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Fred & Rose: The Full Story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors

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The definitive account of one of Britain’s most notorious killer couples, who loved, tortured, and slayed together as husband and wife. From the outside, 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England, looked as commonplace as the married couple who lived there. But in 1994, Fred and Rose West’s home would become infamous as a “house of horrors” when the remains of nine young w The definitive account of one of Britain’s most notorious killer couples, who loved, tortured, and slayed together as husband and wife. From the outside, 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England, looked as commonplace as the married couple who lived there. But in 1994, Fred and Rose West’s home would become infamous as a “house of horrors” when the remains of nine young women—many of them decapitated, dismembered, and showing evidence of sexual torture—were found interred under its cellar, bathroom floor, and garden. And this wasn’t the only burial ground: Fred’s first wife and nanny were unearthed miles away in a field, while his eight-year-old stepdaughter was found entombed under the Wests’ former residence.   Yet, for more than twenty years, the twosome maintained a façade of normalcy while abusing and murdering female boarders, hitchhikers, and members of their own family. Howard Sounes, who first broke the story about the Wests as a journalist and covered the murder trial, has written a comprehensive account of the case. Beginning with Fred and Rose’s bizarre childhoods, Sounes charts their lives and crimes in forensic detail, constructing a fascinating and frightening tale of a marriage soaked in blood. Indeed, the total number of the Wests’ victims may never be known.   A case reminiscent of the “Moors Murders” committed in the 1960s in Manchester by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady—as if Hindley and Brady had married and kept on killing for decades—Fred & Rose “is a story of obsessive love as well as obsessive murder” (The Times, London).  


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The definitive account of one of Britain’s most notorious killer couples, who loved, tortured, and slayed together as husband and wife. From the outside, 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England, looked as commonplace as the married couple who lived there. But in 1994, Fred and Rose West’s home would become infamous as a “house of horrors” when the remains of nine young w The definitive account of one of Britain’s most notorious killer couples, who loved, tortured, and slayed together as husband and wife. From the outside, 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England, looked as commonplace as the married couple who lived there. But in 1994, Fred and Rose West’s home would become infamous as a “house of horrors” when the remains of nine young women—many of them decapitated, dismembered, and showing evidence of sexual torture—were found interred under its cellar, bathroom floor, and garden. And this wasn’t the only burial ground: Fred’s first wife and nanny were unearthed miles away in a field, while his eight-year-old stepdaughter was found entombed under the Wests’ former residence.   Yet, for more than twenty years, the twosome maintained a façade of normalcy while abusing and murdering female boarders, hitchhikers, and members of their own family. Howard Sounes, who first broke the story about the Wests as a journalist and covered the murder trial, has written a comprehensive account of the case. Beginning with Fred and Rose’s bizarre childhoods, Sounes charts their lives and crimes in forensic detail, constructing a fascinating and frightening tale of a marriage soaked in blood. Indeed, the total number of the Wests’ victims may never be known.   A case reminiscent of the “Moors Murders” committed in the 1960s in Manchester by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady—as if Hindley and Brady had married and kept on killing for decades—Fred & Rose “is a story of obsessive love as well as obsessive murder” (The Times, London).  

30 review for Fred & Rose: The Full Story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laurie | LOHF

    This is an account of the true life multiple murder and bizarre sex perpetrated by an ordinary looking man named Fred and his frumpy wife Rose. Together they raped, murdered, dismembered and buried at least ten (but likely many more) innocent women who fell into their clutches. Together. {{{shudders}}} Can you imagine finding (and keeping) your soul mate when your obsession is violent, murderous sex? Can you imagine raising a family and keeping up a facade of normalcy while doing so? Well these This is an account of the true life multiple murder and bizarre sex perpetrated by an ordinary looking man named Fred and his frumpy wife Rose. Together they raped, murdered, dismembered and buried at least ten (but likely many more) innocent women who fell into their clutches. Together. {{{shudders}}} Can you imagine finding (and keeping) your soul mate when your obsession is violent, murderous sex? Can you imagine raising a family and keeping up a facade of normalcy while doing so? Well these two managed it. It’s much worse than any horror novel could every try to be because, sadly enough, it’s all true. The author states the story matter of factly, never getting preachy but just stating the facts ma’am. He starts things off with their childhoods which were a bloody mess of dysfunction. Both suffered their share of trauma, physical and sexual, before the fateful day they found each other, fell into a twisted version of love and began their spree of sexual abuse and murder. They both seem to be barely functioning people and never really had a chance what with their horrid pasts and all. But still it is very difficult to find any sympathy for either of them as their tale unfolds. This book made me stop and wonder just what the hell was wrong with me. Why on earth did I want to continue reading about these horrible people? Why couldn’t I put it down? Why did I have to keep reading “just one more page”? I guess it’s my terrible curiosity but these stories have some sort of pull on me and once I start them I have to see them through to the awful end even if means wishing I could scrub myself from the inside out to get some of the images out of my mind when I’m done. It amazed, saddened and sickened me how loyal Fred remained to Rose until the very end. Despite all of the hell the two created together, the countless sex partners and the sick secrets they kept, Fred loved Rose in his twisted way and couldn’t live without her and still thought himself “a nice man”. That’s about the sickest and scariest thing I’ve ever read. I only recommend this to those with an interest in real life crime sprees and with an iron clad stomach. The content is extremely rough and hard to forget once read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane in Australia

