Best Known For
Fred West is best known for the gruesome murders and brutal sexual assaults in 1960's and 1970's England.
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He fitted out the cellar at No 25 as a torture chamber, and his 8-year-old daughter, Anne-Marie, became one of its first occupants, subjected to a horrifically brutal rape by her father while her stepmother held her down. This became a regular occurrence, and the child was threatened with beatings if she told anyone of her ordeal.
Their behavior extended beyond the family circle when, in late 1972, they engaged a 17 year old called Caroline Owens as a nanny. She was incarcerated,
stripped and raped. Despite threats that she would be killed and buried in the cellar, Owens reported the Wests to the police, and charges were brought against them. Incredibly, and despite his existing criminal record, West was able to convince a magistrate, when the case came to court in 1973, that she had consented to the activities, and the Wests both escaped with fines. Rose was pregnant at the time with their first son, Stephen, who was born in August.
Over the next five years their good fortune was to prove misfortune for Lynda Gough, Lucy Partington, Juanita Mott, Therese Siegenthaler, Alison Chambers, Shirley Robinson and 15-year-old schoolgirls Carol Ann Cooper and Shirley Hubbard, all of whom became victims of the West couple's insatiable appetite for violent sex. After brutal sexual attacks, all were murdered, dismembered and buried in the cellar under 25 Cromwell Street, having first had their fingers and toes removed.
Rose produced children with alarming frequency and daughter Louise was born in November 1978, bringing their offspring to six, although not all were fathered by West. Barry joined the brood in June 1980, with Rosemary Junior following in 1982 and Lucyanna in 1983. They were aware to some extent of the activities in the house, but West and Rose exercised strict control over them.
West's sexual interest in his own daughters didn't wane either, and when Anne-Marie moved out to live with her boyfriend, he switched his attentions to younger siblings, Heather and Mae. Heather resisted his attentions and, in 1986, committed the cardinal sin of telling a friend about the goings on in the house. The Wests responded by murdering and dismembering her, and burying her in the back garden of No 25, where son Stephen was forced to assist with digging the hole.
Given that the West's vicious sex acts did not result in murder every time, and the sheer number of attacks, it was inevitable that someone would expose their activities, which resulted in them coming to the attention of Detective Constable Hazel Savage, who led a search at Cromwell Street in August of 1992 that found pornography and clear evidence of child abuse. West was arrested for rape and sodomy of a minor, and Rose for assisting in the rape of a minor.
In the course of the investigation Savage uncovered the abuse of Anne-Marie, as well as the disappearances of Charmaine and Heather, that warranted further investigation, as well as rumors about what might be buried under the patio. The younger West children were taken into care, and Rose attempted suicide at this time, although she was found by her son, Stephen, and revived.
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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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