Moors murderer Ian Brady has died at the age of 79, it has been confirmed.
Brady has been in high security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside receiving end-of-life care from nurses. He was suffering from untreatable cancer and emphysema.
Police said on Tuesday that the Moors Murders case will never be closed, despite Brady’s death.
His accomplice Myra Hindley died in prison in 2002 at the age of 60.
The pair killed and sexually tortured five children and teenagers in the 1960s: Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans.
Brady, from Glasgow, Scotland, who was jailed 51 years ago, refused to reveal where they had buried the body of Keith Bennett.
His victim’s mother, Winnie, died five years ago not knowing where her son was buried, despite years of campaigning.
His and Hindley’s four other victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines.
A spokesman for the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm a 79-year-old patient in long term care at Ashworth High Secure Hospital has died after becoming physically unwell.”
Serial killer expert Professor David Wilson tweeted:
Terry West, whose sister Lesley-Ann Downey was murdered aged ten in 1964, said:
“I poured myself a glass of wine when I found out – we’ve been waiting for this day for such a long time. It’s closure for our family.
“But I really feel for Keith Bennett’s brother Alan and the rest of his family – this probably means they’ll never know where his body was buried.
“He’s taken it to the grave. There’s still one poor kiddie up there on the Moors. My heart goes out to Alan – at least I’ve got somewhere that I can visit our Les, he hasn’t even got that.
“What Brady did will never be forgotten – it’s had such an effect on all our lives.
“I had to protect my children when they were growing up, I wouldn’t let them play out in the street.”
Terry Kilbride, whose brother John, 12, was murdered by Brady, said yesterday he hoped the killer “rots in hell”:
“We’ll certainly celebrate his death when it comes. Good riddance.”
The lovers’ first victim was 16-year-old Pauline Reade, a neighbour of Hindley’s, who disappeared on her way to a dance on 12 July 1963.
They would go on to kill four others; John Kilbride, 12; Keith Bennett, 12; Lesley-Ann Downey, 10 and Edward Evans, 17.
In 2016 Brady wrote to a Channel 5 journalist, claiming he was dying from a terminal lung and chest condition.
The killer has been force fed against his will through a tube in his nose after vowing to starve himself to death in jail in 1999 and in 2014 his mental health advocate said she believed he was showing signs of dementia.
Brady was jailed for life in 1966 for the murders of three children. Hindley was convicted of two of the murders and shielding Brady after another murder, and given a life sentence. She died in jail in 2002 aged 60.
Brady lost a legal bid to be transferred to a jail in 1985 on the grounds that he is mentally insane.