MovieChat Forums > Longford (2006) Discussion > What was ON the tape?

What was ON the tape?


I watched the movie, and yes, I too, had my finger on the remote to change it if it was too much. But all I heard was her saying "shh". What was the conversation? I missed it.

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As far as I remember it was something like

"If you don't shh, i'll hit you one" or something, which is what Hindley said on the tape herself. And then it was her saying "stop it" and "shut up"

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I thought it was supposed to be a rape tape.

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It was a tape of Leslie Anne Downey while she was being held captive by Brady and Hindley. The sixteen-minute tape contains the voices of Brady and Hindley relentlessly cajoling and threatening the child, who is heard crying, retching, screaming, and begging to be allowed to return home safe to her mother.

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Hindley claimed in court that the child was trying to "Stop the scarf going in" explaining the poor child retching; it doesn't take much imagination as to what this disgusting pair were really up to.
Bear in mind that Myra hindley was the provocoteur in the tormenting of Lesley,anyone who heard it concurs, they could never have let her go after what took place.

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As far as I know what was on the tape was a transcribed (ie., copied) version of the recording take while Lesly Anne Downey was abused, raped & murdered. I once spoke to someone who clamed to have heard it at the time of the trial & it was completely awful. You get some impression of its contents from this program.

If the TV show is true & Longford did listen to it I hope he woke up the the huge mistake he'd made (unlikely). Pauline Reade was abudcted in Crumpsall, just a few miles away from where I lived at the time in Blackely, Lesley Ann Downey from Ancoats, a similar distance away (I'd have been 4 at the time of the first murder, 6 at the time of their arrest & can clearly recall adults being tense & strange although I didn't know why).

In a strange twist of fate I later ended up commuting the Saddleworth Moor road some 20 years later & was present when the road was closed for the 1987 searches. I can recall the heavy police prescence & the helicopter. We were shuttled through in convoy after a long wait, my BBC ID card got me that privelige (on my way to work at BBC Holme Moss from Manchester), a lot of others were simply turned around.

I always thought Lord Longford was a totally naive person, whether he was sheltered in his upper class lifestyle or not it makes no difference, there's plenty of not so priveliged types who are the same. However who is to blame? Longford was used by Hindley in a ruthless & cynical manner. She did to him what she'd done to Brady (& as Brady had used her too, undoubtedly) as well as lots of others later while trying to win her freedom. Let's not foget where the evil lay & it was not with Lord Longford.

For me the line that sums up so much of the story comes from Brady ("Aye, Myrha egging me on. Now's there's a thought I bet you've not had"). There are still many who choose not to entertain such an aspect of this story, as Longford failed to do so at the time.

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I do take your point, however, the trial judge did say that Brady should never be released because he was beyond redemption, and that Hindley should serve a very long time but was clearly under Brady's influence.
So I can see why Longford would believe that Myra could be redeemed.
I think the question posed by this film is, is redemption possible, even for such unspeakable acts?
In my opinion Lord Longford was a very good man.

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The film was slightly misleading in that it showed Hindley telling Longford about the other murders, and then you get the impression that they never meet until they're both old. As far as I know, and I could be wrong, that Longford campaigned for her release up until 1999, 12 years after she admitted to the two other murders. Apparently she once called it off with Longford because he was doing her "more harm than good" but it didn't last long...

Also, I do think Hindley was influenced (a helluva a lot) by Brady, but she was a manipulative person (something she learnt at a young age) and definately used that when committing the murders. Whether she was genuinely remorseful, or it was all a con we do not know for sure. But I am sure that everyone has their own personal opinions on it...

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Myra remorseful? Bear in mind that not only did she mislead her sister Maureen, Longford and countless others until the '86 confession, but 'confessed' to Peter Topping (in charge of '86) investigation that: "I want to point out sites that were of interest to Ian Brady..." Topping: "The recording of Lesley (Downey) was awful; it was terrible to listen to".

In 1965 in the police station of Hyde (Manchester) Senior detectives took in turns to interview Myra; her general refusal to answer questions (while held for a long time)
and (this) under the toughest and relentless questioning, Margaret Campion and Arthur Benfield and Joe Mounsey came to beleive that this Woman was one of the hardest cases they ever come across..Remorseful? No I don't think so! 21 years before choosing to 'confess' doesn't add up to 'Searching for God with Lord Longford'.

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Myra remorseful? Bear in mind that not only did she mislead her sister Maureen, Longford and countless others until the '86 confession, but 'confessed' to Peter Topping (in charge of '86) investigation that: "I want to point out sites that were of interest to Ian Brady..." Topping: "The recording of Lesley (Downey) was awful; it was terrible to listen to".


Did I say anything about Myra being remorseful? I said that we don't know, though evidence suggests she wasn't (maybe up to 87?) In the end we can't read minds so who knows?

In 1965 in the police station of Hyde (Manchester) Senior detectives took in turns to interview Myra; her general refusal to answer questions (while held for a long time)
and (this) under the toughest and relentless questioning, Margaret Campion and Arthur Benfield and Joe Mounsey came to beleive that this Woman was one of the hardest cases they ever come across..Remorseful? No I don't think so! 21 years before choosing to 'confess' doesn't add up to 'Searching for God with Lord Longford'.


Let's not forget that at the time of her arrest/trial she was still under the influence of Brady.

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There was little if any indication of remorse in the movie. She only confessed out of self-interest - to beat Brady to the punch, to appear contrite, to help her own case.

I found it interesting that Longford at first dismissed outright and with discomfort the issue of the tape when the subject was brought up at a dinner table discussion early in the movie. Then he balked several times with equal uneasiness at opportunities to listen to it as months and years passed. I think this was not just because it would be horrific to hear, not just because it may hinder his resolve to fight for Hendley, but because it would shake his faith. He was a devout Catholic and steadfastly refused to accept for religeous reasons that even the most evil among us cannot be rehabilitated.

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.

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Good points...

Also, I suppose he would not have played the tapes for so long because, strictly speaking, it didn't matter what was on them. He was already aware of how evil her acts were. The important thing,in his mind, was her contrition and redemption.

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I have to express my ignorance and admit I have never heard of these murders until I rented this DVD. I watched it tonight then researched the case some. I was mortified.

Broadbent did an admiral job portraying Longford.


8/10



These eggs have yellow eyes. But if I turn them, the yellow is gone.

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A transcript of that conversation is available at http://www.ogrishforum.com/showthread.php?t=106036

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[deleted]

I don't know what the real tape sounds like but the one played at the end of the film didn't sound scary or evil at all. My impression was that the building musical score was meant to emphasize that Longford was about to listen to something horrific but we don't hear it.


Redheads not warheads

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No, but for dramatic purposes I thought we should have at least a hint of the evil on the tape. But it's left a bit ambiguous as is the angle on Longford in general.

Redheads not warheads

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[deleted]

The "exact" words were as follows:

(Serkis/Brady's voice)

"Why the [email protected]$k is she looking at me? You better wipe that look off your face before I do."

(Morton/Hindley's voice w/ slightly audible whimpering from child)

"Shh. Shut up. If you don't shut your mouth, I'll have to shut it for you. And I'll forget myself, and hit you once more. Now will you stop it?!"

(The benefits of subtitles when watching a film numerous times)

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The point of the tape was clear enough, based on Longfellow's reaction. Admittedly, while I thought they filmed it very tastfully, it did lack a bit of impact. Could have used a tinge more evil, please.

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A tinge, just a tinge!
One measley little tinge, honest!

Signing off, now.
I've kittens to drown.

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Thank you temporary-sunshine.

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“Someone else had Brady’s record and he read out a transcript of one of the tapes they had found in his home. It was of a little girl whose fingers he was cutting off with garden shears because she wouldn’t go down on him. Everyone went a deathly quiet; my viscera writhed in nausea. The little girl was appealing to Brady’s girlfriend , Myra Hindley and asking her to save her from Brady. The Office went very quiet, the high spirits damepened by the cold, clammy presence of evil”

'McVicar by Himself' pages 67 & 68 - 'Durham Prison Riot'



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[deleted]

Brady and Hindley were adults who kidnapped and murdered many people mostly children in a casual manner. In Bradys case he has expressed no remorse and Hindley I do not believe was remorseful or at least not as much as she should have been. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were disturbed kids who had grown up witnessing and being the victim of a lot of violence so it seemed natural to them (I'm not using this as an excuse just an explanation). They killed one child then exhibited post-traumatic stress disorder including rashes, nightmares, insomnia and illnesses and psychiatrists found that Jon Venables had strong fantasies or bringing James Bulger back to life or "growing another child inside himself" to try and atone for his crime. I'm not saying Thompson and Venables shouldn't have been punished for their crime and I don't agree with them being rewarded by the European Court of Human Rights but I wouldn't put them in the same category as Brady and Hindley.

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[deleted]

I have read about the case in the newspaper and books. Psychiatrists who examined the boys found they suffered from post-traumatic stress which does suggest some remorse on their part.

Although Jon Venables was found fit to stand trial there was a history of mental illness in his family if that is relevant to his crime I do not know. I do know that Robert Thompson was violently abused by his older brother and he in turn took that out on his younger brother. I believe that this pattern of child cruelty desensitized him to violence and made picking on the weak and vulnerable seem normal to him. According to what I have read Thompson was the more dominant of the
two and he probably put peer pressure on Venables to take part. Since Venables came from an abusive home and was bullied by other kids for having a squint eye he may also have been desensitized to violence and probably enjoyed having power for once rather than being the victim. They have both said the original plan was to take James to have a toy but James fought back and wanted to go back to his mother which led to the violence and eventual murder. Once again I'll stress I am only trying to explain their behavior not excuse. There is no excuse.

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mhearn wrote:

How do you know of all this trauma Thompson and especially Venables suffered. I live in the USA so I did not know about that. As far as I am concerned they were Brady and Hindleys in training. I have read extensively about B and H and your comments are right on the mark. Ian Brady wrote a book about serial killing; I actually tried to read it, but found it so twisted even I could not stomach it.



I'm actually reading Brady's book right now (I'm in the healthcare field, hoping eventually to put my psych/soc degree to use in the forensic intake program at a psychiatric facility, so I tend to read a lot of crime-related stuff), and it's...interesting. In a twisted way. Odd to think of him as a 70-something-year-old man starving himself in prison, still.


You might want to try reading a book called "The Lost Boy" by Duncan Staff (reviews are here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/980939.The_Lost_Boy), which is more about Hindley than Brady, and focuses on the struggle that Keith Bennett's mother has gone through having never had her son's body found on the Moors. It's not as deranged a read as "The Gates Of Janus."


As for Thompson and Venables, I recently read a book about that case as well (see? I told you I read a lot of them! It's for field education purposes only, I swear it!) which might shed some light on what was behind their particular pathologies. It's called "As If," written by Blake Morrison, an English journalist for the New Yorker who sat in on the trial and had access to psych reports and such. (Reviews: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/812759.As_If.) I'll warn you, though, that some of it is tough to stomach. The odd thing is that the author, who is very well-written and certainly well-researched, gives a definite sympathetic slant toward the boys (not at the expense of James Bulger or his parents, mind, as he reserves his greatest sorrows for them...rightly so), but in the end I was still totally unable to feel any sympathy whatsoever for them, regardless of what they'd been through or the fact that they were a mere 10 years old when they killed James. Usually I can at least manage some empathy of sorts, but...no. Having said that, though, when I saw the film based loosely on the life of one of the killers ("Boy A" - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1078188/), I nearly cried myself into dehydration, and it was over the killer more than the victim. Odd, indeed.


Ian Brady as as a child had the capacity to pull off something like the Bulger killing; it is amazing he didn't. And while Myra Hindley may not have turned out the way she did had she not crossed paths with Brady, she certainly was a piece of work!!!!!!



There's a not-dissimilar case to that of Hindley and Brady here (in Canada, my homeland), perpatrated by Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. A lot of people bought into the idea that Karla was warped by Paul, and she got off VERY easy by comparison, but later evidence (videotapes, no less) have made a lot of people wonder if she was the one who escalated Paul to murder. If you're interested in the power dynamic in couples who kill, you might want to read up on that one as well. (I'm an endless fount of information on this stuff; can you tell?? )




~ http://prettyh.blogspot.com/ ~

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It was of a little girl whose fingers he was cutting off with garden shears

Oh my God I didn't know he did that!







Ashmi any question

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In my opinion Lord Longford was a very good man.


No, he wasn't. He was simply led by religios belief and his own self image.

If he was a "very good man" he wouldn't have made the parent's lives even more miserable by trying to get their children's murderer (and kidnapper, torturer, rapist) back out.

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Sexism, both against men and women
Pathologization

To think of Myra as any less guilty than Brady and as having been manipulated by him, DESPITE the evidence, just shows sexism, nothing else. To both men and women. It's thinking of women as weak. And of men as somehow more evil.

She took full advantage of these common perceptions and got a lesser sentence compared to Brady, which she definitely shouldn't have.

BTW, what's with the "pathologization" of cruelty and selfishness?, of evil acts?. These people are not sick. They're not victms. They've made their moral choices throughout life, like we all have.

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From the DVD commentary with director and writer:

"The tape scene's interesting because originally, for a long time we weren't sure whether we could actually have anything on the tape apart from just having a soundtrack playing music, but I always passionately believed we needed to hear something of Myra Hindley -- or our actors playing Myra Hindley and Ian Brady -- talking, even if it wasn't related to the actual text of the transcript of the tape itself. Because, I don't know, I mean this scene is all about Frank Longford facing it...I think the audience need to face it to some extent. But we obviously completely moderated the extent to which anyone had to face the content of it because if you played it, you know, accurately it would be unlistenable to. But it always felt to me somehow a cheat if it was just music score. And we specifically screened the film for the families of the victims that wanted to come in order to make sure we had their approval about doing it."

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Other than what was played at the trial, this tape was never to be released and hasn't been, so far as I know. The moviemakers were very careful not to enact much at all from what was on the tape, for several reasons, one of which was from a purely editorial standpoint: they wanted facts about the crime to be revealed over the course of the movie from what people 'said' or 'confessed'. They also have said that the closest they would venture to presenting how the poor little girl sounded on the tape was when the actor portraying Brady was mimicking the little girl crying out 'Mommy' and 'Daddy' as Longford is leaving Brady after their first meeting.

The real Myra's voice on the tape was said to have been 'hard and flat' and both Myra and Brady reportedly 'mocked' the poor little child as she called out for her mother while she was being brutalized. After her arrest and during the trial (when the tape played at trial, it was an experience which apparently traumatized everyone else in the courtroom listening to it), Myra was described as 'totally lacking in emotion'. What made the tape even more chilling was the juxtaposition of the sounds of the girl's torture and murder with 'The Little Drummer Boy' song also playing on the tape.

And, why would the duo make such a tape? -- Most likely to have a trophy AND to listen to it over and over again while viewing the pictures they also took, in order to re-experience the perverse sexual pleasure they got from that torture/murder.

At the murder of Evans (their final victim), a witness stated that both Myra and Brady were "nonchalant, full of laughter and good cheer, as if it were an exciting lark" and that they "did it [the murder] up the stairs from Hindley's grandmother, who briefly woke with the noise and called to ask what was going on. They drank tea afterwards, Hindley in her bloody slippers".

I don't understand when people say that Myra 'was under the influence of Brady' as if she should be somehow alleviated of at least some of her responsibility or participation in these horrifying murders.

Either she wasn't under any influence and so was at least as culpable as Brady OR she was 'under an influence' which would mean that she was the type of person who COULD be so 'influenced' -- to trick and trap innocent children, to be an active participant in the horrible tortures and murders -- even the sort of person who could calmly drink tea while wearing slippers fresh with the blood of her latest victim. Someone who is able to be so 'influenced' should not have been released, because society would not have been able to trust that person not to be similarly 'influenced' again. So, either way, she should have stayed in jail.

I, for one, don't buy the 'influence' excuse.

I think that some people who advocate for excusing her in ways that they don't Brady are being sexist, pure and simple -- as if she were somehow biologically prevented from being able to be so evil, corrupt, and depraved. Remember that her very gender was essential to their carrying out their deadly deeds -- both she and Brady knew that children would be more likely to go with them if she asked because they were taught to be wary of men strangers but not of women. Myra/Brady took full advantage of that.

So, even if, as some people say (and as Lady Longford argues in the movie), that Myra was treated MORE harshly than a male perp due to her sex, then she deserved it because it was the fact that she WAS a woman that caused the children to trust her and go with her.

So, if Myra was treated more harshly by the courts due to her gender, she then ended up being hoisted with her own petard -- and justice was ultimately served.



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Great post! I fully agree with you.

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Great post! I fully agree with you.

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The full transcript of the tape can be found in most books on the subject, or indeed the internet. Google is your friend.

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The memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime

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