Partners in Crime: the Fred West serial murders | Sunday Observer

Partners in Crime: the Fred West serial murders

In the realm of crime and terror we often hear of lone male killers. This is a very grotesque and bloody story involving a married couple- can you fancy that a husband and wife abducting, torturing and killing 12 victims. The mutilated bodies were found in the cellar of their home. Fred West and his wife Rose created media frenzy in London, by their “team” killing techniques. It is a story that shocked the people of Britain during 1967 to 1987. Fredrick was born in Herefordshire in September 1941 to poor parents who worked on a farm. The family moved to another farm where Fred’s mother had another 6 children. The family had 3 boys and 3 girls. The boys took to hunting rabbits - a habit that would subconsciously register in Fred’s mind. It is important that parents check on their children’s hobbies and play time.

As a schoolboy Fred did not excel in academics but showed an interest in wood work. In a shocking revelation to police he would later confess that he engaged in sex with animals at age 12. His appetite soon grew where he went about following girls and tried to fondle them.

To complicate his already confused lifestyle he suffered a motorcycle accident aged 17, and was subject to a skull injury. As his lust laden desires escalated he began abusing his sister. To their mothers surprise she found that Kitty was pregnant by her own brother. The family was subject to shame and Fred was arrested by police. The disgraced youth was thrown out of home.

In 1962 aged 21, Fred married Catherine Costello, who was already pregnant by another man. The couple moved to Savoy Street and were blessed with 2 daughters, though Fred was wicked to the little girls. Disgusted by his actions Catherine began an affair with John Mc Lachlan. Fred often received beatings from John and was intimidated by him. This would have caused him to be bitter and become a violent sadist as the years went by. He began abusing his daughters and convinced his wife to become a prostitute, a most indecent proposal.

In 1967, Anne Mc Fall aged 18 was reported missing. Her body was later found, cut up in pieces and laid in a cornfield. She had also been made pregnant by Fred. At a bus stop in 1969 Fred met a young girl named Rose.

He soon gained her sympathy claiming that he was a single dad with 2 daughters. Soon Rose began to visit Fred and cared for Charmaine and Annamarie. Weeks later Rose introduced him to her parents and they were disgusted at her choice of man. Her parents had 15 year old Rose sent to Social Services who put her in a home. She came out to live with Fred and was soon pregnant. The children Charmaine and Annamarie were now subject to beatings and punishment by their stepmother Rose.

In 1971 Rose killed her stepchild Charmaine. Fred later buried his own child in the yard. After this bizarre incident Rose began to work as a prostitute satisfying both male and female clients. One of her clients was Bill- her own father, this is indeed a psychotic family. Fred and Rose soon developed a desire for dominance and torture. Fred went onto rape his 8-year-old daughter Annamarie. Shameless Fred soon forced Annamarie to work as a prostitute with her mother.

Fred and Rose West hired a nanny names Caroline Owens. Within a few days they gagged and raped her. She managed to escape to her mother’s house. The police were informed and arrested the couple. Caroline was scared to testify in court, and the charges were dropped. Fred and his wife were simply charged 50 sterling pounds for indecent assault. The couple’s next victim was 19 year old Lynda Gough who had been suspended from the ceiling and tortured.

Her dismembered body was found later. Soon Fred went onto rape and kill his daughter Heather and bury her in the garden. When Police finally raided the house they found 12 female bodies buried in the garden and cellar. Fred’s children at home showed signs of neglect and had speech impediments.

Fred was sent to Birmingham Prison. In February 1995 he committed suicide aged 53 years, using a rope made from a torn up blanket. He left a suicide note saying he was in perfect peace waiting for his wife. Rose West was sentenced to life in prison. Child abuse of any form must be reported, as silence could lead to such a bizarre and creepy chain of deaths.