    A very well researched book about the serial killers, Fred and Rose West. These murders took place in/near Gloucester, England. The author, a journalist, broke the first major story about the couple. He goes back to their childhoods, and continues on until the conclusion of the court case. I wanted to like this book more, as it came highly recommended, but somehow it just seems a bit 'flat' to me. Perhaps, being a serious journalist doesn't make it easy to switch to the more engrossing style nee A very well researched book about the serial killers, Fred and Rose West. These murders took place in/near Gloucester, England. The author, a journalist, broke the first major story about the couple. He goes back to their childhoods, and continues on until the conclusion of the court case. I wanted to like this book more, as it came highly recommended, but somehow it just seems a bit 'flat' to me. Perhaps, being a serious journalist doesn't make it easy to switch to the more engrossing style needed in a true crime book. Ah, well. But if you want the facts, this book has that ... and several pages of photos. 3 Stars = I liked the book. I'm glad I read it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kavita

    It is rare to have a husband and wife serial killer team, operating for years altogether without anyone even noticing. This, in spite of friends, family, lodgers, police, people from the child service, and of course, some would-be victims who got away! Fred and Rose happened and survived for so long because people don't care. There is no policy of zero-tolerance to violence in society, so such things are allowed to continue for years. Fred grew up in a poverty-stricken home, scrounging for every It is rare to have a husband and wife serial killer team, operating for years altogether without anyone even noticing. This, in spite of friends, family, lodgers, police, people from the child service, and of course, some would-be victims who got away! Fred and Rose happened and survived for so long because people don't care. There is no policy of zero-tolerance to violence in society, so such things are allowed to continue for years. Fred grew up in a poverty-stricken home, scrounging for every penny and developed into a molester at a very young age. He received his comeuppance quite early when a girl he tried to molest pushed him down the stairs. Yayyy for her! The author claims that this incident and his motorbike accident led his brain to deteriorate. Quite possible, but since he was already raping and molesting women, I would look for the roots elsewhere. Rose grew up in a crazy and abusive household and was almost definitely sexually abused by her father. Both her parents had deep mental problems, some of which she probably inherited. Her mother underwent shock treatment when pregnant with Rose, which also probably had a bearing on her development. Rose drew the short straw of life before she was even born, and then had the bad luck to meet Fred. I knew bits and pieces of this story, but the author was pretty thorough in covering all aspects of it. I liked the fact that he went into the family history of both people, because it is always important and relevant when people turn violent. He also consistently emphasised how many people were informed about 'something irregular' in the West household but how they simply preferred to look the other way. I am honestly incensed at the people who refused to believe the child abuse suffered by the kids because 'Fred was such a nice guy'. I found parts of the book unnecessarily graphic, especially when the author is describing how Fred dismembered the corpses. It was wholly unnecessary and quite gratuitous. Considering we are talking about a dozen corpses here, it was just too much for me. A detailed look at the case, its background and its eventual resolution. I'd recommend it if you can deal with the utter depravity of poverty, prostitution, child abuse, sexual abuse, murder and subsequent dismemberment. Murder seems the least sleazy crime of these people when you take the entire thing in perspective. Ugh!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Steeden

