Fred West Drove An Ice Cream Truck To Abduct Girls, Joined Forces With Another Psychopath
The running theme of today's article is going to be "Why in the fuck did it take so long to catch this monster?" Look, we get that nobody wants to rat out their neighbors or unfairly judge people based on, say, having an incredibly creepy hobby. But it's hard to come away from any serial killer account without thinking that maybe, just maybe, society isn't paranoid enough. Let's start with Fred West.
West had his first brush with the law in 1961, when police arrested him for having sex with minors ... a case which collapsed when he successfully argued that his actions were due to head injuries he sustained during his teenage years. (We imagine he left the courtroom saying, "Wow, that worked?") Not long after, he married Rena Costello and they moved to Coatbridge, Scotland, where, sigh, Fred got a job as a freaking ice cream truck driver. You know, the guy who had previously told a court of law that he had a brain injury that made him molest children?
It was around this time that West became a father. When his marriage started falling apart, he gave up his ice cream gig and moved to England, taking a job at a slaughterhouse, because real life is a bad B-movie written by a hack over a weekend. He met a girl named Rose, and not long after, his first wife Rena and his stepdaughter Charmaine disappeared. (No prizes for guessing what happened to them.) Fred and Rose started their own family (raising two daughters and a son) undisturbed, because cops just were not paying attention. Did we mention that Rose was also a psychopath?
via Wiki Commons
Got me looking so crazy right now. Your love's got me looking so crazy right now.
Yeah, their house on 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester is known today as the House of Horrors. West and his new wife (and sometimes other "clients") would rape and kill young women there. They would lure girls into their home with a promise of a nanny job, or Fred would abduct them off the street. Then they would drag them into the basement, Fred would rape them while Rose held them down, and they'd dismember and bury the bodies under the cellar.
When one of Fred's own daughters, Heather, told a friend about the things her parents were doing to her and her siblings, Fred and Rose killed her and buried her in the garden. Still, after all of that, only Fred's big dumb mouth is what got him caught. Police finally caught wind of a joke the Wests would tell, that "Heather was buried under the patio." Well, that's less of a joke and more of a casual confession. Either way, police got a search warrant and found a whole bunch of bodies -- the couple was responsible for at least a dozen murders.
Rose West is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole. Fred, on the other hand, never made it to trial. He committed suicide in his prison cell -- an act which hopefully caused him an incredible amount of pain.
A Female Professional Wrestler Was An Old Lady Strangler
Starting in 2003, little old grandmas who lived alone in Mexico started dying. That wouldn't be so weird -- dying is what grandmas eventually do -- but these women were all strangled to death. The police believed the killer to be a man disguised as a woman, because an eyewitness saw someone rather muscular in a dress fleeing one of the homes. They assumed the killer had a "confused sexual identity," and started bringing in known crossdressers for questioning.