Fred & Rosemary West | The Garden of Evil

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June 01, 2019

Fred and Rose West were a killer couple that abducted and killed a dozen young females in the UK during the '70s and '80s, including their own children.

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Fred West


Fred was born Frederick Walter Stephen West in September 1941. He had five siblings and was born into a family of farm workers. His father wasn't the best role model, as he encouraged incest and bestiality and always told his children:

"Do what you want, just don't get caught."

Fred's life changed when he had an accident at 15 years old, which left him with a fractured skull. That's when he started having violent mood swings.

His first marriage was to Catherine Costello in November 1962. Catherine was pregnant with another mans child and after they got married she gave birth to a baby girl called Charmaine and a year later she had another child called Anne Marie. However, their marriage didn't last long and she left after Fred's sadistic sexual desires became too much. Costello left Charmaine and Anne Marie with Fred when she left.

Rose West


Rosemary Pauline West was born in November 1953 and lived with her mother until she was 15 after her parents separated. After she left her mother she went to live with her father, but her father was prone to violence and sexually abusing her.

Rose met Fred and moved in with him not long after she turned 16. They had their first child within a few months and named her Heather. While Fred was serving a 7-month sentence for theft Rose was left with the children.


While Fred was serving his time Rose killed Charmaine but told Fred that she had been collected by her mother.

Their Marriage and Crimes


They got married in January 1972 even though West was still married to Costello. The couple had their second daughter Mae and moved to Cromwell Street. They converted the rooms upstairs into bedsits, and one room was for Rose to use for prostitution complete with a red light and peephole for Fred.

The couple took 17-year-old Caroline Roberts into their home and sexually assaulted her. They knew her because she had been their babysitter in the past. They threatened to kill her if she didn't do as she was told.

Roberts was let go when she promised to be their nanny, but she reported them both to the police. Unfortunately, she dropped the rape charges later and all they received was a fine for indecent assault. 

When Anne Marie turned 8 she became the victim of her fathers' sadistic fantasies. From 1973 - 1979 she was abused sexually by Fred, but at 14 years old she finally escaped.

The Wests would then go on to abduct and murder 8 young women while abusing their other daughter Heather. When Heather started to talk about the abuse at school it forced Fred's hand. He killed her while Rose watched, dismembered her and buried the body under the patio.

Heather's remains were the first to be found after the abuse was reported by her friends' mother.


When the police visited the property they discovered 2 other bodies in the garden, and 6 bodies in the cellar. They also found a large amount of pornography which included bestiality. They would also find a camera that had been used to record the torture of their many victims. 

The couple was arrested in 1984 for their crimes. Fred was charged with 12 murders and Rose with 10. When they were questioned Fred was willing to take the blame, but later changed his mind and accused Rose of the killings.

Before Fred could stand trial for his crimes he hung himself. However, Rose did go to trial and was found guilty. She was sentenced to life in prison and became the second woman to receive that sentence in the UK.

The Aftermath


The House of Horrors, 25 Cromwell Street, was demolished in October 1996 and is now a public footpath.

Several of Fred's family got their fair share of media attention for all the wrong reasons.

One of the videos found at the house was allegedly Fred's brother John West abusing his own niece. In 1996, just like his brother before him, John hung himself after being charged with rape. Another brother called Stephen West was jailed for sex with a minor.

The entrance to Parkhurst, Isle of Wight. Image credit: Ian S
Rose West is now 65 years old and serving her sentence at HMP Low Newton.

Final Thoughts


This case is well known in the UK and recently there was a documentary made about the couple. I knew about the horrific crimes they committed together, but I knew nothing about their childhood or their families.

It's clear they both had tough childhoods, and even though I do feel for Rose I do not condone what she did as an adult. They both took pleasure in causing harm to these women and their own flesh and blood. 

I think it is a big misconception to think that a woman couldn't possibly do this to their own children or other women, as there have been many women in history that have committed crimes just as wicked as this.

What are your thoughts on the couple and the crimes they committed? Let me know in the comments section. 
13 comments on "Fred & Rosemary West | The Garden of Evil"
  1. Another crime story I'm not overly familiar with. I'll definitely need to watch this documentary, what's to called?

    - Nyxie

    www.nyxiesnook.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post! :) The documentary was called Fred & Rose West the Real Story with Trevor McDonald. x

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  2. Brilliant post! This was such a shocking case and still send shivers down the spine to this day. Thank you for covering this : ) x

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. :)

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  3. I absolutely love true crime stories, they are fascinating. I have never heard of this one, but I want to see this documentary now. I loved the post, thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. The documentary is called Fred & Rose West the Real Story with Trevor McDonald. :) x

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  4. Women are capable of truly terrible things. I had no idea that Rose was still alive, I honestly think prison is the best place for her because the world has changed so drastically while she's been incarcerated I think it would be cruel to throw her back out into it.

    https://thatautisticfitchick.com

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I think staying in prison is best for her too. I also don't think she would be able to live her life properly, as there are a lot of people out there that would not be happy about her release. She is probably safer in prison.

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  5. I’ve know about this story for ages but didn’t know their background or all of the details. I agree with what you said about it being thought that women aren’t capable of doing things like this but this is just proof!

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  6. Sometimes I wish these people were just fictional characters for shock value. I'm so sad for the victims.
    Thank you for the thorough research on this post though. It is very organized and well written.

    Mari | https://i--am--mari.blogspot.com/

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  7. I have never heard this story before. I wish it was fake, but I know it can literally happen anywhere to anyone. Thanks for sharing!

    -Jackie | jackieofalltradesblog.com

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  8. I love reading true crime. I think it is my Psych degree background. Will add this to the list of "must reads". Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Woah, good and intense read!

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