Fred and Rose West are known to have killed twelve women and girls. Fred West committed suicide before he was brought trial, but his wife Rose was convicted of ten murders in 1995.
There has however always been a strong belief that there are even more victims. In this new film for ITV, a team of investigators explore claims the Wests were responsible for many more murders.
Former detective chief inspector Colin Sutton, investigative psychologist Donna Youngs, author and West expert Howard Sounes, and reporter Sir Trevor McDonald follow up new leads to try to shed new light on the true number of the Wests’ victims and their identities.
They study previously unseen documents including the full statement of Fred West’s ‘appropriate adult’, Janet Leach, and newly revealed records of discussions between West and his lawyer in which West talked about other crimes involving himself, his wife and other people.
Dramatic new evidence identifies possible victims, and leads the team to locations where Fred and Rose West might have buried the bodies - fields outside Gloucester, a city centre café where Fred West was a regular, and a place West referred to as ‘the Farm’, where it is alleged there were as many as 20 more victims. The team finds and visits these locations.
We also hear from surviving women who say they had predatory encounters with Fred West, and from the family of Mary Bastholm who was almost certainly abducted and murdered by West in 1968, but who has never been found. Earlier this year the team handed their findings to Gloucestershire police, who initiated a new operation to investigate the leads. The investigation is ongoing.