THE family of Moors murder victim Keith Bennett have spoken out after Ian Brady's best pal died – taking to the grave what may have been the last hope of finding the youngster's hidden body.
Dr Alan Keightley, who was evil Brady's only friend and close confidant, died aged 79 following a seizure, The Sun can reveal.
The academic was monster Brady's only visitor and legal heir after forging a close relationship with the twisted child killer over 25 years.
It's believed Brady shared all his secrets with Dr Keightley, even telling him the location of where 12-year-old Keith Bennett, who went missing in 1964, was buried.
Now, speaking to The Sun through their lawyer, the Bennett family – including Keith's brother Alan – revealed how Keightley refused to help them or cooperate with police during his lifetime.
They also made a plea for any of Brady's documents or papers left behind by Keightley to be passed along to them or the police – as they may contain vital clues that could help finally end their years of anguish and find Keith's body.
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The family's lawyer John Ainley said: "My client Alan Bennett had asked Dr Keightley in the past for assistance before he died as it appeared that Ian Brady had confided in him.
"However he did not assist my client and it seems unlikely that any information will emerge following his death which will help Alan Bennett find Keith's body.
"My client also understands that Dr Keightley was interviewed by the police but refused to cooperate with them.
"My client has not received any assistance from him, and he felt that he might have had information having had contact with Mr Brady but that was not shared.
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"We would have wished Dr Keightley to be more helpful during his lifetime.
"Whether he has left any information behind to be passed to the family, remains to be seen.
"We would have wished Dr Keightley to be more helpful during his lifetime."
"Certainly there was no help during his lifetime, so that is a lead that may now well be lost.
"It's unfortunate. But as time passes and people who have had some information die, then it gets more difficult to hope that there's going to be information available to find Keith's body."
The Bennett family are anxious to get hold of any documents or recordings that Dr Keightley may have left behind – saying even the smallest bit of information may help piece the dots together and find Keith.
"Certainly my client and the police would be very interested in any material that might have been held by Dr Keightley and if that was made available the family would very much appreciate it," Ainley added.
"It's another route that is going to be lost to us if there's nothing forthcoming.
APPEAL FOR CLUES
"Any documents or papers that belonged to Ian Brady that were passed to Keightley it would be really helpful if they were handed over to the police or Alan Bennett.
"What we would say is that every piece of information could be important because unless you know the full background you may not identify important pieces of information, whereas the police and Alan Bennett have so much background on the case they might spot something is not significant to someone else but would mean something to them."
When contacted by The Sun, Greater Manchester Police would not disclose whether or not Keightley had refused to cooperate with them but said: "We would always encourage anyone with information to contact GMP."
Detectives in October 2022 had to stop a search for Keith's body after turning over 29.4 square miles of moorland and still not finding any human remains.
The decades-long mystery has tortured family members desperate to give their loved one a proper final resting place.
Brady and his lover Myra Hindley killed five children between 1963 and 1965, with most of them buried on Saddleworth Moor in the South Pennines.
In his final months, Dr Keightley suffered from severe dementia, his only moments of lucidity being when loving wife Joan visited daily.
'DESTROYED HIS MIND'
His wife Joan, 77, confirmed her husband's death but declined to comment further.
A source at a care home in Worcestershire where Dr Keightley spent his last few months, believes it was the years of listening to Brady’s evil bile that had "destroyed his mind".
The source said his wife had moved him to a new care home last week, so her husband could be closer to their family home in Dudley, West Midlands, during his final days.
“Alan had severe dementia, and had deteriorated to the point he didn’t know where he was," the source said.
"Nobody knew who he was or his history. It was a complete shock to be honest when I found out his connection to Ian Brady. It creeped me out.”
BRADY'S EVIL RANTINGS
The source added: “He was a pleasant man. It's hard not to think he ended up the way he was because of listening to Brady's evil rantings over the years.
“If he’s the only man Ian Brady was willing to speak to and God knows what he told him, it must have had a toll on his mental health."
A former head of religious studies at King Edward VI College, Stourbridge, Dr Keightley first came into contact with Brady at the behest of Ann West, the mother of Lesley Ann Downey, one of the victims of the Moors Murders.
Since that first visit in 1988, Keightley amassed thousands of hours of taped conversations and, with Brady’s consent and co-operation, these prison recordings were turned into the Moors Murderer’s autobiography.
He told reporters in 2017, when the book was published, that he passed on any vital information to the police.
When he was asked why they hadn’t yet found Keith’s body, he said: “Because they haven’t trusted him.”
"He phoned me every day and I put bets on horses for him."
Speaking of their friendship, Dr Keightley added: “You have to play it cool with him really, because his mood changes during the day.
"He phoned me every day and I put bets on horses for him."
Two briefcases belonging to Brady, that may also contain vital information in the search for Keith, are currently being held by the murderer's solicitor.
Police are trying to obtain the cases with the help of new powers given to law enforcement under a new bill.
Speaking about the briefcases, John Ainley told The Sun: "The police are making an application for the cases to be released but I don't know where that matter is at the present time as it is a new piece of legislation and consequently interpretation of that is not straightforward.
"So we are hoping that will be successful and the cases will contain something that is pertinent and help Alan Bennett and his search for Keith."
Brady died on May 15, 2017, with his official cause of death being cor pulmonale and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
His body was disposed of with no music or ceremony, a High Court Judge ruled.
Hindley was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Evans and Downey and sent to Holloway Prison.
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She died in jail in November 2002, aged 60, after suffering respiratory failure following a heart attack.
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