    I read this book when it first came out in paperback. It may well be still up in the loft somewhere. This came up on the Kindle Daily Deal and the cover states that is has a new Postscript, so I thought I’d read it again. The author, Howard Sounes, was employed at the time of the discovery of the buried bodies at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucestershire, UK, as a staff reporter for the ‘Sunday Mirror’ newspaper in London. I am not a ‘Mirror’ reader but I do remember the papers going into amazing det I read this book when it first came out in paperback. It may well be still up in the loft somewhere. This came up on the Kindle Daily Deal and the cover states that is has a new Postscript, so I thought I’d read it again. The author, Howard Sounes, was employed at the time of the discovery of the buried bodies at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucestershire, UK, as a staff reporter for the ‘Sunday Mirror’ newspaper in London. I am not a ‘Mirror’ reader but I do remember the papers going into amazing detail on this case. It was just so awful. I don’t think people could believe it which made it so fascinating. He explains that he needs to go further into the past and especially to Fred and Rose’s parents as this provides an insightful portal into how they were and what they would become. It is so utterly revealing. This is very well told non-fiction. Not dry in the slightest. He wants to just provide facts and no opinion until the Epilogue. He really does deliver on the facts. He obviously spent a lot of time researching. I will not go into the details. I don’t have to. I think every adult in England that was around in 1994 knows exactly what happened. Not surprisingly this is graphic and disturbing. Fred West was an animal. He had an accomplice as well. His wife, Rose but the details are murky when it comes to her involvement in the actual killing. Did she know, did she take part? There are still many unknowns. What is known is that their sexual depravity was off the chart. After reading this you feel that you need a very hot power shower. You feel dirty. Everything about it is dirty, disgusting, grimy and abhorrent. This is a sign of the strength of the book. The author does make his feelings known about Rose’s involvement like the jury in her trial did. The Postscript is OK. It goes into more of what happened with the other family members after, and in some cases, their actual involvement with Fred & Rose including the rape and murders. The photos are in black & white but are a very good accompaniment to the text.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I first heard of the Wests when the Appropriate Adult mini-series/movie came on cable here in the US. It had Dominic West and Emily Watson, so it was good. Therefore, when the eBook version of this book came up for sale, I brought it. After reading a mystery that used the Wests as a plot point, I decided to read this book. The Wests, Fred and Rose, were murderers and rapists who targeted younger women and buried some of the victims in the yard of their house. One of the murdered victims was thei I first heard of the Wests when the Appropriate Adult mini-series/movie came on cable here in the US. It had Dominic West and Emily Watson, so it was good. Therefore, when the eBook version of this book came up for sale, I brought it. After reading a mystery that used the Wests as a plot point, I decided to read this book. The Wests, Fred and Rose, were murderers and rapists who targeted younger women and buried some of the victims in the yard of their house. One of the murdered victims was their eldest biological daughter, and it seems that they were abusive to all their children. Sounes covered the story when it first came to light and this book looks not only into the case itself but also the background to both the Wests. There is, also, background on their victims – which included a relative of Kingsley Amis. With a few exceptions, most of the victims of the West faced similar living circumstance – abusive homes, issues with authority, and lower class. One wonders if this had anything to do with how long the Wests were able to carry on their murders. Because while Sounes explains who the Wests were (he doesn’t really try to argue why they did what they did), he also details the failures one many levels of government systems and policing that contributed to the span of time the Wests were able to enjoy freedom. Part of the reason has to do with how Britain at the time saw victims of rape. One of the victims of the couple survived and escape, she even pressed charges, but well, the result of the trial was maddening. When Sounes covers the background of the Wests, he does so with a sense of detachment. He gives details of their past but does so with a lack of sympathy. This does not apply when he is discussing the victims, which, quite clearly and understandably, get his sympathy. His anger at the various institutions who should have done something is also palpable. At times, it does almost feel like Sounes is making too much of the Wests’ various sexual fetishes. This seems particularly true about Rose, who because of her mental issues and change of behavior in the relationship seems to interest the author more than her husband. The sexual issues are not described in a titillating way, but there is almost a sense of well, since they are deviant in sexual taste than it is almost nature that they became murderers. I don’t think this feeling is intended and it could be just me. Though I did fine myself wondering why if the Wests had such a vast collection of sex toys as noted late in the book, it wasn’t mentioned earlier (at least in terms of acquiring such a collection). The police who eventually collared the West do not get as much “page” time as the couple or even the victims. This actually works for the best because it does not become the story of the dogged cop who kept to her guns. Instead, the book functions in part as a memorial for all those victims of the couple.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lady ♥ Belleza

    Three things stand out to me in this book, (1) the utter depravity of Fred and Rose West; (2) the horrible failure of the Gloucestershire Social Services; and (3) the amazing tenacity of one Detective Constable Hazel Norma Savage, without her involvement, the bodies might never have been found. Fred and Rose were married for about 25 years, but the killing had started before, both had killed on their own, and then together, they knew each others secrets and covered up for each other. In the end, Three things stand out to me in this book, (1) the utter depravity of Fred and Rose West; (2) the horrible failure of the Gloucestershire Social Services; and (3) the amazing tenacity of one Detective Constable Hazel Norma Savage, without her involvement, the bodies might never have been found. Fred and Rose were married for about 25 years, but the killing had started before, both had killed on their own, and then together, they knew each others secrets and covered up for each other. In the end, Fred tried to protect Rose, who when she felt he had failed her turned from him. He took his life and there are now questions that will never be answered. Such as, why were finger and toe bones missing, are there more victims and if so where are they buried? Rose maintains her innocence. These are things we may never find out. Howard Sounes is a journalist, he covered the story when it broke and the trial of Rosemary West, much of the information in this book is from that. There is also extensive background information and he includes speculation on what caused Fred and Rose to become such twisted individuals. He delivers accounts of what probably happened to the victims, based on the condition of the bodies and accounts from other victims that survived. One of the victims that lived is Fred and Rose’s daughters. Two of the victims that were killed were also their daughters. The facts are laid out explicitly but not sensationally making this an informative, well written, interesting account. I recommend this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Keen

