The impact of a murder to family and friends is truly devastating. The trauma is made even worse when the victims can't be found, and their killer refuses to reveal their location. Grieving families deserve closure, and the victims laid to rest, yet these cruel and controlling criminals decided to remain close-lipped all the way to their graves. Is all hope lost, ever finding out what happened?
Ian Brady (2 January 1938-15 May 2017)
One of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, Ian Brady, was jailed for life in 1966 along with his lover Myra Hindley. The pair tortured and killed five children but one of their victims, 12-year-old Keith Bennett, was never found. Keith’s mother, Winnie Johnson, fought tirelessly to find him, but she died in 2012, having never been able to lay her son to rest. Hindley died in 2002 and Brady died of cancer aged 79, at a secure psychiatric unit in May 2017 . It has emerged that police pleaded with terminally-ill Brady to reveal where Keith was buried before it was too late. Now hopes of finding Keith’s remains are slim.
Bruce Burrell (25 January 1953 – 4 August 2016)
Bruce Burrell was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for the 1997 kidnapping and murder of Sydney mother Kerry Whelan, 39. Two years later, he was sentenced to 28 years for the murder of Dorothy Davis, 74. The conviction became one of Australia’s most infamous crimes. After extensive searches, neither of his victims were ever found, with Burrell refusing to reveal the location of his victims’ bodies. Dorothy’s daughter Maree Dawes spoke outside court, saying: ‘no verdict can ever give us the peace that we so desperately crave. It will only be when we bring her home and bury her with the dignity she deserves.’ Bernie Whelan, the wife of Kerry pleaded, ‘The thing that we would like to see most if for him to tell us where they are.’ Sadly Mr Whelan died in 2015 without being able to lay his wife to rest. Bruce Burrell died in prison on 4 August 2016, aged 63, from lung and liver cancer, taking his secrets to the grave.
Anthony John Allen (11 June 1934 – 8 August 2015)
Anthony John Allen was jailed for life in 2002 for the 1975 murders of his wife Patricia and their two young children Jonathan, 7, and Victoria, 5. Their bodies were ever found with Allen denying the murders. Allen, previously convicted of bigamy after faking his own death, never reported his family missing and claimed his wife had left him. Sentencing Allen, the judge said: ‘Your success in disposing of the bodies very nearly thwarted the long arm of the law. You kept your terrible secret, but the wild improbability of the accounts you have given and your characteristic dishonesty have rightly convinced the jury that there is no possible explanation for their disappearance other than you murdered them.’ He died in 2015, aged 81, from a stroke while in Guys Marsh prison. It is believed he dumped his family’s bodies at sea, but only Allen knew the truth.
Leslie Bailey (February 1953 – October 1993)
In 1964, 11-year-old Mark Tildesley disappeared after visiting a funfair near his home in Wokingham, Berkshire. He was raped and killed by a London-based paedophile gang. Leslie Bailey was convicted of the boy’s manslaughter in 1992 after admitting to the crime. Mark’s bicycle was recovered nearby but no trace of him has ever been found. Bailey claimed member of the gang, Sidney Cooke, was involved with the murder and said he did not know where Cooke had buried the body. Bailey was strangled in his cell by two other inmates in 1993. Cooke has indicated he knows where the body is buried, but refuses to tell the police, or the boy’s family. Sadly both of Mark’s parents have died never knowing where their son was buried. Sue Jackson, a friend of Mrs Tildesley spoke of the brave mum saying ‘The most difficult thing was that Mark was never found even though someone was convicted. I think the hardest thing for Lavinia was never being able to have that closure.’