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The Moors Murders

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On the night of October 6th, 1956, the British police department received a call from a young man reporting the murder of a youth. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were a young British couple who found love through their peculiar childhood and « thrived » together through the past and its wounds. 

Ian, originally named Ian Duncan Stewart, was born on January 2, 1938, in Glasgow in foster care. In his teen years, he was heavily fascinated by Alfred Hitler and his ideologies. To say the least, Brady knew his Marquis de Sade better than anyone he had met.

Myra was born on July 23rd, 1942 in Crumpsall. She lived with her grandmother away from her parents. At eighteen, she took a job in an office in Manchester and became wildly infatuated with a tall, good-looking Scottish man in his early twenties. Eventually, they become lovers, and she was not too shocked to learn that he has been in prison, nor alarmed when he proposes that they embark on a criminal career, robbing banks.

In fact, this Bonnie and Clyde duo never comes about; instead, they decide on a more serious crime: Killing children; she lures them into the car, and later helps in the disposal of the bodies on Saddle worth Moor. The first Moors Murder, that of Pauline Reade, happened on July 12, 1963, a month after Brady had moved in with Myra at her grandmother’s house. The only information we have about the murder is from the confession of Myra Hindley in January 1987, when she finally decided to admit her guilt.

According to Myra, she picked up Pauline Reade, who was sixteen, and a friend of her sister Maureen, in a minivan. Pauline was on her way to a dance but agreed to go and look for an expensive glove which Myra claimed she had lost at a picnic on Saddle worth Moor. Myra offered her a pile of gramophone records in exchange. When they were on the moor for about an hour, Brady arrived on his motorbike and was introduced as Myra’s boyfriend. Brady and Pauline then went off to look for the glove, while Myra waited in the car. Later, Brady returned to the car and took her to Pauline’s body. Her throat had been cut, and her clothes were in disarray, indicating rape. They then buried the body with the spade that Myra had brought in the back of the van. 

Many books in the Moors Murder case imply that Brady’s attitude towards Myra was cold and manipulative. In fact, it seems that she was over-awed and fascinated by her lover. She declared later: « Within months he had convinced me there was no God at all: he could have told me the earth was flat, the moon was made of green cheese and the sun rose in the West, I would have believed him ». Within a fairly short amount of time, Myra had been indoctrinated. She was soon as enthusiastic as he was about the Nazis. From then on, it was only a small step to accepting the ideas of the Marquis de Sade, whose basic ideology is that violence and rape are the supreme pleasure.   

On Saturday, November 23, 1963, the couple drove to the small market town of Ashton-under-Lyne. A twelve-year-old boy named John Kilbride had spent Saturday afternoon at the cinema, then went to earn a few pences doing odd jobs at the market. It started to get dark and fog came down. At that moment, a friendly lady approached him and asked if he wanted a lift. It seemed safe enough, so he climbed in. It was the last time he was seen alive.

On June 16, 1964, twelve-year-old Keith Bennett set out to spend the night at his grandmother’s house in the Longsight district. When his mother called to collect him the following morning, she learned that he had failed to arrive. Like John Kilbride, Keith Bennett had accepted a lift from a kind lady. His body has never been found.   

On December 26, 1964, there was another murder. Like the others, this was planned in advance. Myra had arranged for her grandmother to stay the night with an uncle. At around six o’clock that evening, she picked up ten-year-old Lesley Ann Downey at a fair in Hulme Hall Lane.They took Lesley back to the house in Wardle Brook Avenue, and switched on a tape recorder. Myra was in the kitchen when she heard the child screaming. Brady was squeezing Lesley’s neck and ordering her to take off her coat. She was then made to undress and to assume various ‘pornographic’ poses while Brady photographed her. Lesley screams and demands to be allowed to go home. At this point, Hindley was ordered to go and run a bath; she stayed in the bathroom until the water became cold. When she returned, Lesley had been strangled, and there was blood on her thighs. The following day they took the body to the moors and buried it.   

On October 6,1956, Myra went to her sister’s flat to pay her a visit. Towards midnight, she asked David Smith, her sister’s boyfriend, to walk her home. As he stood waiting in foyer there was a scream from the sitting room, and Myra called,  »Dave, help him! » As Smith ran in, Ian Brady was hacking at the head of a teen boy who was lying on the floor. In spite of blow after blow, the young man continued to twist and scream. Finally, when he laid still, Brady pressed a cushion over his face and tied a cord around the throat to stop the noise.

The room had been cleaned up, and the body was carried upstairs in a plastic bag. The victim was seventeen-year-old Edward Evans, who had been picked up from a pub that evening. Scaredy Smith agreed to return with an old stroller the next day, and helped at the disposal of Edward Evans. When he arrived home, Smith was violently sick. When he told Maureen what happened, it was she who decided to call the police. The next morning, Ian was arrested alone due to lack of evidence. Going through the case and after recovering some photographs, the police found Myra’s involvement in the case, and she was eventually arrested. 

