October 16, 2020: Lesley Ann Downey Found Dead
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Welcome to today in true crime a spotify original from podcast due to the graphic nature of today's crimes. Listener discretion is advised extreme caution is advised for listeners under thirteen. Today, we're covering the grisly end of the search for ten year old Leslie and. Let's go back to October Sixteenth Nineteen sixty-five to win eerie isolated place in northern England known as Saddleworth Moor. The Manchester Police spread out across Saddleworth a thirty mile expanse of hill country. They were determined to find Lesley Ann Downey and had strong reason to believe she was buried somewhere on the more unfortunately authorities had only discovered that information while investigating the murder of another youth named. Edward. The sudden break came under. Circumstances but it meant investigators finally had the chance to solve a mystery that had haunted Manchester and Leslie family for ten long months. Leslie was last seen on December twenty, six, nine, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, four boxing day in England the Brunette blue eyed ten year old lived in an apartment in Manchester with her mother three brothers and her mother's fiance shy polite. Leslie was likely in high spirits that day she'd gotten a toy sewing machine from Santa the morning before and there was no cause for post. Christmas blues. She was even going to a local holiday carnival with her neighbors and siblings her mother had given her a whole six pence to spend. The carnival was a winter wonderland, but by early evening Leslie was left alone at the fair. Some sources indicate that are friends had run out of money and gone home while others say she was left there by her older brother either way Leslie was defenseless as she strolled straight into the path of dangerous killer who upon first glance appeared just as innocent and wholesome as Leslie. Herself. A young woman in her twenties walked by Leslie that night dropping a bag onto the ground as she passed, she asked Leslie to help her pick it up and loaded in her car which the polite girl gladly. In the parking lot the woman asked if Leslie wanted to ride home, she allegedly accepted and the two drove off together. That was the last night. Anyone saw Lesley Ann Downey alive. When Lesley's mother and her future husband Alan realized the girl was missing they set off for the fairground to find her after having no luck there. They went to the police though Lesley's family held out. Hope as the officers mounted a search effort, the little girl would remain missing until. October nineteen, sixty five. That month Manchester Police received unsettling information from a traumatized young man named David Smith. He claimed that the night before he'd witnessed his sister in Law Myra Hindley and her boyfriend he and Brady brutally murder a teenager named Edward Evans. Ian Was a mentor to David and made him promise to return the next day to help them Berry Evans in Saddleworth more. But David went to the police instead leading officers to Ian. And Mira's home. After a search they discovered Edwards Body hacked to pieces by an axe by October eleventh, ESPN and Myra were in police custody. The couple's crime was horrific but David claimed it was only the tip of the iceberg Ian and Myra. Had told him that they had killed before. After searching the couples belongings, officers found photos of Saddleworth more along with a notebook page on which a single name was scribbled over and over John Kilbride. Kilbride was a twelve year old boy who had disappeared in November nineteen, sixty three now were certain that Ian and Myra had something to do with it. Continuing their search they soon found a suitcase. The couple had clearly taken pains to hide. It's likely officers were hoping to find a clue about Edward Evans or John kilbride inside but instead they found something much more disturbing. Pictures of Lesley Ann, Downey naked gagged, and tied to a bed police were horrified. It was clear that only Saddleworth Moor held the answers to their disturbing questions on October sixteenth nineteen, sixty, five, a search team was dispatched there. After hours of poking around the Moors Soft Pete and officer noticed the bone of a human arm sticking out of the ground. After a dig, he uncovered the decomposed body of a little girl. By the time the search was over the murder of Lesley Ann Downey would be cemented as one of the most terrifying crimes in British history. Up Next will learn the terrible truth about how Leslie died. 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There was also an audio tape and while authorities had to play it for Leslie's mother. So she could identify her daughter watching her listen to it must have been excruciating. The sixteen minute recording was taken on the Night Leslie disappeared December Twenty Sixth Nineteen, sixty, four on it Myra could be heard hitting a struggling leslie so that Ian could photograph her as the poor girl fought against her captors and their sadistic sexual torture Ian threatened to slit her throat throughout the audio of her assault little leslie leded for her mom. The tape was absolutely sickening and that's what prosecutors were counting on when they played it for shocked courtroom at Ian and Mirus trial in April nineteen, sixty six, the couple stood accused of murdering the three children whose bodies had been recovered Leslie, Edward Evans and Jason Kilbride kilbride's body was uncovered in the more just days after police found Leslie it was clear. He'd also been sexually assaulted before his death. Myra and Ian became objects of scorn and fascination for all of England after their arrests on the surface. The twenty-something lovers seemed like average office workers but investigators discovered that they were secretly not only sadists but even Nazi sympathizers. Myra. Lure children in by pretending to need help getting things to her car. It was exactly this tactic that allowed her to kidnap Lesley from the Boxing Day carnival. Afterward, she took the children back to Ian home where they were assaulted tortured and killed then buried on Saddleworth more. During an interrogation in Brady admitted to being the one who planned the murders Myra claimed she was innocent. She insisted that she was always in a different room when the real violence happened and that she was a helpless victim of ESPN's. Manipulation. Myra was somewhat convincing especially because in the nineteen sixties, nobody wanted to believe a nice young woman was really a child murderer but she had one major problem the sixteen minute recording of Leslie's torture and assault featured her as a key player. She sounded just as unhinged as IAN did. On May sixth, nineteen, sixty, six, almost eighteen months after Leslie's death Ian Brady and Myra. Hindley were found guilty both were given consecutive life sentences. Ian was convicted of all three murders with prosecutors were unable to find enough evidence to tie Myra to John Kilbride's death because of this, she would be eligible for parole after twenty five years in prison, and she fully intended to walk free. Throughout the nineteen eighties, Myra desperately tried to downplay her involvement in Lesley's murder. She wrote to Leslie's mother and West claiming that she never tortured the girl even though the audio evidence from the trial clearly contradicted her Leslie's family. Believe it was just mirrors attempt to curry public favor before parole hearings they remained firm in their conviction that Myra was a murderous monster just like her lover he n. In two, thousand, two changes in England's prison laws finally gave Myra a real chance at getting out of jail on parole. But before the change went into effect, she died of a chest infection on November fifteenth two thousand to. Be in Brady died fifteen years later at the age of seventy nine. The kidnapping assault and murder of Lesley Ann Downey was a wakeup call to nineteen sixties. England it showed an entire nation that no child was truly safe not even at a Christmas carnival mere blocks from their mother's house. What was especially scary too many was that Leslie's captors seemed just as innocent. They appeared to be a young couple in love who worked nine to five at least on most days. But every once in a while Ian Brady and Myra. Hindley's disturbing appetite stirred and innocent children paid the price. Thanks for listening today in true crime. I'm Vanessa Richardson. You can find all episodes of today in true crime and all other originals from podcast for free on spotify. We'll be back with a brand new episode tomorrow in. True. Crime today in true crime was created by Max Cutler is a podcast studios original. It is executive produced by Max Cutler sound designed by Juan Boorda with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly, madden, and Freddie Beckley. This episode of today in true crime was written by a mean Osman with writing assistance by terrel wells, I'm Vanessa Richardson. Remember to join Alistair murden every Thursday for the all new series haunted places. 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