Moors Murderer Myra Hindley wrote to the mother of one of her victims claiming it was ‘deeply upsetting’ to be described as evil.
The notorious killer tried to downplay the seriousness of her crimes in an attempt to persuade families to drop a campaign against her release from prison.
In a previously unseen letter, she tells Ann West – the mother of her ten-year-old victim Lesley Ann Downey – that she was ‘not what I was all those years ago’.
"I know almost everyone describes me as cold and calculating – “evil Myra” – but I ask you to believe that I find all this deeply upsetting," she wrote from jail. Hindley and her lover Ian Brady were responsible for the murders of five children in the 1960s.
The victims were sexually tortured and buried on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.
Hindley was jailed for life in 1966 for the murders of Lesley Ann and Edward Evans, 17, plus being an accessory to the murder of 12-year-old John Kilbride by Brady.
In 1987, Hindley and Brady confessed to murdering Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, 12.
Seven months later she wrote to Mrs West, expressing her ‘deep regret and remorse for all the pain and heartache’ she had caused.
Hindley said Mrs West was ‘quite rightly fighting so hard against my release from prison’ but said she realised ‘release from prison is no longer a practical reality’.
“I have written to the Home Office and the Parole Board to say I do not wish to be considered for parole in 1990, and my own belief is that I shall probably remain in prison until I die.”
It soon emerged that the letter was a manipulative attempt to try to stop Mrs West from blocking her release.
Within years of the note, Hindley launched another application to be granted parole, which was refused in 1994.
Hindley died in prison in 2002.
Hindley and Brady abducted Lesley Ann from a fairground on Boxing Day in 1964 and took her to their house in Hattersley, Manchester.
A tape recording and photos they took to capture Lesley Ann’s final moments were the most damning evidence against Hindley during her trial.
However, in the letter to Mrs West, Hindley attempts to play down her role. She wrote: ‘Please believe me – not for my sake, but simply in the hope that it will give you even a little peace of mind, that however monstrous and unforgivable the crime was, your child was not tortured to death.’
Ian Fairley, a police officer who worked on the initial investigation, told the programme of his horror at having to play the tape to Mrs West so she could identify her daughter: ‘I think it almost broke her and I can tell you now that it broke me,’ he said.