Ian Brady

From Academic Kids

Ian Brady, born Ian Duncan Stewart on January 2, 1938, in Glasgow, Scotland, is a British serial killer and author.

Brady is known primarily for his role in a series of murders that took place in Greater Manchester between 1962 and 1965. These were dubbed the Moors Murders, as several victims were buried along the Saddleworth Moor.



As a young boy, Brady developed a deep fascination with Nazi Germany. He also developed a keen interest in the writings of the Marquis de Sade and Friedrich Nietzsche, focusing particular attention on Nietzsche's theories of Ubermensch. Brady collected books about torture and sadomasochism and other paraphilias relating to domination and servitude. After being convicted of several minor crimes, he was sentenced to two years in a borstal. While incarcerated, he learned various techniques for becoming more proficient at his craft. Release led to prolonged stretches of unemployment. Eventually, he took a job at Millwards Merchandising as a stock clerk, where he met Myra Hindley, the other half of the internationally notorious Moors Murderers.


The relationship between Brady and Hindley developed in concert with Brady's increasingly rabid identification with the accredited instigators of Nazi-era atrocities.

The Moors Killings

Ian Brady was responsible for five murders during the 1960s. In 1987 he claimed to police that he had carried out another five killings and even said where he had buried the bodies, but the police were never able to prove whether these claims were true.

The Murders

The five killings that Brady admitted carrying out were committed with Myra Hindley as his accomplice. These were the infamous Moors Murderers which are still some of the most reviled crimes in Britain some four decades after they happened.

The Mind of Ian Brady

Brady's philosophy included the idea that superior creatures had the right to control (and destroy, if necessary) weaker ones. He was increasingly becoming enamored with a philosophy that championed cruelty, torture and the superiority of the übermensch. He was an avid fan of Friedrich Nietzsche, and in particular Nietzsche's concept of the Will to Power. Brady had, since a young boy, been fascinated and obsessed with Nazi pageantry and symbology. Later, he would become fixed upon various books depicting violent paraphilias. Brady and Hindley photographed themselves in sadomasochistic acts as well as at the burial sites of several of their victims.

Punishment Information

The death penalty was abolished just one month after Brady and Hindley were arrested. By the time they went on trial the following April, the punishment for murder was life imprisonment. This meant that a murderer was liable to be detained for the whole of his or her natural life but could be released on life licence when no longer judged to be a risk.


On 6th May 1966, Brady was found guilty on three counts of murder and sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment. Hindley was found guilty of murdering Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans and given two life sentences; she also received a concurrent seven-year sentence for harbouring Brady in connection with the murder of John Kilbride. The key evidence against the couple included the tape recordings and photographs of Lesley Ann Downey's torture and the name of John Kilbride in a notebook, as well as a photograph of Hindley standing on top of the shallow grave where John was buried.

Brady's Imprisonment

Ian Brady spent 19 years in a mainstream prison before he was declared insane in 1985 and sent to a mental hospital. He confessed to two more murders in 1987 and has since made it clear that he never wants to be released from prison. The trial judge had recommended that his life sentence should mean life, and successive Home Secretaries have agreed with that decision. The only person to make a different judgement was Lord Chief Justice Lane, who set a 40-year minimum term in 1982. A House of Lords ruling which stripped the Home Secretary of his power to set tariffs on life sentences could lead to Brady being released in 2006, but he still insists he never wants to be freed and has had to be force fed since going on hunger strike in 1999.

The Gates of Janus

In 2001, Feral House, an underground publishing house based in Portland, published Brady's book, The Gates of Janus in which he examines the cases of a number of serial killers (including Peter Sutcliffe, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy) and theorizes how to catch them. He also investigates the nature of good and evil, morality, and human depravity. He did not, however attempt to look into the nature of his own crimes. The book offers graphic, subjective detail of some of modernity's most notorious crimes. If the philosophical views expressed in this book were written by a recognized academic in the field, they would be respected as learned and intellectual. The fact that Mr. Brady himself has killed for some is enough to dismiss the book as a psychotic ranting, but it remains a very astute observation that should receive a more even examination. It features an introduction by noted criminologist and occult author, Colin Wilson and a postward by infamous lustmord author and social critic, Peter Sotos.



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