In 1994, Howard Sounes began investigating a case of serial murder in an English cathedral city. A married couple, Fred and Rose West, had killed at least twelve women and girls, including their own daughter.
Fred & Rose cut their victims up and buried the remains of nine bodies under their house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, where the Wests continued to live undetected for decades. Fred West left his wife for Rosemary and both Fred and Rose killed at least 12 victims, all young women, and became two of the most infamous English serial killers. Fred and Rose both assaulted various women and sexually abused their kids, even murdering two of their daughters. Fred escaped conviction by hanging himself while in custody. Rose was sentenced to prison for the rest of her life, taking the full brunt of the couple’s sadistic crimes.
Frederick Walter Stephen West was born 29 September 1941, in Much Marcle to mother Daisy and to father Walter. Fred had siblings named John and Doug. In November 1958, he had a motorcycle accident which left him with a fractured skull, some broken bones and a metal plate in his head. His family say that after, he’d be prone to fits of rage. He was unconscious for a week. Two years later, he fell off a fire escape ladder at a youth club, leaving him unconscious for a day. When West was 21 years old, he became re-acquainted with former girlfriend, Catherine Costello who worked as a prostitute using the name ‘Rena’. Catherine was pregnant when she married Fred. They married on the 17 November 1962 and then moved to Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. Catherine gave birth to Charmaine Carol West on the 22 February 1963.
Charmaine was born half-cast so Fred and Catherine claimed to their families that the baby died during birth and they adopted. In July 1964, Anne Marie was born. This time, she was Fred and Catherine’s child. Fred worked as a ice-cream van driver. Fred ran over a 4 year old boy on 4 November 1965, either accidentally or on purpose, only Fred would know. The family, along with Isa McNeill, the children’s ‘nanny’, and Catherine’s mate, Anne McFall, moved to Lakeside Caravan Park, Bishops Cleeve, Gloucestershire. At the end of 1965, Costello and McNeill moved back to Scotland to escape Fred. McFall remained to look after the kids, and became infatuated with Fred. Little did McFall know that West was having an affair with another woman named Rosemary Pauline Letts. Catherine would come back to visit the girls every few months. McFall, who was eight months pregnant with Fred’s child, suddenly disappeared. Her remains were found in a field near where they lived at the time. In Sept. 1967, Catherine moved back on with Fred, but left a year later, leaving the kids with Fred.
Rose and Fred were arrested on 24 February 1994. After raping and abusing Louise for several days, Rose’s 13 year old daughter ultimately confided in a close friend, which finally led to Fred and Rose’s arrest.
Fred and Rose both assaulted various women and sexually abused their kids, even murdering two of their daughters. Fred escaped conviction by hanging himself while in custody. Rose was sentenced to prison for the rest of her life, taking the full brunt of the couple’s sadistic crimes.