Fred and Rose West: Expert says map 'rewrites story'
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Fred West and his wife Rose tortured and killed at least 12 women and girls between 1967 and 1987. The notorious duo carried out the killings at their home in 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, which was dubbed the “House of Horrors”. The pair were both charged with nine murders, while Fred was charged with a further three. Fred took his own life in prison in 1995 before he could face justice, while Rose was ultimately convicted of 10 murders and is serving a whole life order.
The killers’ string of shocking crimes are the focus of a new ITV documentary fronted by Sir Trevor McDonald.
‘Fred and Rose West: Reopened’ looks at fresh leads in the case and examines claims that there may be up to 20 further victims of Fred and Rose than first thought.
The two-part documentary features former detective chief inspector Colin Sutton, investigative psychologist Donna Youngs and author and Fred West expert Howard Sounes.
In episode one, the team examines timesheets obtained from Fred’s former employers, Wendy and Derek Thomson, when he was working as a builder.
From the data, the team assembled a map of the places he is known to have worked, as well as his home city Gloucester.
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The locations include Birmingham, London, Nottingham, Southampton, Hereford, Bristol and Wales.
Mr Sutton said: “What we see from these timesheets is that for something like eight years Fred West was working all over the place.
“These are the locations that we’ve distilled from those timesheets and plotted onto the map.”
Ms Youngs said the map appeared to shed new light on what is known about one of Britain’s most brutal killers.
She added: “For me this rewrites the Fred West story in a way, that’s what I’ve not been able to make any sense of.
“Because there have not been enough missing girls in the Gloucester area but here we have the possible ways that he was operating beyond Gloucester.”
Mr Sutton added that the new details provoked a “scary thought” about the possible extent of Fred’s crimes.
However, the ex-police chief explained that the locations would have to be looked for a period in excess of 20 years.
He said that unfortunately it is unlikely that there are enough resources to assess the areas and look at missing women who fit the profile of Fred’s victims.
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Episode one of the documentary also looks at the claim that Fred and Rose may have killed up to another 20 people.
It has been suggested that a location known as “the farm” could house the bodies of as many as another 12 missing women and girls.
The farm in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, is one of three sites – the other two in Hertfordshire – where, evidence suggests, more bodies may be buried.
In Episode one Sir Trevor said: “It is chilling to think that this may be the place where 20 bodies are buried.
“Surely if there is any suspicion of evidence that there might be more bodies around, it follows as night follows day, that there must be an attempt to discover what happened to these missing people.”
However, ahead of the documentary’s release Gloucestershire Police ruled out the possibility of digging at further sites, according to Gloucestershire Live.
The force did say it would continue to review any evidence it received.
Episode two of Fred and Rose West: Reopened is on ITV on Thursday at 9pm, while Episode one is available to watch on ITV Hub.
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