    “In the middle of the night he heard a protracted scream, lasting between ten and twenty minutes. It was the voice of a young girl, and he could make out the words ‘No, no, please!’.” This was according to a young man who had the misfortune to spend a night at the Wests. He was assured that “it was only Heather having one of her nightmares.” One of the more baffling aspects to this story is that after the Wests had gotten off very lightly for kidnapping, raping and nearly killing one young woman i “In the middle of the night he heard a protracted scream, lasting between ten and twenty minutes. It was the voice of a young girl, and he could make out the words ‘No, no, please!’.” This was according to a young man who had the misfortune to spend a night at the Wests. He was assured that “it was only Heather having one of her nightmares.” One of the more baffling aspects to this story is that after the Wests had gotten off very lightly for kidnapping, raping and nearly killing one young woman in the area, not a single thought or visit seems to have been given by the same police force that maybe the Wests might at least be worth a visit after a growing number of young women from a similar background had suddenly gone missing?... We now know that four months after walking free from court they had murdered a young girl. In part made possible by the all-knowing, all-seeing justice system. This incredible lack of imagination and er “police work” created the perfect environment for the Wests to thrive in. It was this sort of incompetence which allowed the Wests to then kidnap, rape and kill four young women in that same house within a 12 month period. Even as actual female members of the West family started to disappear without ever being heard of ever again, this was still not enough to trigger so much as a police visit?... Then there are the other social services, the various trips to the hospital (the children appeared at the local A&E 31 times between 1972-92) and the various bruises seen by school teachers?... It is like the entire so called support network in the area were sleepwalking through their jobs and responsibilities for years upon years allowing the Wests to terrorise the community and beyond with impunity for decades largely unchecked. In fact it took until the later half of 1992 before a significant inquiry arrived at the door of 25 Cromwell Street, by which time the body count was already in double figures and many others had been horrendously damaged by the chronic abuse they had endured. But this case collapsed and the couple were free again. The crucial investigation would not begin until Feb 1994 and that was when the police started to dig up the patio. As well as a long, established history of deviancy, cruelty, sadistic violence, abuse and killing West had his first taste of prison in Gloucester back in 1969, where he apparently had to endure a diet of bread and water. His life as a seasoned, petty criminal and not a very smart one either, would soon see him return to jail a number of times. The very place where he would eventually kill himself. But of course one of the more unique and sinister aspects to this story is the vital role played by Rose West, unlike in most other similar scenarios, she was no innocent victim swept up in the madness and chaos, but instead she was actually a motivating force behind much if not most of it, a domineering figure with terrifying and violent mood swings which inevitably led to the death of various young women and children. This often makes for deeply disturbing reading and one criticism I would level at this is that this book often struggles to rise above cheap sensationalism and never quite manages to shake of its scuzzy tabloid feel. Do we really need to know the size of West’s penis?...and the author deems it relevant that we know that some of the people in the gallery at the trial were not just girls, but "attractive young college girls” and other silliness like when a woman in court clears her throat we are told that West looks at her, “Like a bird eyeing a worm, she studied the woman closely.” Really?... Also the epilogue is a bit bizarre in the way that Sounes blatantly contradicts himself with lines like “They were the people next door, who waved cheerily hello to neighbours as they walked down the street” this in spite of giving many examples of how and why they were never this sort of couple who would do such a thing. He also describes Cromwell St as “hardly the domicile we would expect of a serial killer.” Yet earlier on he goes to some lengths to explain why this was actually the perfect spot for a serial killer, “used by a transient population of college students, the unemployed and psychiatric patients who had been released from the decommissioned Coney Hill mental hospital. There was also a criminal element-one former resident was serving a prison sentence for attempted murder.” He also previously cited the poor lighting at the property, and of course he tells us of how often the police attended the property for a number of unrelated, low-level crimes too. With those flaws aside this is still a damn good read and a shocking one at that. Sounes tells the story well and the updates were really interesting too, and anyone with an interest in this gristly subject then this is the book to inform you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Georgie

    Is it wrong to say that I enjoyed this? I certainly couldn't put it down; and annoyed almost everyone around me by attempting to engage in conversation based on Fred and Rose. I think that the book depicts the lives of Fred and Rose West perfectly, however, on occasion the author seems biased towards certain subjects within the book,I felt. If you're the type of person (like me) who is interested by the thought provoking nature of people's/ serial killer's actions- especially that of Fred and Ro Is it wrong to say that I enjoyed this? I certainly couldn't put it down; and annoyed almost everyone around me by attempting to engage in conversation based on Fred and Rose. I think that the book depicts the lives of Fred and Rose West perfectly, however, on occasion the author seems biased towards certain subjects within the book,I felt. If you're the type of person (like me) who is interested by the thought provoking nature of people's/ serial killer's actions- especially that of Fred and Rose- I would advise this book. Oh, and also readers with an emotional characteristic please don't read this book, it can be slightly upsetting at times.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    This was a deep look into the lives of one of the worlds most twisted couples. I wonder how any of their children survived their childhoods. If people would have conacted child protective services or reported what they had seen to the police so many lives could have been saved. This couple were definantly out of touch with reality and living in some fantasy world full of sadomasochism.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

