The Wests were arrested in 1994 for the murder of at least 12 women and girls – including their own daughter – some of whom they buried within their own property. While Fred West confessed to the murders and then killed himself before he could be convicted, his wife maintains her innocence to this day and is currently serving out her life sentence behind bars. West met his future wife and partner in crime when she was only 15 and he was 27. She moved in with him, his daughter and his stepdaughter from his previous marriage as soon as she turned 16.
He is believed to have already murdered by the time he met his much younger partner. It wasn’t long before she became involved in his sinister activities too, although their crimes remained undetected for years.
In the 2019 podcast series, ‘Unheard: The Fred and Rose West Tapes’, Howard Sounes returns to the shocking case which hit the headlines in the Nineties and revealed some of his old interviews.
In a 1994 interview with West’s mother, Daisy Letts, he discovered how the family reacted to their daughter moving in with her new lover.
Ms Letts, who was in her 70s then, said: “There was no way Dad was going to let her go down to a caravan with a man who had two children at her age.”
Fred and Rose West were serial killers
Rose West is currently serving a life sentence
They had initially put her in care so that she was not near her older lover, but when she turned 16 she was too old to be looked after by the social services, so she immediately went back to West.
So Bill, Rose’s father, went down to the caravan site once to threaten him.
Ms Letts then laughingly explained: “He threatened to cut him up into little pieces.”
Mr Sounes commented: “That was a bit of a rash thing to say.”
While Ms Letts said: “He was full of threats really Dad was.”
“What did Rose say? She was going against you and your husband wasn’t she?”
READ MORE: UN finds ‘credible evidence’ on Crown Prince
Fred and Rose West murdered their first daughter, Heather
Ms Letts said: “She wasn’t the sort of girl to have a go, an answer. She would just stand and go blank. Like a shell. Just go quiet.
“Eventually Rose came home to pick her things up. My sister was there and said, ‘You’re not going are you Rosie?’”
“My sister burst out laughing and said ‘she’s got some courage’. Anyway we couldn’t stop her.”
Even more worryingly, their daughter appeared very unhappy with West.
Ms Letts said: “Dad used to say we’ll go and see if she’s alright. We used to go over there. Most of the time she’d been crying but she would never tell us what was wrong.
Ted Bundy SHOCK: How ‘church fought for serial killer’s RELEASE’ [REVEALED]
Yorkshire Ripper: How report claimed Sutcliffe ‘probably killed MORE’ [INSIGHT]
Who killed Jill Dando? Theory she was murdered by Serbian hitmen [ANALYSIS]
‘Her eyes were always red and you could see she’d been crying. Dad used to say to me, ‘I’d like to know what is going on.’
“We used to say where’s Fred? And every time we’d ask where Fred was she’d say he’s working. Dad used to say to me, ‘he’s not working it this time of night.’”
Mr Sounes also explained it is believed Rose’s father may have sexually abused Rose: “This is what Fred claimed and other sources agree. Despite what Daisy said about Bill’s ‘prim and proper’ Victorian ways.”
When asked if she thought there had been any sexual relations between Rose and her father Bill, Ms Letts maintained: “Almost impossible. Dad was so much … everything had to be right. There was nothing sexy, nothing of any description like that. If anything went on there, it was Dad being cruel to them.”
Mr Sounes summarised: “So at 16, Rose had thwarted her parents’ attempts to keep her away from Fred West. The prize was her freedom – or so it seemed.”
The police investigation was covered on the news and Rose West’s mother was shocked
25 Cromwell Street was dubbed the ‘House of Horrors’ when the murders were discovered
Ms Letts was “horrified” when she found out her daughter was pregnant but “with Rose living with Fred, there was nothing Daisy could do”.
Almost a year later, she gave birth to her first child Heather. They murdered her when she was almost 17.
Ms Letts also described her reaction when, many years later, she saw her daughter’s house on TV. The police were investigating it as a murder scene.
She said: “I literally fled from my home that night and I never went home again. I couldn’t go back there, I couldn’t face up to people I’ve known and people I’ve worked with… I just couldn’t face up to it.”
While many bodies were found in the West residence of 25 Cromwell Street, the exact number of victims is not known.
Unheard: The Fred & Rose West Tapes is available weekly on Apple, Spotify and all podcast providers.