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Ever wanted to read a rather mundane letter written by an infamous serial killer to get a great insight into who they really were? Well, you're in luck. This week, it’s the turn of Myra Hindley, one half of the infamous Moors Murderers with Ian Brady, who raped, tortured and murdered five children, and buried their bodies in shallow graves, denying their grieving parents any peace, resolution, answers or even a proper burial. Having shown no regret nor remorse, The Moors Murderers have since the early 1960’s been regarded as two of the vilest and most hated people in Britain… and they remain so, for good reason.
So, it seems almost ironic that we read a card, with a very twee William Morris design featuring a lovely landscape of flowers and mosses, sent by Myra Hindley from HMP Highpoint Prison to an unidentified friend called Mark, on 15th February 1999, where she laments the Christmas’ of the past. If you own an incredibly small violin, be prepared to play it.
“Dear Mark. I did hope to write to you now before to thank you for your kind card and thoughtful gift sent just before Christmas. Unfortunately I had a prolonged bout of gastro-enteritus (also known as “the squits, the plops and the shits”) which left me feeling tired and lethargic, and I’m now attempting to catch up with neglected correspondence. (Hopefully, she remembered to wash her hands).
Christmas seems like a century ago, but it wasn’t bad, three of us spent it together – with very little worth watching on TV but we watched a few videos and the food was nicer than usual. (Ah that’s nice)
I remember years and years ago in Holloway Prison, how we were half-starved for about three months before Christmas whilst the kitchen officer saved up for Christmas meals – which were lavish (ooh), and thus so much was wasted and thrown away – we could have fed the pensioners for miles around – and we were half-starved for weeks afterwards because he over spent his budget! (Or, maybe they could have sent it to… oh I dunno, an orphanage? You know? As a nice gesture).
I hope Rachel yourself are both as well as you can be. I always remember you and your family in my prayers, and asked to be remembered in yours. (Yup, I’m sure it’s number one on God’s to do list – pray for Myra Hindley). My former priest – Bert White – is due to return from a visit to India. I had a postcard from his last week, telling me that because of the recent spate of extremists (oh, you know, those bad people who kill the innocent) he’s taken to wearing a turban.
Once again, thank you for your gift, which was much appreciated (hopefully it was a detailed map of Saddleworth Moor, a marker pen and five self-addressed envelopes addressed to her victim’s families, but I doubt it). When you feel like it, drop me a line and tell me how you are doing, and meanwhile I send you my best wishes as always. Myra”.
Ah, poor Myra, she’s had so many awful Christmas in prison. I hope you remember that when you’re next tucking into your turkey, scoffing down spuds and pilling into the Christmas pud’? And before you ask, yes, that was sarcasm. A lot of it.
If you found this interesting? Check out the Mini Mile episodes of the Murder Mile UK True-Crime Podcast, or click on the link below to listen to an episode.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London”, nominated "one of the best true-crime podcasts at the British Podcast Awards 2018", and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 50 deaths, over just a one mile walk
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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