Laid to rest: Hundreds expected at funeral of Winnie Johnson, mother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett

By Helen Le Caplain

The funeral of Winnie Johnson, mother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett, will take place in Manchester today.

The 78-year-old widow died without fulfilling her lifelong wish to find her son’s makeshift grave on Saddleworth Moor and give him a proper Christian burial.

The 12-year-old was abducted and murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley – the only one of their five young victims whose body was never found.

Mrs Johnson had begged and pleaded with the killers for help in locating her son’s last resting place but to no avail.

The former hospital worker and mother of nine had suffered from cancer for a number of years and died in a hospice on August 18.

Her funeral will take place at St Chrysostom’s Church, in Victoria Park where Mrs Johnson was a regular parishioner and Keith attended Sunday School.

A private burial for family only will follow the service.

Keith was last seen by his mother in the early evening on June 16 1964 after he left home in Eston Street, Longsight, Manchester, on his way to his grandmother’s house nearby.

Brady and Hindley’s other victims were Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12 1963; John Kilbride, 12, who was snatched in November the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964, and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed to death in October 1965.

Hindley died in jail in 2002 aged 60. Brady, 74, is being held in Ashworth Hospital, a high-security mental health unit on Merseyside.

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