This is Fred and Rosemary West. This couple murdered young strangers as well as their very own children, many of whom were buried on their property. The Wests were absolutely brutal, and even today there are still a few mysteries and intriguing conspiracies surrounding them.
Fred had already been a child molester, rapist, cold blooded (likely serial) murderer, sadist, and a necrophiliac long before he ever met Rosemary. He’d murdered a lover who had been 8 months pregnant, and had buried her in their “special place”.
Fred’s first wife, Rena, had two little girls: the oldest was Charmaine, the younger was Anne Marie. We know for sure that Charmaine did not biologically belong to Fred, but when the couple separated he kept the children. It may sound as if Fred loved the girls and wanted to care for them, but in reality he was a predator already grooming and abusing these babies; Fred West was not about to allow his prey to escape.
Fred had still been married to Rena when he met his future partner in crime; Rose was very young when she met Fred at a bus stop, she had just turned 15 that very day. Fred was an experienced older man of 28, and he quickly brought Rose into his home to care for the two little girls in his charge. The relationship blossomed, and before long they were in a relationship.
Fred had a knack for recognizing abused women. Looking at this monster’s list of consenting lovers, they all had at least one thing in common: all had been abused in their youth, by a parent, and each had worked in the sex trade. Rose was a victim of incest; later on when her husband would pimp her out, Rose’s own father became a paying customer. Fred, who had grown up having an incestuous relationship with his own mother and had impregnated his baby sister while she was still a young teen, liked to hide in the closet to witness the father/daughter coupling; very often he even video taped his wife’s work. Sadly this little family tradition would carry on, Fred and Rose, who had 11 children among them, would abuse the children they raised together. Fred and Rose kept cream pies in their home for the specific purpose of bribing their own kids for sexual favors.
In 1992 the family abuse finally came to light after the kids were taken away by family services. Fred had video taped himself sexually assaulting one of his daughters, and the pervert was charged with rape and buggery. This daughter would not testify against her father in court, so Fred was not convicted. Police would soon realize why: the girl was terribly afraid of her father, she did not want to turn up missing like her sisters.
It was during this time while in care that the West kids were overheard discussing the “Family Joke”; that Rose’s oldest biological child, Heather, had been buried “two down and three across” beneath the patio of their 25 Cromwell Street home. Investigators didn’t think this sounded like much of a joke, and they took note that Heather was nowhere to be found. When Fred and Rose were interviewed, they claimed Heather was a lesbian who had run away with her lover back in ’86 or ’87. This was nothing more than a way of insulting poor Heather. Since the girl had rebelled against having sexual relations with her father, Fred would call her names such as frigid, and a lesbian.
In 1994 police decided to dig under that patio to see if they could find the teen. Sadly poor Heather’s remains were found on the property; she’d been raped, strangled to death, then Fred had “cut her up” and buried her in the garden. Shockingly not only did they find Heather, but police dug up more than just the one missing girl they were looking for. One corpse was discovered in the bathroom, 5 in the cellar, and another 3 in the family’s garden. Fred, who now realized that he was busted, began to confess. He did try to excuse his crimes, he claimed that he never meant to kill any of them but “Enjoyment turned to disaster”.
Investigators hadn’t known what to think of Rose in the beginning. She had feigned outrage, and claimed that she’d had no clue that her husband had ever harmed anyone. At first Fred himself swore up and down that Rose had not been privy to any of his sinister deeds. It would later be proven that not only had she gone along with what her husband had done, but Rose was a very willing participant who enjoyed rape and murder just as much as her male counterpart – maybe even more.
Do you recall the earlier mention of Charmaine? She had been the oldest kid, and one of children who did not biologically belong to Rose; this child had been particularly rebellious. Poor Charmaine had never given up hope that her real mother, Rena, would come save her from the hell she was living. Rose resented Charmaine for this, and she was known to abuse this child in every way imaginable – much more so than the other children. Rose alone had murdered 8 year old Charmaine, likely in a fit of rage, while Fred had been serving a six month prison stint.
The truth of the matter was, Rena was never coming back for her child, Fred had made sure of this. He’d murdered Charmaine’s mama; Rena had been lured to a bar, and once she was inebriated, he’d taken her to his vehicle where he raped and strangled her to death. Fred then beheaded, dismembered, and buried Rena’s corpse.
Fred likely would’ve continued to cover for Rose indefinitely, and it’s very possible that she would still be free today had she not snubbed her husband during court. That’s all it took for Fred to turn on his wife, he even blamed her for most of the killings. Fred claimed it all began when he found out that Rose had chained their son, Stephen, up and savagely beaten him with the buckle end of a belt after the boy had refused to have sexual relations with his mother. Fred stated that he had not realized that his wife had been cool with sexually abusing their children until this moment. From here on out, the Wests would rape and kill together.
