Fred West

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Fred West
2 Fred-Westcollect-photograph.jpg
Full Name: Frederick Walter Stephen West
Origin: Much Marcle, Herefordshire, England
Occupation: Builder
Ice cream van driver and salesman
Lorry driver
Hobby: Killing, raping, and torturing
Goals: Get away with his and Rosemary's crimes (failed)
Crimes: Serial murder
Domestic abuse
Sexual abuse
Child abuse
Type of Villain: Serial Killer

Fred West (September 29th, 1941 – January 1st, 1995) is a man who, together with wife Rosemary West, raped and murdered several teenagers between 1971 - 1995. Some of the victims were their own kids. Fred West committed suicide in 1995 while Rosemary West is serving life imprisonment.

Fred and Rose West are known to have committed at least 12 murders between 1967 and 1987; many of those connected to the case believe there are several other victims whose bodies have never been found. Prior to his suicide, police had recorded over 108 hours of tape-recorded interviews with Fred, both when he had claimed to have acted alone in the commission of the murders, and when he had attempted to portray Rose as being the more culpable participant. On several occasions, Fred made cryptic hints he had claimed several other victims, but refused to divulge any further information beyond that he had murdered 15-year-old Mary Bastholm in 1968 and buried the body on farmland near Bishop's Cleeve. He also claimed to have killed one victim while working on a construction project in Birmingham, and that other bodies had been buried in Scotland and Herefordshire.

"He said to me: 'Can you remember helping me dig those holes in the garden when you were a kid?' I said I couldn't remember, but he said, 'We did it together, you know.' Then he said: 'That's where the girls were found, in the exact holes'."

To his appropriate adult, Fred claimed there were up to 20 further victims he and his wife had killed, "not in one place but spread around",[192] and he intended to reveal the location of one body per year to investigators.[193][194]

While on remand, Fred made several admissions as to the fate of the victims buried at Cromwell Street to his son Stephen. Much of this information was disjointed or told in a third party manner; Fred claimed that he had extensively tortured the victims prior to their murder, but had not raped them, instead engaging in acts of necrophilia with their bodies at or shortly after the point of death.[195] He also claimed the reason many phalange bones had been missing from the victims' bodies was because the removal of their fingers and toes had been one of the forms of torture the victims had endured, with other torture methods including the extraction of their nails, acts of mutilation, and cigarettes being stubbed out on their bodies. Furthermore, the locations of almost all the burial sites of victims—both discovered and undiscovered—was symbolic to Fred, as each had been buried at or very close to the location he had lived in or worked at the time of the victim's murder.


  • July: Anne McFall, (18). McFall's remains were found on 7 June 1994 in Fingerpost Field, Much Marcle. Her body had been placed in a rectangular pit and covered with loose topsoil. She had been pregnant with a daughter, and her pregnancy had been in its eighth month.[198]


  • 6 January: Mary Bastholm, (15). A teenage waitress at a café Fred frequented. Bastholm was abducted from a bus stop on Bristol Road, Gloucester. Her remains were never found; Fred confessed to police he had killed her. She is believed to have been buried in Bishop's Cleeve.[


  • c. 20 June: Charmaine West, (8). Fred's stepdaughter. Charmaine was killed by Rose shortly before Fred's release from Leyhill Prison on 24 June, likely in a fit of domestic violence.[55] Her remains were initially stored in the cellar at Midland Road before Fred buried the child's body in the rear garden of the flat.[65]
  • August: Rena Costello, (27). Costello is believed to have called on the Wests at 25 Midland Road to either enquire about or obtain custody of her two daughters in mid-to-late-August 1971. It is believed Fred killed Rena to avoid any investigation into Charmaine's whereabouts. She is believed to have been strangled to death by Fred before her extensively mutilated body was buried in Letterbox Field.


