Just thirteen days after I was born, a twelve year-old child named Keith Bennett (left) was lured into a Mini pick-up by Myra Hindley and the youngster was driven to Saddleworth Moor where he was brutally murdered by Ian Brady.
Keith’s body has never been found and his mother Winnie Johnson spent the nextforty-eight years trying to find the location of her son’s grave to afford him a proper burial and bring some sort of closure to an unimaginable ordeal.
Winnie Johnson passed away yesterday without ever learning the truth...
I really don’t know how I feel about all of this... my first emotions were a mixture of sadness that Winnie died with nearly half a century’s worth of questions unanswered and admiration for the resolve, strength and undying love that Winnie displayed since her son was so callously robbed of his life.
But now I’m actually angry... angry that someone like Ian Brady believes he has the right not only to take an innocent life (in fact lives...), but subject those left behind to years of ritual mental torture. I’ve read that he has been diagnosed as criminally insane... so what? Should his mental state afford Brady the opportunity to live his full life, when that choice was denied to each of his victims?
I’m not going to get embroiled in a debate about the death penalty... there will be those who know far more about the ethics of the subject than I do... I just feel that morally (and I will admit to emotively as well), a prison term of whatever length simply didn’t (and doesn’t) fit the crimes. True, a death sentence would have denied Winnie Johnson the closure she craved (although “justice” may perhaps have been done)... but history will relate that she never got it anyway...
I guess it’s a moot point anyway, given our legal system, so I will return to Winnie Johnson... the remarkable Winnie Johnson. I’m not a particularly religious person, but God bless you Winnie... and if there is somewhere beyond this life where you and your son can be reunited, then I hope you can finally rest in peace...
All my own work... almost.