Wednesday, 22 August 2012

One Woman Who David Cameron Should Insist Is Recognised By The Honours Committee

Tragic: Keith's mother Winnie on Saddleworth Moor, where her son is believed to be buried. She died at the weekend without ever knowing the truth

Winnie Johnson died at the weekend.  She spent 57 years struggling to find the grave of her eldest son Keith Bennett.

Keith vanished in 1964 and is the only one of Brady and Hindley's victims whose body has never been recovered.

The past couple of days there have been TV documentaries about the sadistic actions of Brady and Hindley and have been broadcast with the permission of Mrs Johnson's family.

Mrs Johnson deserved a knighthood for her complete dedication to finding her first born, yet politicians give them to their pals.

Brady continues, after 16 years, to be force fed in prison.  In the Channel 4 documentary his 'advocate' stated he wished to die yet the courts denied his request. Why should he be in a position to challenge the courts for his rights when he refused to give Mrs Johnson her right to know the tomb of her son?

Some say Brady doesn't deserve to live.  Perhaps not.  But if he suffers a fraction of the pain these children did at his - and Hindley's - hands, then I'm quite content to have my tax contributions used in this way.

My thoughts are with the victims' families who are enduring a lifetime of grief and for Mrs Johnson her grief was never alleviated.

Our society is losing values day by day and spending millions of pounds for Ian Brady to continually challenge the legal system is obscene.  The money could have been better spent on digging up the whole of Saddleworth Moor to find the tomb of Keith.

May Mrs Johnson eventually rest in peace and her courage never forgotten.


Anonymous said...


RMcGeddon said...

Sad story SR.
Ms Johnson may have been awarded a knighthood ( the equivalent is a Dame for a lady )but we won't know until the 1st of January when they are announced. They can't be awarded posthumously but if she was offered one and accepted it before she died then it can still be awarded.

Hamish said...

Sad story indeed, but with respect, I don't understand the insistence that there can be 'closure' only if the body is found and given a Christian burial.
The only justification for continuing this and similar investigations is if there is the slightest chance that Keith is still alive

subrosa said...

Thanks Rightwinggit.

subrosa said...

I doubt if she's even been considered RM. Can't some honours be awarded posthumously?

subrosa said...

Hamish, this is about belief and emotion. Mrs Johnson obviously believed that Keith would only rest in peace if he had a Christian burial. That's her right to believe that.

It's not so long ago, when this was a Christian country, that murderers, suicides etc weren't entitled to be buried with others.

Also there's the power aspect that Brady still has over her family. Finding Keith's body would destroy his sick attitude.

RMcGeddon said...

From what I've read about honours SR they can only be issued posthumously if the person accepted before they died. Military honours are different though and as you know are regularly issued posthumously.

subrosa said...

Ah, stupid me not to do some research RM. I did think that, as military honours were issued posthumously that there would be provision for such with civilians.

Edward Spalton said...

I cannot help thinking that the death penalty, which Brady only just escaped because of the time of his trial and conviction, would have given closure to this unfortunate lady. It would certainly have removed Brady's ability (with the aid of the press) to keep reawakening the memories.

There was a murder in Derby a little later where the police investigation was at least as scandalously bungled as the Stephen Lawrence case - but the victim, Lynn Siddons, was white and did not attract same the publicity.

For thirty years or so, Flo Siddons, the girl's grandmother persisted in pursuing the case and was eventually able to gain a judgement for damages in the civil courts against the murderer "on the balance of probabilities" rather than "beyond all reasonable doubt" as required in a criminal trial. This eventually led to the police reopening the case and obtaining a conviction. I met Flo Siddons a couple of times and she was a pleasant but very formidable lady.

She had a great deal of help from her MP, Philip Whitehead (Lab) who continued to help her long after he had left Westminster and become an MEP. He and I frequently crossed swords, as Philip was a true believer in the EU project. He was one of the few politicians that I have really liked. His death was a loss to public life. He had earned golden opinions from all sides as a constituency MP.

I really don't see what sort of honour or official recognition is available posthumously to the unfortunate lady in this case.

subrosa said...

Yes he missed it by around six months I think Edward.

Very pleased to hear of an MP who did his duty seriously.

All I was thinking of was some way Mrs Johnson's courage could be marked.

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