Moors murder grave is reopened and victim reburied after body parts scandal

Moors murder victim Pauline Reade is being buried for the second time today after some of her body parts were kept by police for 30 years.

Today her jaw bone, and hair samples, were reunited with her remains.

They, along with items of clothing that were returned to the family only this summer, were placed in a velvet bag which niece Jackie Reade passed to a funeral director at the graveside.

Pauline was murdered by notorious killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley at the age of 16 on July 12, 1963.

Her body was discovered 24 years later in 1987 following a search of Saddleworth Moors.

Following the death of Ian Brady in May this year an audit was carried out and some of her remains were discovered at Leeds University where they had been kept on behalf of Greater Manchester Police, the Manchester Evening News reports.

In 1987 13-year-old Jackie held her mother and grandma’s hands as her aunt was laid to rest.

She was pictured in white socks, and black skirt, paying her respects with her family, on a cold, rain-drenched day, as Pauline was buried at Gorton Cemetery.

Now she has returned to see her aunt laid to rest for a second time in the same plot.

Pauline’s grave is a family plot and her mother, Joan, father, Amos, and brother, Paul, who all died after her lie in the same place.

To bury Pauline’s remains four licences were required from the Ministry of Justice to move the bodies of all family members.

Among the items reunited with Pauline were the white stiletto shoes she was wearing, a necklace, pendant, a button, and piece of material from her coat.

One of the stilettos was discovered first protruding from peat when her body was discovered on the moors.

Jackie and other members of her family arrived at Gorton cemetery at around 8am for the emotional ceremony on Monday.

Pauline was Brady and Hindley’s first victim. The pair went on to kill another four children aged 10 to 17.

Her body was not found until 1987 after a three-month search of Saddleworth Moor.

It was discovered just inches below the surface in peat, 250 yards from a main road on July 1.

Jackie, 45, told the Manchester Evening News: "This last year has been the worst time of my life. I just wanted to put Pauline, finally at rest. We thought she was, then found out the awful truth.

"Having to do this has brought all the pain and emotion back – including the loss of my dad, Paul, who is buried in that plot.

"I know Pauline will be at rest, but the answers that I want I can never get. Why they took her body parts and her clothing and why they were kept for so long.

"The police turned round and said they don’t know. I am fuming that they were retained, no consideration, no respect."

Pauline disappeared before Jackie was born but she was 13 when her body was found and remembers her family’s pain.

Each week Jackie went with Pauline’s mum Joan to lay a single rose on her grave.

"I remember the day they found Pauline’s body. My mam, Linda, told me. I remember saying ‘have they really’ and she said ‘yes’.

"Then I went straight to my nana’s to make sure it was true. My nana, Joan, said ‘yes they have found my baby’.

"We had a cry and put our arms around each other. Grandad Amos was sat in the chair. He never said much, but he showed emotion. He looked, nodded, and there was the start of a tear in his eye, and he said ‘we have got her back’."

Today Jackie was laying multi-coloured roses on the grave after all four bodies were placed back in the plot.

"My nana and I used to lay red ones because she used to have rose bushes in her back garden, and she would clip some off for the grave."

Peter Hall, head of civil litigation for Tranters Solicitors of Stockport, who has represented Jackie, said: "In September 2017 the police wrote to the family indicating that they had body samples relating to Pauline Reade.

"When the body parts were returned in November 2017 we requested return of Pauline’s shoes and jewellery.

"Those items were returned by GMP nine months later without warning or explanation. Why those items were not returned earlier with the body samples we do not know .

"The effect was to prolong the distress to the family in what has proven to be a very unwelcome reminder of the upsetting circumstances of Pauline’s death.

"There has been no proper explanation from GMP who would have cooperated with the police human tissue audit between 2010 and 2012.

"That audit should have identified the human tissue relating to Pauline. So the return of the body samples and personal items seems to be connected with other matters and the only significant recent event was Brady’s death in May 2017.

"This prompts a further question – why was that individual, if he had not done enough already, allowed by GMP to cause further misery to the family of Pauline Reade?"

GMP has paid for the cost of the exhumation and reburial of the bodies.

The force said last year they had become aware that human tissue belonging to Pauline had been stored in external premises on behalf of GMP.

The samples, they said, were originally held for investigative purposes.

Martin Bottomley, Head of GMP’s Cold Case Unit said: “This is a deeply sensitive matter and understandably it has caused some upset with the family however, we felt contacting them was the right thing to do and we have given them a number of options, all of which GMP will pay for."

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