Fred and Rose West are among Britain’s worst serial killers.
The twisted husband and wife team are responsible for the deaths of at least 12 victims between them.
Many of these tragic women were sexually abused and tortured before they were butchered, dismembered and buried in the West’s house of horrors.
For decades, the couple’s gruesome killing spree went undetected with one of their own children one of the mounting number of victims.
But then, in 1994, Fred and Rose West’s sick world fell apart.
A new Channel 5 documentary looks at the gruesome murders that happened within the walls of 25 Cromwell Street.
Police – still hunting for their eldest daughter, Heather – found a thigh bone while carrying out a search of the couple’s home.
For years, Fred and Rose had claimed their missing daughter was a drug dealer and now living in Dubai, a story the police clearly never fully believed.
In one final attempt to discover what had happened to Heather, who was just 16 when she vanished, officers got a search warrant to search the West’s home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.
On Febrary 24, 1994, eight years after Heather was last seen, police started digging at the home.
Initially, Rose was furious officers were searching her home, especially as Fred was at work.
But before search teams arrived the following day, Fred had made a remarkable confession – he marched into a police station and told officers he was responsible for killing Heather.
Expets now believe he was doing this in a desperate bid to stop the police from continuing their search and implicating wife, Rose, in his sick world of rape, turture and murder.
It failed, and police kept up the search, making the chilling discovery of more than one woman’s bones buried under the patio.
Just four days after the search of the West’s home had started, Fred made a second devastating confession.
He admitted to the murder of another two women, whose bodies were also buried under the patio.
Police now knew they were looking at something incredibly sinister.
Then, on March 4, Fred – via his solicitor Howard Ogden – made a further horrific confession.
He admitted he was responsible for the murders of a further nine women and even agreed to show officers where the bodies were buried inside the house of horrors he shared with Rose.
Chilling photographs show where he had sprayed an X on walls or the word BODY to reveal where each of the dismembered corpse had been buried.
But there was still no evidence against his wife, Rose.
Police had been told the couple had an unusual sex life, with Fred inviting men he worked with in a factory to come and watch porn at his home and then have sex with Rose.
Fred even drilled a peephole into the room next door so he could watch his wife having sex with other men.
But then the body of Fred’s step-daughter, Charmaine, from his first marriage to Rena Costello was discovered in a cellar in another house where Fred had been a tenant.
The use of dental records revealed Charmaine had been killed when Fred was in prison for theft – leaving the only possible murderer to be Rose.
She too was arrested and charged with multiple murders, which she always denied.
Jayne Hamer had been a lodger at 25 Cromwell Road when she was just 17 in 1977.
Initially, it seemed like a normal family house but then Jayne began to notice distrubing things.
She eventually fled the West’s home just 10 months after she had moved in after Fred showed her the cellar and she heard strange noises coming from underneath the house.
Now, more than 40 years later, she is convinced she could have been their next victim.
Jayne said: “He took me down into the cellar that he said he had built for the children – it was the darkest, dankest place I have ever seen.
“There was a bed in one corner, a few toys in the other corner and when I found out there were bodies down there I was shocked, upset and horrified.
“I got out of that house at the right time. I feel, having been shown the cellar, that I was the next victim.”
Jayne also remember sinister sounds coming from the cellar while she was living with Fred and Rose.
She said: “I heard one of the children down in the cellar, shouting ‘stop it daddy’.
“I hoped it wasn’t what I thought it was. I was devastated but I was 17 and had just left home and I knew no one would believe me, so I thought the best option was to move out.”
Eventually, Fred and Rose appeared in the dock together.
Fred had hoped it would be a happy reunion but Rose totally ignored her husband.
Fred West was found dead in his prison cell on January 1, 1995, just weeks before his and Rose’s murder trial was due to start.
Rather than being devastated her husband was dead, Rose saw this as her ‘get out of jail’ card.
Her solicitor, Leo Goatley, said: “I told Rose Fred was dead and her emotions were confused. There was a certain glow and relief in her expression.
“If she was distressed she certainly didn’t betray that to me.”
Despite no forensic evidence against Rose, and with Fred no longer alive, she still faced a murder trial, charged with 10 deaths.
She was convicted of all 10 charges and told she would spend the rest of her life behind bars.
DCI Terry Moore, who led the investigation into Fred and Rose West, said: “It was a tremendous effort on everyone’s part.
“We were able to unit the families with their loved ones – not in the way they wanted but at least we found out what had happened to them.”
Fred West was guilty of killing 12 women and children and it is believed he could be responsible for many more deaths.
- Fred and Rose West: 5 Clues That Caught The Killer is on Channel 5 at 10pm tonight.