Fred and Rose fixed up several rooms to rent out, and they placed ads in the newspaper to lure young teens to the home. Many were runaways, hired as nannies; over 100 lodgers stayed at the residence. The most fortunate of these girls are still alive, and as grown women they tell of the wild sexcapades which went on inside the West home; other young girls were not so lucky. Many had been taken to the cellar, bound and hanged from the rafters in the ceiling (sometimes upside down) tortured, raped, and held captive for days until the couple grew bored with them.
There’s really no telling exactly what all of these young women went through; some victims were found with tape wrapped around their faces and tubes inserted into their nostrils. One of the young victims Fred admitted to helping murder, Alison Chambers, had supposedly been killed with a, how should we put this? A “toy”. Fred stated that the object had been pushed inside as far as it would go; when it wouldn’t go any further, he said that Rose stuck her foot up inside the girl and she pushed it further! This particular object was more than a foot in length and four inches wide. If that weren’t bad enough, during his taped confession Fred also claimed that poor Alison had been pregnant at the time. He said that “they” were killed in this manner; did “they” mean Alison and her baby, or was this a common form of torture for this couple? We will likely never know.
Another disturbing fact: each of these victims had been missing bones when their remains were found. Maybe a toe, or a single finger, an entire foot, a hand, a knee cap; these parts had been taken from the victim while the girl was still alive. It’s been reasoned that this had been done so that the victim could not run away – she would have been in way too much pain to go anywhere. This theory would make sense for the legs and feet, but taking a hand wouldn’t stop a person from running, would it? None of these parts, totaling literally hundreds of bones, were ever found; whatever in the world was done with them remains a mystery to this day. Though Fred shamelessly confessed to most everything, he would never tell whatever had become of these bones. He even became visibly upset, cried when questioned about this, as if he were truly ashamed of this one detail. Another strange fact: during the police interviews Fred spoke of the spirits of his victims coming up out of the walls to haunt him whenever he visited the cellar of his home.
There’s really no telling how many victims Fred alone accumulated throughout the decades, even before he met Rosemary. Though he confessed to killing dozens, there are likely victims all over the place – including other countries.
Fred was ultimately charged with 11 murders, but he would never be sentenced; on January 1st of 1995 Fred West fashioned a rope out of a blanket, penned a final love letter for his wife, and hung himself in his cell. Rose was thrilled to hear of her husband’s demise, she’d foolishly believed that without Fred’s testimony she would get off scot free! But there was still one person who was now willing to testify against her.
A few women had survived their horrific ordeal at the hands of this deadly couple, but most had been too afraid to come forward or press charges. In 1972 a 17 year old nanny named Caroline Roberts had been victimized by Fred and Rose; she told police that she’d been kidnapped, tied up in the West’s cellar, blindfolded, tortured, beaten, and repeatedly raped. Somehow Caroline had escaped, and she ran to police; in turn the Wests were charged with indecent assault. This poor girl was absolutely terrified, she could not, would not testify against the couple at that time; Fred and Rose were set free to murder again and again. After Fred committed suicide, Caroline agreed to testify against Rose. Along with this testimony and the proof that Fred could not possibly have murdered 8 year old Charmaine, Rose was convicted of 9 murders. This deadly woman is serving a whole life sentence today, and in recent years has been brought back to the spotlight when serial killer Joanna Dennehy vowed to murder her.
The West children who survived this hell are left with emotional scars. They have memories of being sexually assaulted again and again by their own mother and father, tied to the bed at night so they couldn’t run away, beaten with brooms, they were called nasty names. One daughter remembers her mother watching as her uncle raped her when she was just 5 years old; another daughter deals with the fact that she miscarried her father’s baby when she was only 13. Stephen has been in some legal trouble.
Now, if by chance I’ve held your attention thus far, maybe you can spare a moment to talk about those conspiracies which were mentioned in the beginning of this article. Remember those girls who had survived? Quite a few have claimed that it had not been just Fred and Rose involved in this sex operation – there were many, many others. They swear that some of those who frequented the West home were government officials, and more than one had been a police officer. It’s believed by some that there was a cult, and human sacrifices were involved. It’s theorized that this is the reason why all of those missing bones were never found, that they were used in ceremonies. Fred, who was guilty no matter what, took the fall for everyone and, in the end, killed himself. Whatever the case, Rose remains silent; that’s the one thing you can say for her: she knows how to keep a secret.
*There is So Much More to this case, I have not touched on even a quarter of it. If you want to hear Fred’s confession tapes and get the full story, there’s a doc on YouTube called “25 Cromwell Street”. It is lengthy, but it’s the only doc on this case really worth watching in my humble opinion. I’m adding the video below, please let me know what you think!
** this is a requested repost. Serial killer couple Fred and Rose West’s son, 40 year old Barry West, was found deceased on a Maidenstone, Kent hostel yesterday, on Halloween. Barry had, as you are probably aware, an extremely rough childhood; he battled not only mental health issues, but also drugs. It’s surmised that he passed from an overdose. Enclosed below is a photo of Barry as a child