An Athlone native has told of his dramatic escape from the clutches of Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
Notorious killers Brady and Hindley were convicted of murdering five children between 1963 and 1965. The bodies of three of their victims were found in graves dug on Saddleworth Moor in England. Brady died in a “secure mental hospital” this week at the age of 79. Hindley died in 2002.
Tommy Rattigan was a seven-year-old boy who was begging in a park in Manchester one day in 1963 when, he claims, he was approached by Brady and Hindley.
Rattigan, now aged 61, told Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk on Tuesday that he was born in “the army barracks” in Athlone in 1955. His family moved to Manchester when he was about five years of age.
The family were extremely poor and the children regularly had to beg for food and money. On one such occasion the young Tommy Rattigan was approached by Myra Hindley. According to Tommy, Hindley lured him to a house while Ian Brady followed from a distance. On arriving at the house the young Irish boy was given food and initially had no fears for his safety.
However, after a short period of time he became nervous and, when an opportunity arose, he fled through a window.
Mr. Rattigan recalled this week that he had become 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.”
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.”