Almost kidnapped: The Bold and the Beautiful's Lesley-Anne Down on her terrifying near-abduction

Posted Monday, June 01, 2020 6:05:05 AM

Lesley-Anne Down (ex-Jacqueline Payne, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Lady Sheraton, Days of our Lives) says she was almost kidnapped as a child during the infamous Moors Murders in England.

Daytime alum Lesley-Anne Down (ex-Jacqueline Payne, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Lady Sheraton, Days of our Lives; ex-Olivia Richards, Sunset Beach) is opening up about a terrifying childhood experience that still gives her chills. The actress reveals that when she was 11, she was almost abducted by a stranger in a creepy echo of one of the Moors Murders in England.

In a conversation with U.K.'s Mirror, Down reveals that a man tried to coax her into his car near her home in London just after the body of a girl killed by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady was found outside Manchester. The victim was almost the same age as Down and had an almost identical name -- Lesley Ann Downey -- which intensified the traumatic experience.

Says the actress of the horrific incident, "I was almost kidnapped when Lesley Ann Downey had just been found. I'd run ahead of my mother. When she caught up, the man had stopped me, told me he needed a babysitter and we would call my parents when we got to his house."

She continues, "I remember having one foot in the car. Seeing my mother broke his spell. I screamed. My mother ran to me and told me to run to my father. He called the police. Of course my mother couldn't hold him... he was gone."

Down recalls her mother being distraught, adding, "If a child the same age as yours, whose name was Lesley Ann Downey, was found buried on the moors and then your child was almost taken... wouldn't you be?"

The Moors murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in and around Manchester, England. The victims were five children -- Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans -- aged between ten and 17, at least four of whom were sexually assaulted. Two of the victims were discovered in graves dug at Saddleworth Moor; a third grave was discovered there in 1987, more than 20 years after Brady and Hindley's trial. Bennett's body is also thought to be buried there, but despite repeated searches, it remains undiscovered.

Lesley-Anne Down is an English actress who starred in British dramas like Upstairs, Downstairs before making a name for herself in the U.S. with soap roles like Stephanie Rogers on Dallas, Olivia Richards on Sunset Beach, Lady Sheraton on Days of our Lives, and Jacqueline Payne Marone on The Bold and the Beautiful. She's also starred in films like The Pink Panther Strikes Again and The Great Train Robbery.

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