    Review of FRED & ROSE by Howard Sounes A couple of weeks ago, prisoner-for-life Rose West was assaulted by another female inmate, who later stated that as a mother herself she could not tolerate Rose's crimes, nor the attention and approbation she believes Rose receives. So I found it apropos that this superb recounting of the killer couple, Fred West and Rose Leets West, their crimes and personalities, history and ancestry, be published this week (March 14, 2017 release). The author, Howard Soun Review of FRED & ROSE by Howard Sounes A couple of weeks ago, prisoner-for-life Rose West was assaulted by another female inmate, who later stated that as a mother herself she could not tolerate Rose's crimes, nor the attention and approbation she believes Rose receives. So I found it apropos that this superb recounting of the killer couple, Fred West and Rose Leets West, their crimes and personalities, history and ancestry, be published this week (March 14, 2017 release). The author, Howard Sounes, is a journalist and biographer, who actually “broke” some of the news surrounding the discoveries in February-March 1994 of the numerous, even extensive, killings committed by one or both of this evil pair. Yes, I use the term “evil,” because I think any lesser disapprobation applies. Fred and Rose, singularly and coupled, acted far beyond the accepted bounds of human behaviour. Indeed, for these two, no taboos existed. What they desired, they acted upon, no matter how horrendous. Like two infants, they insisted on immediate gratification; they had no code of moral conduct, indeed no morality whatsoever; and their planning extended only to disposing of victims in order to leave no witnesses. Of course, if they had thought in advance, and had not responded to their every passing whim, many young women would not have died agonizingly. FRED & ROSE is a difficult read for a human who has any emotions or empathy, but it is superbly written and very revealing of how, why, where, and what of the crimes committed by this couple (individually and in concert). It is not reading for the faint of heart; but for readers like myself, who are impelled to read true crime and crime fiction to learn “Why? How could such have happened? Who could act this way?” it's essential reading, offering also the questions “Where were the authorities (law enforcement, medical, social services) when these victims—young adults, adolescents, and children—fell prey to these two “human” monsters?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bill reilly

    We’re #1; my country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty and serial killers; Bundy, Kemper, Gacy, etc. And now for something completely different, as we are off to the land of Madam George and roses. Gloucester, G.B. is the setting and a bloody good start it is with dismembered remains found under a garden. It was 1994, and the homeowner, Fred West was charged with murder of his teenage daughter, Heather. Fred was a builder and mom Rose was a hooker. Fred was born in 1941 in a cottage with no el We’re #1; my country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty and serial killers; Bundy, Kemper, Gacy, etc. And now for something completely different, as we are off to the land of Madam George and roses. Gloucester, G.B. is the setting and a bloody good start it is with dismembered remains found under a garden. It was 1994, and the homeowner, Fred West was charged with murder of his teenage daughter, Heather. Fred was a builder and mom Rose was a hooker. Fred was born in 1941 in a cottage with no electricity or running water. The bathroom was a bucket. Six more kids were born into dire poverty. At sixteen, Fred had a motorcycle accident and was unconscious for several days. At 19, he impregnated a thirteen year-old girl who would not testify at trial against him. His future wife and partner in crime also grew up in horrible circumstances. Her father was schizophrenic and her mother was a manic depressive who received shock treatment; what a family tree! During the ECT treatments, Rose was born. Although her mom and siblings were beaten by dear old dad, Rose was spared, most likely because she was as dumb as a box of rocks. She slept with her 10 year-old brother and at thirteen, she molested him, and incest with her father was also likely. At fifteen, Rose had a sexual affair with a thirty year-old man. In 1964, Fred married Rena Costello, a teen prostitute. Four teen girls disappeared in Glasgow and the place where he lived has been paved over. In 1967, Freddie knocked up a nice teenage Catholic girl, Anna McFall. She was found dead twenty seven years later, but baby daddy was not charged due to a lack of evidence. The stars aligned and romance filled the air at a bus stop as Fred and Rose met for the first time and it was kismet. They shared a mutually sadomasochistic relationship She was fifteen and Fred twenty seven. He pimped her out to coworkers; Goddamn this is depressing. It only gets worse as while Fred was in prison for theft, Rose killed his seven year-old daughter from his first wife. She was buried in their basement. Rose gave birth at sixteen. Fred’s first wife Rena vanished and no one looked for her. She, it later turned out, was also killed and dismembered by Fred. The guy is a veritable Bundy; Ted, of course. Fred married Rose and they rented a house with basement for their bizarre sexual activities. The threesomes with other consenting adults did not bother me, but Fred’s rape and Rose’s molestation of his eight year-old daughter is beyond comprehension. Send them both to Saudi Arabia for a good old fashioned stoning. Several teenage girls went missing in 1974. The killing couple had raped and dismembered them. Lodgers were commonplace in the house, but they were oblivious. Mr. and Mrs. West turned Ann Marie into a prostitute when she was twelve and Fred impregnated her two years later. Rose continued to work as a hooker and had two more kids fathered by Jamaican men. They used cameras to videotape her trysts with both customers and Fred. Some of their fetishes are nauseating. They ran adult ads seeking partners and the number of willing participants is amazing and I am mystified as to why anyone feels the need to be beaten. Finally, after endless years of depravity, a thirteen year-old girl told a friend of being raped by the dynamic duo. Ann Marie was interviewed and told the police of her childhood abuse. The police dept. dug up the yard and found human remains. The pathologist, Bernard Knight, is on my wavelength as an atheist who said, “The human race is pretty rotten.” And “we are a malignancy on the face of the earth.” Nine sets of remains created a jigsaw puzzle of sorts for Knight. Most identifications were virtually impossible since so many transients had stayed at the house. Young runaway hookers were not exactly a priority for cops. The legal machinations were very British, with wigs and Q.C.’s, all very proper. The finish is somewhat surprising and I feel the need for a karmic bath after reading this thoroughly unpleasant story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    This factual account of the lives of Fred and Rose West, begins before either of them were born. It begins with their families and the awful conditions they were born into and leads to their subsequent meeting, and the sharing of their proclivities for depravity and debauchery. I would agree with the description that it was a fascinating tale, however it left me with more questions than answers. I found some of it very difficult to believe. I am not saying I don't believe they were perverted and This factual account of the lives of Fred and Rose West, begins before either of them were born. It begins with their families and the awful conditions they were born into and leads to their subsequent meeting, and the sharing of their proclivities for depravity and debauchery. I would agree with the description that it was a fascinating tale, however it left me with more questions than answers. I found some of it very difficult to believe. I am not saying I don't believe they were perverted and twisted child molesters and murderers, I just can not understand the actions of some of their adult victims. I don't understand, nor was it explained why Fred's former wife would show up to claim her children but then leave without them. While I can understand the ease with which they manipulated young girls who had no where else to turn I don't understand how they could have gotten away with murder and torture for so long, or why for instance borders in their home would hear screams and never look into it. Rose is described as fat and dim witted. Fred is described as fat, ugly, vulgar, crude, having the features of a monkey, a smile which showcases his obvious lack of hygiene, and yet he is also described as able to charm people, particularly women. That makes no sense to me. There was at one point a friendly relationship with a neighbor woman who would watch their children while they went out looking to pick up young girls. When they told this woman their young child was not a virgin, when they tried to get this woman to have sex with the both of them, and she was supposedly not interested in such a relationship so I do not understand why she returned to their home almost daily to "have tea" with them even after the point of one time being attacked and handcuffed by Fred. Why did she continue to return to their home and ultimately become another of their victims? It is said they carried on some semblance of normal life and yet they thought nothing of keeping their daughter out of school many times due to her injuries from their physical and sexual torture. There was several hospital visits but nobody ever looked into it further. People in the neighborhood seemed to know the family was not normal yet nobody including police did anything for years even though Fred already had a criminal record. Rose and Fred both were terrible liars but it seems no matter how far fetched an excuse they would give, nobody dug any further for years. This book left me unsettled, with more questions than answers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Love

