ITV’s Myra Hindley documentary reveals a surprise relationship between the convicted killer and a prison officer but just who is Pat Cairns?

The popularity of true crime documentaries has exploded in recent years.

While streaming services such as Netflix offer up plenty of chilling tales, traditional TV channels such as the BBC and ITV also boast a similarly impressive collection.

ITV’s latest effort, Rose West and Myra Hindley: Their Untold Story, aired on September 21st and has left viewers with plenty of questions.

One point that is briefly raised in the documentary is Myra Hindley’s relationship with Pat Cairns but just who is she?


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Rose West and Myra Hindley on ITV

Rose West and Myra Hindley: Their Untold Story With Trevor McDonald aired on ITV on September 21st, 2020.

The hour-long documentary details the relationship between Myra Hindley and Rose West, who between them were convicted of murdering at least 12 people.

The pair met at Durham Prison in 1995 and the documentary claims that the pair instantly became close due to their similar upbringing and history and eventually became lovers.


Who is Pat Cairns?

Patricia Cairns is introduced around two-thirds of the way into the Rose West and Myra Hindley documentary as attention turns to Hindley’s escape plot from HMP Holloway in 1973.

The documentary reveals that Pat Cairns, who was a former nun turned prison warder, became infatuated with Hindley and that the pair supposedly fell in love and began plotting for Myra Hindley’s escape.

In 2013, The Daily Mail revealed that files were uncovered that detailed the pair’s relationship.

Between 1971 and 1973, Hindley wrote 74 letters to Cairns and in that time plotted Hindley’s escape, a plan which was foiled when key impressions that had been made in bars of soap were intercepted by police.

Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Where is Pat Cairns now?

For her part in Myra Hindley’s escape plot, Pat Cairns was sentenced to six years in prison in 1974.

Following the completion of her sentence, Patricia’s identity was changed and she moved to an area near the moors that border Manchester according to the Daily Mail.

Her current whereabouts are unknown.

Rose West and Myra Hindley: The Untold Story With Trevor McDonald is available to stream now on ITV Hub.

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