Brady, Ian 1938-
BRADY, Ian 1938-
PERSONAL: Born Ian Steward, January 2, 1938, in Glasgow, Scotland.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Feral House, P.O. Box 13067, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
CAREER: Career criminal and convicted murderer, odd jobs, and author.
SIDELIGHTS: Ian Brady was a troubled youth who grew up enamored with Nazi memorabilia and who became a serial sexual molester and murderer for a short period during 1963 to 1965. Captured with his girlfriend and accomplice, Myra Hindley, Brady was convicted on May 6, 1966, of sexually molesting, torturing, and murdering two children and a teenager. The couple became known as the "Moors Murderers" and the "Monsters of the Moors" for disposing of the bodies in nearby moors. Sentenced to life in prison, Brady resurfaced in the British consciousness when The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and Its Analysis was published in 2001. In the book, Brady focuses on the psychology and sociology of serial killing, and then profiles several serial killers. He offers no apologies for his own crimes.
Brady was born Ian Steward and raised by foster parents in the economically depressed districts of Glasgow, Scotland. By age nine, Brady was reportedly torturing animals, and in 1952, around the age of fourteen, Brady was arrested on housebreaking and theft charges. Over the next several years, Brady continued his housebreaking crimes, receiving two years' probation in 1954. Brady's stepfather, Patrick Brady, landed his son a job at a fruit market, but Brady stole boxes of bananas and was remanded to a juvenile facility for two years.
After his release, Brady returned home to live with his stepparents in Manchester. He began to drink heavily, but finally got a job with a chemical distributing firm. He met nineteen-year-old Myra Hindley on the job. Hindley was infatuated with Brady and pursued him. The two became lovers, and Brady continued his fascination with Nazism, reading Mein Kampf and having Hindley bleach her hair blond and dress in high, black leather, Nazi-style boots. Before long, Brady was also trying to sell pornographic pictures of himself and Hindley.
On July 12, 1963, Brady and Hindley, after living together for less than a month, kidnapped sixteen-year-old Pauline Reade. They also kidnapped twelve-year-old Keith Bennett on June 16, 1964, and ten-year-old Lesley Ann Downey on December 26, 1964. In Downey's case, the duo both photographed and recorded their rape and torture of the child. On October 6, 1965, Brady brought seventeen-year-old Edward Evans back to his home and killed him in front of his brother-in-law David Smith. Smith was terrified, and he returned home and called police. Brady and Hindley were arrested the next day, and both received life sentences for their crimes. In November, 1986, Brady also confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett.
Despite the intervening years, outrage arose soon after the public discovered that Brady had written a book that was going to be published. The book appeared in some British book stores in August, 2001. Brady and Colin Wilson, the British true-crime author who wrote the book's introduction, were almost immediately served an injunction to prevent the sale and distribution of the book. The injunction was taken out by Ashworth Hospital, where Brady was being held. Officials said that hospital staff had to check the book to make sure it did not breach doctor-patient confidentiality.
However, The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and Its Analysis touches little on Brady's own case and wrongdoings. On September 28, 2001, a British High Court judge ended the effective ban on the book's publication. At the time, Bill Godber, managing director of Turnaround, which helped distribute the book, said in Bookseller, "It would be foolhardy to suggest that we weren't expecting considerable controversy over this title, but we have a firm commitment to free speech, and the reaction from the trade to date has indicated that booksellers are equally committed."
As for Wilson, he wrote an article in London's Sunday Times saying that although he was "disappointed" with the first part of the book, which focuses on arguments about society and corruption, he thought the part in which Brady profiles serial killers such as John Gacy and Ted Bundy showed "insights that would have made him a good detective." Wilson also noted, "I admit that the book is highly disturbing. We are so accustomed to reading about crime from the point of view of the criminologist that it can be upsetting to learn about killers from somebody who declines to condemn them."
Reviewer Jennie James wrote in Time International, "Perhaps the real surprise about this book . . . is that it has sold enough copies to warrant a reprint." Other reviewers, however, found that Brady could write and that he did have a story to tell. In American Book Review, Anneli Rufus thought the first chapters dull but noted that the serial killer crime stories were written with a less ponderous prose. "This change is a breath of fresh air, and readers hardy enough to have made it this far reap a prize unlike any other in the genre," wrote Rufus. "Like a modern-day incarnation of Milton's Satan, Brady delivers a discourse that is twisted, self-serving, and strangely persuasive," wrote Stephen Lemons for Salon. Lemons also noted that "Brady's writings, as macabre and vengeful as they are, cannot be easily dismissed, even for those who find them repulsive and repugnant. They offer a unique moral lesson, a glimpse into the abyss of a damned soul as well as an illustration of the reductio ad absurdum of the moral relativism Brady espouses."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Book Review, September-October, 2002, Anneli Rufus, review of The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and Its Analysis, pp. 23-24.
Booklist, December 1, 2001, Mike Tribby, review of The Gates of Janus, p. 611.
Bookseller, August 17, 2001, "Moors Murderer to Write Book," p. 7; September 14, 2001, "Turn Around on Brady Book," p. 9; September 28, 2001, "Brady Ban Lifted," p. 6.
Independent (London, England), August 24, 2001, Steve Boggan, "Ian, Myra and Me," p. S1.
Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2001, review of TheGates of Janus, p. 58.
Sunday Times (London, England), November 25, 2001, Colin Wilson, "My Friend Ian Brady Has Something to Tell You," p. NR7.
Time International, March 4, 2002, Jennie James, review of The Gates of Janus, p. 68.
BBC News,http://news.bbc.co.uk/ (March 10, 2000), Bob Chaundy, "Ian Brady: A Fight to Die."
Salon,http://www.salon.com/ (January 3, 2002), Stephen Lemons, review of The Gates of Janus.*