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I do not even know where to start with this review. It's been a while since I read a TC I hate the court scenes in these type books. However this book was written very differant than others I have read. Liked the writing style in this one. Now onto how I felt about the subject and it's "charactors"....Well after reading the entire book I realize these people were destined to have troubled lives from the get go. You can not put an unborn child through what Rose Letts went through. Ihave always be I do not even know where to start with this review. It's been a while since I read a TC I hate the court scenes in these type books. However this book was written very differant than others I have read. Liked the writing style in this one. Now onto how I felt about the subject and it's "charactors"....Well after reading the entire book I realize these people were destined to have troubled lives from the get go. You can not put an unborn child through what Rose Letts went through. Ihave always believed that what is done to the mothers body is also felt by that unborn baby. ECT theraphy hurt people, so whats it going to do to a developing baby??? I gather from the contents of the book that Freds parents both under mentally developed. Then his accident causing brain damage...All of this does not make what they did acceptable but I feel it contributes to the extent of their crimes. I also find it hard to believe it took 30 years to descover their crimes. There were so many signs that could have lead people to see something was going wrong in that home. You can bet if my neighbor was up quote "building" at all hours of the night I would be checking into it. It is also mentioned people living in the home heard screaming and not of pleasure well come on?? That would be question wouldn't it?? As much as I hate the crimes these two committed I feel bad for them, for what they had gone through before they did these horrible crimes. I do not think we should feel any less pain for them then we do the people they hurt. I do not think Rose was working with a full deck Fred for that matter either. Now a days we have programs to help this sort of thing to bad this had to happened to make people notice there was smething wrong with the two of them. I would say it is a must read for any true crime reader.

  14. 4 out of 5

    What Lynsey Read

    This book only got 2 stars from me not because of the content - that was obviously going to be disturbing - but because I wasn't keen on the writing style. I found it clunky & overly descriptive. The author often seems to go into detail about unnecessary & irrelevant points. For example, did I need to know that the cop in charge - Hazel - wore tortoiseshell glasses and had short brown hair? I think not. There was a photo of her for those with no imagination. It seemed to take me a while to get th This book only got 2 stars from me not because of the content - that was obviously going to be disturbing - but because I wasn't keen on the writing style. I found it clunky & overly descriptive. The author often seems to go into detail about unnecessary & irrelevant points. For example, did I need to know that the cop in charge - Hazel - wore tortoiseshell glasses and had short brown hair? I think not. There was a photo of her for those with no imagination. It seemed to take me a while to get through this book. Probably because a)it was over wordy, so I skim read bits of it only to find I'd missed something and b)some of it was so sick and beyond comprehension that I had to read it twice for it to sink in. I imagine that there is also a fair amount of artistic licence or conjecture in the narrative; no one will ever know the finer details unless Rose decides to share - a situation which seems unlikely. But I suppose that this was necessary to set the scene and give a flowing chain of events. It was interesting though - I didn't realise that Rose had had so many children for example - and there were so many unanswered question. Why were some of their children spared death whilst others were murdered? Not that they had much of a life. How many more bodies are out there that will never be found?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Hilton

