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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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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.
The case against the Wests collapsed when two key witnesses decided not to testify against them, but Savage continued to pursue her search for Heather, questioning the West children repeatedly, but they had been well trained by their abusive parents and failed to cooperate.
On 24th February 1994 a warrant was obtained to search the Cromwell Street house and garden, and police found the remains of two dismembered and decapitated young women, one of whom the police suspected might be Shirley Robinson. West claimed sole responsibility for the murders and, when Rose heard of the confession, she denied all knowledge of Heather's death.
Then, inexplicably, West admitted the presence of the bodies in the cellar to the police, who discovered the remains of nine individuals. Establishing the identities of each victim was a mammoth task.
Continuing in his spirit of cooperation, West revealed the whereabouts of the remains of first wife Rena, lover MacFall and daughter Charmaine, who were all buried away from the Cromwell Street house.
As the case against them developed, Rose tried increasingly to distance herself from West, claiming that she was also a victim, but police were not convinced of her innocence, given the sheer number of murders which had occurred, and her participation in the rapes.
On December 13, 1994, West was charged on twelve counts of murder, and he was taken into custody at Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, pending trial where, on January 1, 1995, he hanged himself in his cell with knotted bed sheets.
Rose West went on trial on October 3, 1995 in the glare of media frenzy. Witnesses including her daughter Anne Marie and Caroline Owens, one of their first victims, testified to her participation in sexual assaults on young women. Her defense counsel tried to argue that evidence of assault was not evidence of murder but, when Rose testified on her own behalf, her violent nature and dishonesty became clear to the jury, and they unanimously found her guilty on ten separate counts of murder on November 22, 1995. She was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in jail.
Rose West's sentence was later extended to a whole life sentence by the Home Secretary, effectively removing any possibility of parole.
There remains a widespread belief that Fred and Rose West's victims numbered far more than the 12 with which they were charged.
Rose West refused to accept her fate, and launched appeals in 1996 and 2000, claiming variously that new evidence clearing her had come to light, and then that the huge media interest had prevented her from receiving a fair trial, but both of these appeals were rejected, and she remains incarcerated.p>
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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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