“If attention is paid to what I think, you will never be released”
Fred West was born on 29 September 1941. He had a sexual relationship with his mother, beginning when he was 12. On 28 November 1958, at the age of 17, he suffered a bang on the head from a motorbike accident that left him comatose for eight days. On 9 November 1961 he appeared in court, accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, but the trial collapsed when his victim refused to give evidence.
On 17 November 1962 West married prostitute Catherine “Rena” Costello who was pregnant by an Asian bus driver. Her daughter Charmaine was born on 22 March 1963. He began an affair with Anna McFall, a friend of his wife but when she wanted West to divorce Rena he murdered her in August 1967 and cut up her body. She was eight months’ pregnant. On 6 January 1968 he murdered Mary Bastholm, 15, after abducting her in Gloucester. On 29 November 1968 he met Rosemary (Rose) Letts. It was her 15th birthday and he was pleased when she agreed to participate in his perverted sexual desires. She became a prostitute. On 17 October 1970 she gave birth to Heather.
On 4 December West was jailed for theft and motoring offences and was in prison until 24 June 1971. Just before West was released, Rose killed Charmaine at 25 Midland Road, Gloucester. Not long after, West murdered his wife. On 29 January 1972 West and Rose were married. In September they moved into 25 Cromwell Street.
Over the next few years the Wests killed Lynda Gough (aged 21, in April 1973), Carol Ann Cooper (aged 15, on 10 November 1973), Lucy Partington (aged 21, abducted on 27 December 1973), Therese Siegenthaler (aged 21, in April 1974), Shirley Hubbard (aged 15, kidnapped on 14 November 1974), Juanita Mott (aged 19, in April 1975), prostitute Shirley Robinson (aged 18, and pregnant by West when she died in May 1978), Alison Chambers (aged 17, in August 1979) and, finally, on 19 June 1987 West murdered Heather.
In May 1992 he raped a 13-year-old girl who told a friend. The police arrived on 6 August to search for evidence of child abuse. Both Wests were arrested but the case collapsed when their victim refused to testify. The search for Heather began and, on 25 February 1994, West was arrested for her murder. In custody he denied that Rose had anything to do with any of the murders.
25 Midland Road; 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, England
August 1967-Friday 19 June 1987
On 26 February 1994 Heather’s remains were found. On 13 December the Wests were charged with murder. On 1 January 1995 Fred West hanged himself in his winson Green Prison cell. On 22 November Rose West was found guilty of ten counts of murder and sentenced to life. Mr Justice Mantell said, “If attention is paid to what I think, you will never be released.” On 7 October 1996 25 Cromwell Street was demolished. The following month, John West, Fred’s brother, committed suicide while awaiting trial on rape charges.