    I have read 187 pages of this..I feel physically sick. .I can't read anymore of this..It is sick, twisted and vile..Rose should have been tortured and got the electric chair..The pair of them were demented freaks..This book has given me the heebee geebees..How they got away with it for 20 odd years beggars belief !!I wanted to read this book because when all of the gruesome murders came to light I was 14 years old and didn't know much about it..I'm 33 now and I wish I had not let my curiosity ge I have read 187 pages of this..I feel physically sick. .I can't read anymore of this..It is sick, twisted and vile..Rose should have been tortured and got the electric chair..The pair of them were demented freaks..This book has given me the heebee geebees..How they got away with it for 20 odd years beggars belief !!I wanted to read this book because when all of the gruesome murders came to light I was 14 years old and didn't know much about it..I'm 33 now and I wish I had not let my curiosity get the better of me..All those poor teenage girls and women sexually abused and murdered at the hands of those two perverted animals !! May Fred burn in hell..And may Rose get her just desserts! Not for the faint hearted..I have read a lot of true crime books in the past but this is so bone chilling and harrowing I can't read another page..God bless all the victims and their families x

  16. 5 out of 5

    regina

    Although people will think you're sick when they see what you're reading, I highly recommend this. Well that is if you're interested in true and a very graphic, detailed look at literal psychopaths. What made this book so intriguing was that it was 2 serial killers and not just one. What these people did to their victims was gruesome and utterly amazing that it took so long for something to happen. For true-crime lovers out there, this is a must-read. Although people will think you're sick when they see what you're reading, I highly recommend this. Well that is if you're interested in true and a very graphic, detailed look at literal psychopaths. What made this book so intriguing was that it was 2 serial killers and not just one. What these people did to their victims was gruesome and utterly amazing that it took so long for something to happen. For true-crime lovers out there, this is a must-read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Prof Bernard Knight expertise helped solve this case. Book set free in Murrayfield Hotel Prof Bernard Knight expertise helped solve this case. Book set free in Murrayfield Hotel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colin Garrow

    Over a period of several years, Fred and Rose West murdered a series of young women, burying many of the bodies under their own house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester - their victims including one of their own daughters. Other bodies were discovered buried at the Wests’ previous home as well as in open countryside. Following their arrests in 1994, twelve bodies were eventually discovered, though the true number is likely to be many more. Former journalist Howard Sounes covered the murder trial Over a period of several years, Fred and Rose West murdered a series of young women, burying many of the bodies under their own house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester - their victims including one of their own daughters. Other bodies were discovered buried at the Wests’ previous home as well as in open countryside. Following their arrests in 1994, twelve bodies were eventually discovered, though the true number is likely to be many more. Former journalist Howard Sounes covered the murder trial of Rosemary West and went on to pen this in-depth book recounting not only the murders, but the many rapes and tortures inflicted on Fred and Rosemary’s victims. Charting the couple’s lives from childhood to their arrest, the author doesn’t shy away from the horrific details of their crimes – details that some readers will find disturbing. The author himself reads this updated version of the audiobook, bringing the gruesome story to life while exploring the reasons Fred and Rose became two of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Payne

    A hard read because of subject but written in an interesting factual style. Author addresses the brutality enough to bring you into the event but never Overdoes the narrative as so many authors do in an attempt to shock or horrify the reader.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    HOLY CRAP! I never heard of Fred and Rose and man is it disturbing. I found myself needing to take breaks from it with how in detail it was and the crimes they committed. Would defintely reccomend if your a true crime addict!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Dancer

    Great book Great book. learn how sick and twisted fred and rose West were! Hard to put down. going to read the other West books

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lorie

    This is such a horrid crime, it's difficult to put into words, the internal conflict one feels while reading about it. Yet, despite the subject matter, Sounes does a brilliant job in putting it all into context. It must have been difficult writing, much like a pathologist who autopsies a body, and does not become ensured to the horror, despite having to be exposed to it. I gave it five stars because the writing is superb, leaving nothing out, yet telling all. This is such a horrid crime, it's difficult to put into words, the internal conflict one feels while reading about it. Yet, despite the subject matter, Sounes does a brilliant job in putting it all into context. It must have been difficult writing, much like a pathologist who autopsies a body, and does not become ensured to the horror, despite having to be exposed to it. I gave it five stars because the writing is superb, leaving nothing out, yet telling all.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Purmort

    I had to put this book down COUNTLESS times because of its horrors and perversion. This is not for the faint of heart. That said, this is an interesting story about two horrible people, their back stories, their crimes, and (to a lesser degree) the system that failed to protect the victims.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Wright

