David Smith, the former brother-in-law of Myra Hindley, a chief prosecution witness in the trial of the infamous Moors Murders has passed away. He lived in Oughteraud, Galway, for 30 years.
Smith grew up in the same area as Myra Hindley and married her younger sister Maureen. He also developed a friendship with Ian Brady, and became a key witness to one of the pair’s best known crimes.
The Moors Murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in the area now known as Greater Manchester, England. They murdered five children between the ages of 10 and seventeen - John Kilbride (12), Lesley Ann Downey (10), Pauline Reade (16), and Keith Bennett (12). Four of them were sexually abused.
The bodies were buried in Saddleworth Moor but the body of Keith Bennett has never been located. The 12-year-old disappeared on his way home from his grandmother’s home in Longsight.
Forty-five years later, in a book called “Witness: The Story of David Smith, Chief Prosecution Witness in the Moors Murders Case” Smith explained the horror he had seen in October 1965 when he witnessed Brady beating 17-year-old Edward Evans to death with an axe.
He explained that despite being petrified by the pair he knew he had to report them to the police.
“I wanted to do the right thing, and that was the only thing to do…I knew that as soon as I walked out of the door,” Smith said.
At the time, Smith explained that he and his wife, Maureen, and her sister, Myra Hindley, and Ian Brady would spend evenings together drinking, listening to music and chatting in their homes in Manchester.
He said that he had discussed robberies and murder with Brady but he never thought of it as more than a joke.
He said, “There was no indication whatsoever. He was a slightly eccentric friend. That's all.”
However, one night Smith walked Hindley home where he witnessed the murder of teenager Edward Evans.
While the Moors Murders went to court Hindley and Brady both tried to convince the courts that Smith had also been involved. Many believed them.
In the book “Witness” Smith describes being beaten by strangers and having women spit at his baby son in the street.
At the age of 64, Smith decided he needed to have this book written to set the record straight for his grandchildren.
He also said, “People put this aura around Brady that he doesn't deserve…He's a pedophile. He's a child murderer. He's a coward. Brady's nothing."
Brady is a prisoner in Ashworth Hospital, the high security psychiatric unit in Maghull, Merseyside. Hindley died in prison in November 2002, aged 60.
Here’s David Smith speaking about his relationship with Myra Hindley and Ian Brady: