In today’s episode of our crime podcast, we explore the Glasgow origins of the psychopath killer behind the vicious Moors murders. Read the full story or listen to the podcast now.

It was January 2, 1938 and hotel waitress Margaret "Peggy" Stewart had just given birth at Glasgow's Rottenrow Hospital.

At the age of 28, unmarried and lowly paid Peggy must have wondered what the future held for her son who she had christened Ian Duncan Stewart.

It was not a good time to be the mother of an illegitimate child.

Society, in general, frowned on those who gave birth to children born out of wedlock.

To make matters worse the baby's father - said to be a Glasgow newspaper reporter - had died three months earlier.

Even if he had chosen to do so, there was no one to help Peggy support the baby.

Despite the social consequences of being an unmarried mum she decided to do her best to keep her child

Undeterred Peggy found a single room in a tenement in the Gorbals but only earned £3 a week (£200 today) and had little support from her family.

At the age of four months, she was forced to give her son into the care of Mary and John Sloan, a respectable and hard-working local couple with four children.

The baby even took their family name and became known as Ian Sloan.

Peggy however continued to visit him throughout his childhood and gave the Sloan family money towards his upkeep.

She would bring gifts for her growing son but never told him that she was his mother.  

Ian soon worked out for himself who Peggy Stewart really was, and likewise deduced that the Sloans were not his real family. 

As time passed, Peggy's visits became less frequent and finally stopped altogether when Ian was twelve years old.   

Glasgow Times:

Ian Sloan called his foster parents mum and dad and their own kids looked on him as a brother.

At Camden Street Primary School in the Gorbals, he was considered to be bright by his teachers.

However, he also showed troubling signs of dysfunctional behaviour and moodiness. When he could not have his way he would throw violent tantrums, which sometimes ended with him banging his head against the wall. 

His unsociable personality and inability to mix also made him unpopular with local children. 

Ian Sloan came to resent his illegitimacy, and began to see himself as a rebellious outsider, not bound by the same rules as others.

His relationship with his mother and the arrangement with the Sloan's meant that Ian always felt that he didn't really belong.  

Despite their attempts to provide a loving environment, Ian showed little response to their care and attention.  

An incident when he was nine years old is said to have given an early indication of what was going on in his mind

The Sloans had taken him to Loch Lomond, where they spent the day picnicking on the banks.  

It was the first time he had been away from the Gorbals and out of Glasgow.

After lunch, the Sloans had a nap and when they woke up, Ian was gone.  

They saw him standing 500 yards away at the top of a steep slope staring out at the magnificent view.

Glasgow Times:

They called and whistled to him but could not attract his attention.  When the two Sloan boys climbed the hill to fetch him, he told them to go on home without him, he wanted to be alone.

On the way home on the bus, he was talkative for the first time in his life.  

The time he had spent alone on that hillside had been a profound experience.

At the age of ten, the Sloans including Ian were re-housed in a brand-new council house in Templeland Road in Pollok. 

At the age of eleven, Ian passed his entrance exams to Shawlands Academy, which then operated a selection procedure for more able pupils.

His potential was never realised however as he was lazy, would not apply himself, and began to misbehave.  

He started smoking, virtually gave up on his schoolwork and before long was in trouble with the police.  

It was at this time that his fascination with the Second World War, particularly the Nazis, began to emerge. 

He often asked other boys for souvenirs their fathers brought back from the war, and when playing war games, he would insist on being "the German". 

In 1951, at the age of 13, Ian began to show his first signs of criminality.

He appeared with several other boys at Glasgow Sheriff Court after stealing food from bakers’ shops and breaking into houses.

Since their families were of good character, the teenagers were admonished and warned never to appear before the court again.

Ian Sloan left Shawlands Academy aged 15 in 1953 and took a job as an apprentice at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Govan.

Nine months later, he began working as a butcher's messenger boy.

He had a girlfriend but their relationship ended when he threatened her with a knife after she went out with another boy.

In 1954, he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court again, this time on nine charges of housebreaking and theft.

It was the third time he had been brought before the courts for burglary and housebreaking. 

On the first two occasions he was given probation, but on the third he was seen as beyond help and spared prison on condition that he leave Glasgow and live with his mother. 

She had since moved to Manchester and had married an Irish fruit merchant named Patrick Brady. 

In November 1954, two months before his 17th birthday, Ian Sloan left Glasgow and joined his mother and her new husband. 

Glasgow Times:

He had not seen Peggy for four years and had never met his stepfather.

Patrick got him a job as a fruit porter at Smithfield Market, and Ian took his surname.

He was now officially Ian Brady.

About this time, he worked as a butcher's assistant,

The young man soon resorted again to thieving, and after being convicted several more times was sentenced to two years training at a Borstal school as well as a spell at Strangeways Prison.

While incarcerated, Brady dreamed of becoming a big-time criminal and pulling off big money bank robberies.

Following his realise from prison, Brady began studying bookkeeping in a bid to appear respectable.

In January 1959, he obtained a clerical position at Millwards, a chemical distribution company based in Gorton in Manchester where he formed a relationship with an 18-year-old typist Myra Hindley.

The duo, who would become infamous as the Moors Murderers, were now officially an item.

As their relationship developed Brady took Hindley to Glasgow several times to show her his old haunts, including on one occasion an excursion down the River Clyde on the Waverley paddle steamer.

When she moved with her grandmother to Hattersley, Cheshire, he moved in beside her.

As the relationship between them developed so did Brady's obsession with Nazism, violence, rape and murder.

In a two-year period between June 1963 and October 1965, Brady was involved in the murders of five young people.

On July 12, 1963, he claimed his first victim. 

Sixteen-year-old Pauline Reade was enticed into Hindley's minivan while Brady followed behind on his motorcycle. 

They drove up to Saddleworth Moor where Hindley asked Pauline to help her look for a lost glove. 

There Brady grabbed Pauline and raped her. 

Glasgow Times:

He then smashed her skull in with a shovel and slashed her throat so violently that she was almost decapitated. Brady then buried Pauline's body on the moor, where it remained for over 20 years.

On November 23, Hindley lured 12-year-old John Kilbride into her car from a marketplace in Ashton-under-Lyne, and drove him to Saddleworth Moor. 

Brady was waiting there and ordered Hindley to wait for him in a nearby village in their hired Ford Anglia. 

While Hindley waited in her car, Brady attempted to stab the boy with a knife, but the weapon was too blunt. 

Brady lost his temper and strangled him to death with a string before burying his body in a shallow grave.

On June 16, 1964 their third victim was another 12-year-old boy, Keith Bennett, whom they enticed from a street in Chorlton and drove to the same moor. 

Hindley stood and watched from the top of an embankment while Brady sexually assaulted Keith in a ravine before strangling him to death with a piece of string and burying his body. It has never been found.

The fourth victim, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey, was lured from a fairground.

Brady took nine obscene photographs of her, showing her naked, bound and gagged -which were later found in a suitcase in a left luggage locker. 

Hindley recorded the scene of the child's rape and torture by Brady on audio tape. 

The child is heard to scream and protest and asks to be allowed to go home and pleads for her life. 

The following morning, Brady and Hindley drove Lesley's body to Saddleworth Moor where it was buried in a shallow grave.

On October 6, 1965, Brady claimed his fifth and final victim, 17-year-old Edward Evans. 

They enticed him from Manchester Central Railway Station to their house in Hattersley, where Hindley's 18-year-old brother-in-law David Smith was visiting. 

Brady then crept up on Edward in the kitchen and smashed his head in with an axe. 

He ordered Smith to help him carry the corpse to an upstairs bedroom and tie it up ready for disposal, but Smith then ran home and contacted the police. 

Smith explained later that, while apparently giving assistance to cleaning up, his sole concern was to escape the house alive.

The death penalty was abolished just one month after Brady and Hindley were arrested in 1965. 

By the time they went on trial at Chester Town Court the following April, the punishment for murder was life imprisonment. 

This meant that a murderer was liable to be detained for the whole of his or her natural life but could be released on life licence when no longer judged to be a risk.

The trial was held over 14 days beginning on April 19, 1966, in front of Mr Justice Fenton Atkinson. 

Such was the public interest that the courtroom was fitted with security screens to protect Brady and Hindley. The pair were each charged with three murders, those of Evans, Downey, and Kilbride,

The evidence seen and heard at the Chester Crown Court chilled the hearts of those who sat through the trial.

It included pictures of Lesley Ann Downey, naked, bound and gagged, and the tape recording of her begging for help as she was repeatedly tortured and sexually assaulted by Brady and Hindley.

Her cries reduced even the judge and police officers to tears

On May 6, having deliberated for a little over two hours, the jury found Brady guilty of Kilbride, Downey and Evans and Hindley guilty of the murders of Downey and Evans. 

Brady was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences and Hindley was given two, plus a concurrent seven-year term for harbouring Brady in the knowledge that he had murdered John Kilbride. 

In his closing remarks Mr Justice Atkinson described the murders as a "truly horrible case" and condemned the accused as "two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity".