    I had only a slight idea of the background to this case prior to reading this. As a rule, I don't tend to read books or watch documentaries about child murders and, although very well written, the content in this book is very tough going. This starts off detailing the background of Fred and Rose and what they and their families went through, prior to the shocking events of the actual main book. This in itself is both fascinating and disturbing as to how people who are human beings can inflict su I had only a slight idea of the background to this case prior to reading this. As a rule, I don't tend to read books or watch documentaries about child murders and, although very well written, the content in this book is very tough going. This starts off detailing the background of Fred and Rose and what they and their families went through, prior to the shocking events of the actual main book. This in itself is both fascinating and disturbing as to how people who are human beings can inflict such pain on their own loved ones. After this has been detailed, the book filled into the early beginnings of the relationships leading up to Fred and Rose meeting, experiences from both sides and the people that encountered them. Once Fred meets Rose and they start having children, things then go on the downward spiral into absolute depravity and total sickening sadistic torture and murder. Before reading this I thought that Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were the most low life scum that had ever lived, these two are right up there with them. To do the things that they did, not only to strangers but to their own children is just below inhuman. If you are of a sensitive nature you may want to think twice before reading this particular book as it pulls no punches in its portrayal of just what went on at the two addresses. There is no glorification of the violence and everything is set out with names, dates and records, with only minor pieces filled in to develop the story as it happened. At the back of the book, there are recaps of who was involved and what took place outside of the immediate family, detailing siblings, investigators etc. There are also photos of the family, the victims, the buildings and burial sites, which make this all too real. There is also a 3d plan of the house at Cromwell Street, picked apart into floors and detaining what was where and the burial place of some of the victims. This is a very well detailed, in depth look into a horrible series of crimes. It is well written, fascinating and distressing. I am not easily upset but this book definitely got to me. I recommend this for fans of true crimes who can handle a challenge.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    I was as equally enthralled as I was horrified reading this.. It's graphic and hard to read in places and yet I found I couldn't put it down. It's so shocking to me that two people with such unique horrific childhoods, (yet neither fitting the typical bill of a serial killer) can meet, fall in love and together become partners in crime as incestuous, child molesting murderers. It was also disturbing that Fred West, while at the beginning was portrayed to be the dominant abusive man in most of hi I was as equally enthralled as I was horrified reading this.. It's graphic and hard to read in places and yet I found I couldn't put it down. It's so shocking to me that two people with such unique horrific childhoods, (yet neither fitting the typical bill of a serial killer) can meet, fall in love and together become partners in crime as incestuous, child molesting murderers. It was also disturbing that Fred West, while at the beginning was portrayed to be the dominant abusive man in most of his relationships, upon meeting Rose he was almost submissive to her, she was made out to make most of the decisions and was actually the 'nastier' one who instigated most of the crimes. This book is disturbing, but an absolute must for any lover of true crime.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    This book is a horrific eye opener to the horrors to which Fred and Rosemary West carried out in the Sixties Seventies and eighties. To read the truth behind the amount of young women and children these two tortured, murdered and dismembered at times made me feel sick. Even before they had met their stories are sickening and how they could escape justice for so long is unbelievable. The book is written very well and I would recommend it to anybody who has an interest in true crime but it definite This book is a horrific eye opener to the horrors to which Fred and Rosemary West carried out in the Sixties Seventies and eighties. To read the truth behind the amount of young women and children these two tortured, murdered and dismembered at times made me feel sick. Even before they had met their stories are sickening and how they could escape justice for so long is unbelievable. The book is written very well and I would recommend it to anybody who has an interest in true crime but it definitely isnt for the faint of heart.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Slaney

    Quite well-written and loaded with detailed information, including thorough biographical histories of the Wests themselves. Written by the first journalist to 'break' the story and done so with just the sort of zeal you'd expect from someone so closely linked to the case. You won't find a more engaging or well-researched account of these crimes anywhere else. Highly recommended for true-crime enthusiasts. Quite well-written and loaded with detailed information, including thorough biographical histories of the Wests themselves. Written by the first journalist to 'break' the story and done so with just the sort of zeal you'd expect from someone so closely linked to the case. You won't find a more engaging or well-researched account of these crimes anywhere else. Highly recommended for true-crime enthusiasts.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I read this after watching "Appropriate Adult" on Itv. I wanted to know more about Fred and Rose, and the poor women who they lured into their lives, many of whom never escaped. It's a harrowing book, and I took a lot of breaks whilst reading it. Hard to believe how these two psychos got away with all that they did for such a long time with no one suspecting. Interesting book if you like true crime, but very honest and at times grisly. I read this after watching "Appropriate Adult" on Itv. I wanted to know more about Fred and Rose, and the poor women who they lured into their lives, many of whom never escaped. It's a harrowing book, and I took a lot of breaks whilst reading it. Hard to believe how these two psychos got away with all that they did for such a long time with no one suspecting. Interesting book if you like true crime, but very honest and at times grisly.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I remember reading a lot of books on Fred and Rose West at the time their heinous crimes were brought to light. Unfortunately they all kind of blend into one for me. I remember this one as being the first book on them I picked up and I think I was about 13 at the time. My uncle used to loan me a lot of his books as I was morbidly fascinated by true crime at the time, as was he, so I alwas had lots of biographies and whatnot to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis

    This is a gruesome read! Well written and extensive in the background of these killers. Sickening doesn't even begin to describe these two. I feel so sad for their innocent children and what they were exposed to, yet they were able to keep on loving their parents. It is one sick world we live in and these two are prime examples of that sickness. ** Thank you to the author, publisher. and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review This is a gruesome read! Well written and extensive in the background of these killers. Sickening doesn't even begin to describe these two. I feel so sad for their innocent children and what they were exposed to, yet they were able to keep on loving their parents. It is one sick world we live in and these two are prime examples of that sickness. ** Thank you to the author, publisher. and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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