Bullet shells matching the gun of killer Ian Brady have been found on the moors where he committed his murders.
An investigator aiming to find the body of fourth victim Keith Bennett believes the finding is a key clue in how he died.
Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley killed five children between July 1963 and October 1965 and the remains of all but one victim have been recovered and buried.
Tragic 12-year-old Keith vanished in June 1964 and Hindley later claimed that Brady had strangled him to death after sexually assualting him.
But 53 years later, the truth behind his death is still a mystery as the body was never found during extensive searches of Saddleworth Moor.
His mum Winnie Johnson continued to search for her son’s body until she passed away in August 2012.
Now, investigator Darren Rae, who has spent the past 16 years investigating Keith’s disappearance, claims the youngster was shot dead by evil Brady and Hindley.
He told the Mirror that he thinks he is close to finding the body. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/moors-murders-bullets-finally-found-10049070?service=responsive
The bullet cases turned up as part of another painstaking search of Saddleworth Moor.
Darren, who has exchanged letters with Brady which he insists will help him find the child, said: “I have no doubt that Brady shot Keith.
“He wanted to know what it felt like to shoot someone. That’s why he took Keith to such a remote location. The bullet shells I found are a match for the handgun used by Brady and Hindley.
“It is possible Keith’s body may still hold the two bullets that can be matched to the shell casings I found.
“It is a really sad and tragic case, but I know I am so close to solving it. I want to bring some closure to Keith’s family. The ultimate aim is to find his body.
“I believe Brady broke his established modus operandi and took Keith to such a remote location. The previous victims were all found in relatively close proximity to one spot, Hollin Brow Knoll.
“But the big question has always been why did Hindley confess to taking Keith to a totally different location. I believe that’s because Brady wanted to shoot someone, so went somewhere they wouldn’t be seen or heard or disturbed.”
Darren discovered two casings for a Smith and Wesson revolver, the type of weapon Brady owned.
Darren contacted bullet maker Speers in the US who confirmed the two he believes were used to kill Keith had been distributed in the north west in the mid-60s.
He added: “I’ve seen documented evidence from Brady and Hindley in the 1960s and 80s where they talk about wanting ‘more time’ with the next victim, and that was Keith.
“Brady had sick fantasies about shooting someone.”
None of the other bodies found in the Moors murders case had any gunshot wounds.
Darren took his evidence to the police, but was told they didn’t have the resources to start a new search unless they received precise information about Keith’s location.
Brady and Hindley were jailed for life in May 1966 over the murders of Lesley Ann Downey, 10, Edward Evans, 17, and John Kilbride, 12.
In 1985, the pair admitted killing Keith and 16-year-old Pauline Reade. Hindley died in 2002 behind bars.
Darren’s evidence will be documented in a book he is writing called Finding Keith? The Definitive Investigation into the Moors Murders.