Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

Brother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett casts doubt on claims of renewed search for remains

Brother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett casts doubt on claims of renewed search for remains

| By Josh Willacy

The brother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett has questioned claims that a renewed hunt for his sibling's remains is set to begin.

Alan Bennett cast doubt over suggestions that police will once again begin to look for this brother through a message on his website www.searchingforkeith.com.

Keith is the only Moors Murder victim whose body has never been found. He was taken when he was 12, nearly 50 years ago on June 16, 1964.

Alan said: "There are reports of a search being conducted on the moor starting on June 16. Neither myself nor anybody connected with me or to me, professionally or otherwise, has anything to do with this.

"I believe it will go the same way as the other unofficial searches of the past and therefore is of no great importance or relevance and is being led by or following people with theories that have no real basis or evidence to back it up.

"No proper professional search of this area could be conducted without proper consultation and guidance from the people involved with past searches, those in possession of up to date and accurate locations and information regarding that area."

Police have spent five decades searching for Keith's remains making a last massive effort in 2008, scouring the moors using the latest technology.

After failing to locate his body they declared in 2009 that, without significant new information coming to light, the search had come to an end.

Professor John Hunter is an archaeologist who specialises in finding graves of missing people and advised the police, and personally led searches across Saddleworth Moor. 

He has claimed there is no other case in the UK of a missing person where police and other resources have been used so much and for so long after the event.

Despite the failure of official searches, this has not put off individuals or groups searching periodically on the moors.

Brady and his partner Hindley lured five children and teenagers to their deaths before sexually torturing them and burying them on Saddleworth Moor.

Keith was taken after going to visit his grandmother, 10-year-old June Ann Downey was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964 and Edward Evans, 17, was killed in October 1965.

Pauline Reade, 16, disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12, 1963 and John Kilbride, 12, was taken in November of the same year.

In 1966 Brady was jailed for life for the murders of John, Lesley Ann and Edward. Hindley was convicted of killing Lesley Ann and Edward and shielding Brady after John's murder, she was also given a life sentence.

In 1987 the pair finally admitted killing Keith and Pauline.

Hindley died in jail in November 2002 aged 60, while Brady is currently held at the high-security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside.

Keith's mother, Winnie Johnson, died in August 2012, after pleading in vain with Brady and Hindley to help searchers find his body.