Manchester

Ian Brady: How Tommy Rhattigan escaped Moors Murderers

Tommy Rhattigan Image copyright Mirrorpix
Image caption Tommy Rhattigan was enticed back to Myra Hindley's grandmother's house with the promise of a jam sandwich

A man has recalled how he escaped the clutches of the Moors Murderers with Myra Hindley grabbing him by the foot as he fled a house they lived in.

Tommy Rhattigan was aged seven when he was approached by Ian Brady and Hindley in a Manchester park as he was begging.

The killers lured him to Hindley's grandmother's house in the city, with the promise of a jam sandwich.

Mr Rhattigan said he went to the house in 1963 but fled through a window after sensing "something was not right".

He said he was later dubbed "the one that got away" by the media, but believed there were many children like him.

"I'm just fortunate that I was streetwise or something. I just knew there was something not quite right about this," he said.

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Mr Rhattigan described arriving at the house, where Brady put his hand on his shoulder to "steer me in".

At first he did not feel anything was wrong, but said he started to feel "uncomfortable" and "isolated" when he was left sitting alone with the sandwich.

Image copyright Mirrorpix
Image caption Tommy Rhattigan said he began to feel "uncomfortable" and "isolated" in the company of the couple

"When we did get back [to the house, Brady] disappeared into the kitchen and never came out again. He stayed in the kitchen all the time," Mr Rhattigan told the BBC.

"One of the things [Hindley] wanted to know was where I came from. I just rambled my address off. She seemed quite surprised by that as she turned to Brady and called 'the lad's from Hulme'.

"He told her to hurry up. She said 'You look hungry'. I said yes, as the invite for the jam butty was very enticing."

Mr Rhattigan said he became more disturbed after hearing "mutterings in the kitchen" and Brady swearing at Hindley. It was then he decided to flee.

"She actually grabbed my foot as I went out. She shouted. But my momentum had already taken me. I was gone. She couldn't hold me," said Mr Rhattigan, who has written a book about his experiences

Image copyright Mirrorpix
Image caption Tommy Rhattigan has documented his experiences in a book

"Knowing what I know now I'm just so grateful that my intuition had kicked in.

"I wasn't hurt. I wasn't injured in any way. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Asked if he believed there were just five victims he said: "No, 100% I don't. I truly believe that. There's more than one that got away."

On learning of Brady's death, he told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I was actually stunned. I had a lot - a lot - of mixed emotions, a heavy heart, and the reason why I had a heavy heart is because his time's up, he's gone, but the families of the victims are still here."

In 2000, he wrote to Brady because he felt "really sorry" for the mother of victim Keith Bennett and wanted Brady to tell her where her son's body was buried.

She died in 2012 without knowing his final resting place.

The killer wrote back, telling him he and Hindley were "quite ordinary and not dripping blood".