On the 6th of May 1966, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were both sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment.  Myra was sent to Holloway and Ian to Durham, however, they wrote consistently. Brady knew from the beginning that he would never be released from jail. On the other hand, Hindley felt there was a good chance of parole. In 1979, Myra wrote an open letter to the jury begging to be released which complicated the alienation between the two lovers. 

In fact, she claimed that she was brainwashed and blackmailed by him in order to help in the disposal of the bodies, and she stated that Brady alone was guilty of the murders and that she was merely his dupe. After consistent attempts, the jury found that Myra’s claims were untrustworthy and declined her proposal for parole. Also, Brady confessed to other murders that took place in Glasgow years before he met Myra. 

The Moors Murders Myra Hindley, a chain smoker, had experienced ill health for much of her 36 years behind bars, suffering from angina, strokes, and osteoporosis. She eventually passed away in November 2002. Ian Brady has died aged 79 at the high-security Ashworth Hospital in Merseyside. His health began to deteriorate a year earlier. Shockingly, his last provocative wish was for his cremated ashes to be scattered on the same moors where he killed and buried his victims, but the judge didn’t allow it. 

Written by: Razki Wassim and Sarra Barnoussi .

 

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Ghosts in the Mirror

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Deep down the mysterious continent of Asia, laden with centuries upon centuries of legends and stories to tell, lies the land of a thousand dynasties, China. The people of this land are known most for their vast seas of wisdom and spirituality. Their eyes look through the physical and value beauty on the purity of the soul and the mind, as we are going to see in the tears falling from the eyes of Zhong Kui, the King of Ghosts.

Bright minds are the spark of civilization yet no mind can shine brighter than Zhong Kui’s:

The hero of this story was a true genius, had the highest grades in his class, was the favorite of all his teachers, and was the teacher of all his classmates. A man of such talents deserves no less than the highest of honors and positions, and so was his thinking. Zhong Kui chose to apply for the imperial examination, to become an advisor of the king and do his part in the rising of his empire.

People in the imperial palace were astonished by Zhong’s brilliant answers and immediately invited him to assume his new position. The emperor, a pretentious man, all too pompous for the common folk was the type of man that wishes everything to be perfect and all too beautiful. He sat on his golden throne wearing the finest of his silk robes and a crown made of pure jade was resting on his head, waiting for our hero’s presence.

Zhong Kui finally arrived at the doors of the palace and presented himself to the guards who allowed his immediate entry. He could not be happier, but all of his joy sunk to the depths of the earth when he entered the emperor’s courtroom. The king gave the highest shriek when helaid his eyes on Zhong. He felt pure disgust as he looked upon our genius’ misshapen eyes and overgrown ears. He almost puked as he looked at our prodigy’s ragged clothes and dirty hair, and immediately expelled him from the palace vowing to never let something so horrendous sit on his imperial tables.

Zhong Kui wept his eyes dry as he left the presence of the emperor and walked with what he thought was shame until he reached the huge metal doors of the palace. Before leaving, he looked at his reflection on those doors and felt so much anger for the world that birthed him in such a fashion, and with so much rage and sadness building in his heart, he struck his head on the door, once, twice, and thrice, until his blood splattered all over it, and he kept beating on his brow until he fell on the ground dead, another victim of suicide.

Fortunately, his story does not end with his untimely death. As his soul traveled to the underground, it caught the eye of the King of Hell and fascinated by its purity, and sensing the talents of the new arrival. He knew that Zhong Kui was way too special to waste.

He honored him with a greater title than he could ever wish for in the emperor’s palace. He named him King of Ghosts and Hunter of Demons. Zhong was delighted and vowed to do right by his new duty, protecting all humans, including the emperor that caused him nothing but depression.

With plenty to take from between the lines of this tale, we can start with the fact that words are as sharp as swords and they can shred a soul to bits leaving a person broken, never to be repaired. There is no ugly, or hideous, there is only different. 

There are no two humans on this earth that look alike and that’s what makes being human beautiful. It’s okay to have features unlike those you see in the media and pictures of models, for those features are you and nothing is as pretty as your love for yourself. Beauty too can come in so many forms, and to the forces of nature, illustrated in this story by the King of Hell and God of Death, the most natural of all forces, nothing is more important than the beauty of your mind.

Superficiality is killed when the eyes are closed to let the ears hear the magnificent words coming out of your mouth, to understand the purity of your golden ideas, and to feel the true essence of what truly is you beneath the shell that might or might not be attractive by the common definition.

To wrap up the story of a prodigy and his unjust end, I advise each and every one of you to stand in front of a mirror and say that you are beautiful because if you accept it, no sword can scathe your soul. And you are not just beautiful because of what you look like, you are beautiful because of what you feel, because of what you think about when you steer away with your thoughts in public, you are beautiful because of what you love and what you cherish, because of the art that leaks like rainbows from your mind and most importantly, you are beautiful because you wake up and live every day to the fullest despite what the poison you hear from the people in your life.

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