The full story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors
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.