said: “The Moors murders cast a long and dark shadow over the history of our region but in 2009 we reluctantly concluded there was no longer any specific information to identify new search areas and the investigation to find Keith entered a dormant stage.
“However, we have always stressed this is a case we will never close. We have been, and always will be, open to pursuing any new lines of inquiry that arise from significant scientific advances or credible and actionable information.
“I want to be explicitly clear about this: Ian Brady has not revealed to police the location of Keith’s body.
“What we are looking at is the possibility, and at this stage it is only a possibility, that he has written a letter to Keith’s mum Winnie Johnson which was not to be opened until after his death. We do not know if this is true or simply a ruse but we clearly have a duty to investigate such information on behalf of Keith’s family.
“Since Keith was so cruelly taken away all those years ago, our thoughts have always been with his family as they try to come to terms with what happened. All they want is to finally be able to lay Keith to rest. What I would ask is that the media respect their privacy at this time. Winnie herself is very ill and continued speculation about this letter will only cause the family more upset.
“I would ask that we are allowed to examine all the evidence we have recovered and determine whether or not this letter actually exists.”