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Fred West was convicted of several gruesome murders and brutal sexual assaults that occurred in England in the 1960s and '70s.
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The West marriage became increasingly unstable, and Rena returned to Scotland, leaving her children with West and Ann McFall, but she returned some months later to find them living together in a caravan.
Early in 1967, Ann McFall became pregnant with West's child, urging him to divorce Rena and marry her instead. West, unwilling to do so, killed the heavily pregnant McFall that July, and buried her near the caravan park, cutting off her fingers and toes,
a signature mutilation that was to become a common feature in his future crimes. Rena moved back into the caravan following McFall's disappearance.
Within six months of McFall's death, West was linked to another disappearance, that of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who was abducted from a bus stop in Gloucester in January 1968, although only circumstantial evidence has ever been produced to corroborate this. In November 1968 he became acquainted with Rose Letts, who was to become his next wife, and life-long accomplice.
Rosemary Letts was born in Devon on November 29, 1953, the result of a difficult pregnancy. Electro-convulsive therapy, administered to her pregnant mother for deep depression, may have caused prenatal injury that contributed to her poor school performance and bouts of aggression growing up. She had a weight problem in adolescence, but it did not stifle an inherent sexual precocity, which manifested itself in an interest in older men.
Rose's parents' marriage was a turbulent one, with her father prone to violent behavior. Her mother, Daisy, moved out of the family home, taking Rose with her. Rose, however, decided to move back in with her father again, around the same time that she became intimate with West at the age of 16.
Her father objected strongly to their relationship, and resorted to contacting social services and threatening West directly, but to no avail; she was soon pregnant with West's child and found herself looking after his two children by Rena Costello, when West was sent to prison on various petty theft and fine evasion charges. She gave birth to daughter Heather in 1970.
The pressure of caring for three children, while still a child herself, caused Rose to exhibit violent erratic tendencies, and it is believed that she murdered Charmaine, West's eldest child, in 1971, during one of these violent outbursts.
Whatever the circumstances, Charmaine suddenly disappeared and, as West was in jail at the time, it is likely that her body was hidden by Rose until West's release. He agreed to hide the body, again removed the fingers and toes, as with his first victim, before burying her. This knowledge of Rose's murderous act undoubtedly gave West a significant hold over Rose.
When West's first wife, Rena, came in search of her daughter, her fate was inevitable: she was strangled, dismembered and also had her fingers and toes removed. She was buried in the same general area as West's first victim, Ann McFall.
Fred and Rose West were married in Gloucester in January 1972, and their second daughter, named Mae, was born in June of the same year.
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Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
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