Sadistic serial killer Ian Brady has claimed that he killed four people more than previously thought, and says the missing body of 12-year-old Keith Bennett is buried in Yorkshire, rather than Lancashire.

In letters written to ex-journalist Brendan Pittaway, the Moors murderer claimed he has killed a total of four adults and five children.

He said he killed a man on "waste ground behind the station" and a woman "in the canal" in Manchester. In Scotland, he said he murdered a man in Glasgow and another "above Loch Long".

The serial killer described each of the new murders as "happenings". Brady, 75, first made the claims several years ago to Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Topping, who led the search for the body of Keith Bennett in 1985.

Topping recalled the claims in his autobiography and had serious doubts that they were true. Even Brady had suggested they could be figments of his own imagination.

Alan Bennett, brother of victim Keith, said: "I will be happy with wherever Brady is unhappiest. At the moment I know that is Ashworth [secure mental hospital] for Brady. If I could be 100% sure he would end up disliking any other place even more, I would say let him go."

This new information was revealed by Brady after he lost his appeal to be transferred from a secure hospital to a prison, where he claims he will be able to kill himself.

During the hearing Brady gave evidence for four hours in which he described his killings as "recreational" and "petty crimes", according to the Telegraph. The tribunal also heard that he ate toast and drank soup while claiming to be on hunger strike for the past 14 years.

Families of Brady's victims welcomed the decision to keep him at Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside, where he will continue to be treated for an extreme personality disorder and schizophrenia.

The 75-year-old, who is now Britain's longest-serving prisoner, had hoped to return to jail, claiming to have faked psychosis before being detained under the Mental Health Act in 1985.

Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley were convicted in 1966 of the murders of John Kilbride, 12, who was kidnapped off the street in 1963, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964, and Edward Evans, 17, who was killed in October 1965.