He recommended that both Brady and Hindley spend "a very long time" in prison before being considered for parole. 

The judge stated that Brady was "wicked beyond belief" and that he saw no reasonable possibility of reform.

Brady spent 19 years in a mainstream prison before he was declared mentally disordered in 1985 and sent to a mental hospital.

He finally confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, in November 1986.

He and Hindley were then taken separately to Saddleworth Moor to assist in the search for the graves.

Pauline's body was found in the party dress she was wearing when she set off from her home in Gorton, Manchester, to attend a youth club dance. Her throat had been cut with such force that it had broken the vertebrae.

However, there was no sign of Keith Bennett's remains.

Although both Brady and Hindley had confessed it was decided that nothing would be gained by a second trial as both were already serving life sentences.

In March 2000, new psychiatric reports said Brady remained a psychopath who showed no remorse for his crimes or empathy for his victims.

Hindley made several appeals against her life sentence, claiming she was a reformed woman and no longer a danger to society, but was never released.

She died in 2002, aged 60 from a heart attack, after serving 36 years in prison.

It is an indication of Hindley's notoriety that dozens of crematoria refused to take her body and the company that finally did so insisted on anonymity as a condition of performing the service. 

In 2003, Greater Manchester Police launched Operation Maida, in 2003, to try to find Keith's remains.

Brady refused to help when detectives visited him at Ashworth Hospital in Liverpool where he was being held.

Despite his appalling crimes Peggy remained loyal to her son.

She visited him in Ashworth - well in her eighties - even sending him shirts and sweaters at Christmas.

When Peggy was dying in 2002, Brady was allowed out, under heavy guard, to be at her bedside for an hour.

The last years of his life were spent at Ashworth high-security hospital in Merseyside where he died in 2017, aged 79.

Before his death he had asked that his ashes be scattered in his home city.

But Glasgow City Council said it would refuse any such request.

At about 9pm on October 25, that year Brady's body was collected from the mortuary at Royal Liverpool hospital by a Tameside Council official.

Under police escort, the corpse was taken to Southport Crematorium.

At 10pm exactly, Brady was cremated in a "separate standby" furnace.

His body was not allowed to enter public areas of the crematorium and the cremator was sterilised by two workers after use to remove all trace of him.

The ashes were placed in a weighted biodegradable urn made of Himalayan rock salt.

They were driven to Liverpool Marina in an unmarked convoy.

The urn was loaded on to the 40ft-long police cutter Consortium which sailed into the Irish Sea.

No record of the police boat's journey was recorded on a global marine tracker system.

At 2.30am on October 26, the ashes were dumped over the side by a police sergeant and a council official.

A court had ruled that disposal of Brady's body must not cause "offence and distress" to his victims' families.

At the time Terry Kilbride, 63, brother of John Kilbride said the  victims’ families had been told in advance what would happen to Brady's remains. 

He added: "It was explained what had happened to Brady, him being cremated down in Southport, driven all the way through Liverpool afterwards, went out to sea with the police and dumped the urn in the sea.

"The urn was made of salt and it disintegrated after about 10 or 15 minutes of being in the water, so it will have sunk to the bottom.

"I was originally under the impression he was just going to be burnt and put in the grounds of a prison but being put in the sea is the next best thing."

But Terry West, the brother of 10-year-old Brady victim Lesley Ann Downey, said: "If I had my way, I would just flush his ashes down the toilet. My little sister didn't get to choose how she was buried. 

To this day Keith Bennett's remains have still to be found.

Last year Home Secretary Priti Patel announced new legislation that would allow police to seize any evidence that could reveal the location of a murder victim's remains.

Greater Manchester Police had been refused permission to examine documents contained in two combination-locked briefcases left by Brady after his death in 2017 and held by his lawyer.

They may contain information including diagrams and maps which could lead detectives to Keith's body.

Patel also met Keith's younger brother Alan, now 65, to discuss the plans.

She said at the time: “I can only imagine the years of pain and turmoil that the Bennett family have faced following Keith’s tragic murder – no family should have to suffer the heartache of not knowing where their loved ones are buried."

People often wonder if Ian Brady was mad, bad or both or if his childhood growing in Glasgow had any impact on his future conduct.

Though nothing is known of his father, both his birth and adoptive mother appeared to have been kind loving people.

His upbringing and schooling was better than many children in Glasgow experienced at the time.

Speaking after his death Brian Masters, best known for his biographies of serial killers, said of Brady: “He was a psychopath — totally beyond human moral understanding.

"Throughout his life he never understood the emotional impact of his actions.

"Brady did not care about the heartache of the families and their need for closure."