  • c. 20 April: Lynda Gough, (19). The first sexually motivated killing the Wests are known to have committed together. Gough was a lodger at 25 Cromwell Street, and shared sex partners with Rose. Following her disappearance, Gough's mother called at Cromwell Street to enquire as to her daughter's whereabouts, only to note Rose had been wearing her daughter's clothes and slippers. She was informed Lynda had moved to find work in Weston-super-Mare. Her remains were buried in an inspection pit beneath the garage, which was later converted into a bathroom.
  • 10 November: Carol Ann Cooper, (15). Cooper had been placed into care following her mother's death in 1966. She was last seen alive by her boyfriend in the suburb of Warndon boarding a bus to her grandmother's home. Cooper was the final victim unearthed from the cellar. Her skull was bound with surgical tape and her dismembered limbs bound with cord and braiding cloth
  • 27 December: Lucy Partington, (21). Partington was a university student and the cousin of novelist Martin Amis. She was abducted from a bus stop along the A435. Her precise date of death may have been one week after her disappearance, as Fred admitted himself into the casualty unit of the Gloucester Royal Hospital with a serious laceration of his right hand on 3 January, likely sustained as he dismembered Partington's body. Her body was discovered in the Cromwell Street cellar on 6 March 1994.[202][203]


  • 16 April: Thérèse Siegenthaler, (21). A sociology student at Greenwich Community College. Siegenthaler was abducted by the Wests as she hitchhiked from South London to Holyhead. Fred mistook her Swiss accent to be a Dutch one, and always referred to her as either "the Dutch girl" or "Tulip". She was reported missing to Scotland Yard by her family in Switzerland when communication from their daughter ceased.[204] Fred later further concealed Siegenthaler's remains by building a false chimney breast on her grave.
  • 15 November: Shirley Hubbard, (15). A foster child abducted from a Droitwich bus stop close to the River Severn as she travelled home from a date.[106] Aged 15 when murdered, Hubbard had been attending work experience in Worcester, and was last seen by her boyfriend, having promised to meet him the next day. When her dismembered remains were found in a section of the cellar known to the family as the "Marilyn Monroe area".[205] Her head had been completely covered in tape, with a one-eighth-of-an-inch diameter rubber tube inserted three inches into her nasal cavity to enable her to breathe.[106]


  • 12 April: Juanita Mott, (18). Mott had been a former lodger at 25 Cromwell Street, but was living with a family friend in Newent when she disappeared. Mott is believed to have been abducted by the Wests as she hitchhiked along the B4215. In his subsequent confessions to police, Fred would refer to Mott as "the girl from Newent".[206]


  • 10 May: Shirley Robinson, (18). Another former lodger at 25 Cromwell Street, Robinson had been bisexual and had engaged in casual sex with Fred and Rose. At the time of her disappearance, she had been eight months pregnant with Fred's child, and her baby had been due to be born on 11 June. No sexual motive existed for this murder, and the prosecution contended at Rose's trial that Robinson had been murdered as her pregnancy threatened the stability of the Wests' relationship.[207] Fred had originally planned to sell their baby to a childless couple and had photographs taken with Robinson for this purpose.[208]


  • 5 August: Alison Chambers, (16). Chambers had been placed into foster care at the age of 14, and had repeatedly absconded from Jordan's Brook House. She became acquainted with the Wests in mid-1979, and Fred later claimed to his solicitor that Chambers had died as a result of Rose becoming "too bloody vicious" with her. Her dismembered body, missing several bones and with a leather belt looped beneath her jaw and tied at the top of her head, was buried in the garden of Cromwell Street. This was the final murder where a sexual motive was established.[


  • 19 June: Heather West, (16). Heather was likely to have been murdered because Fred and Rose considered her efforts to leave the household as a threat, as she divulged to her classmates the extensive physical and sexual abuse which occurred at Cromwell Street.[55] Fred claimed he had not intended to kill his daughter, but carpet fibres found on two lengths of rope, discovered with her remains, suggested that she had been restrained and subjected to a sexual assault prior to her murder. Her body was dismembered with a heavy serrated knife and later buried in a hole in the garden which Fred had his son dig, under the pretence of installing a fish pond.[The 1994 police investigation into Heather's disappearance led to the discovery of her body, and the arrest of both her parents.


  • As well as the 12 confirmed victims, police firmly believe Fred is also responsible for the 1968 disappearance of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, but to date no body has been found.[210] West's son, Stephen, has said he firmly believes the missing teenager was an early victim of his father, as Fred had openly boasted of having committed Bastholm's murder while on remand. Police were unable to charge Fred with this crime as they had no evidence.
  • No forensic evidence linked Fred to the murder of Anne McFall, and he always denied killing her. Her body had been extensively dismembered, and was missing several phalange bones, and the cubic dimensions of the grave in which her body was buried match the modus operandi of Fred's later murders