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TW: Rape, Suicide, Incest

Frederick West and Rosemary West were an English married couple identified as serial killers and serial rapists who killed at least a dozen young British girls, including several of their own daughters.

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In October 1972, Fred and Rosemary hired a young woman named Caroline Owens to work for them as a nanny for their children. They kept making sexual advances on her, but she declined every time. One night in December, after they both unsuccessfully tried to seduce her, she tried to leave only to be held captive overnight. When Fred threatened to let some of his friends “have” her and that he would then kill her, she complied. The next day, she was released. Though she pressed charges, Fred was able to convince the court that the acts she was forced into had been consensual, so he and Rosemary were instead only fined 50$ for indecent assault.

Over the next six years, they killed at least eight young women (unrelated to them). It’s unknown if the Wests killed more over the following years. If they did, which is not improbable, the bodies weren’t buried on their property. Some of the girls are known to have been abducted, raped, and then released.

Fred also sexually abused Anne Marie West, his daughter from his relationship with Rena Costello. She eventually became pregnant, but the pregnancy had to be terminated because it occurred in her fallopian tube. When she left home, he started abusing Heather West, who was conceived by Rosemary and possibly her own father, and one of his own daughters, Mae West. Fred disposed of the victims by burying them under the garage of the house or in the garden.


The Wests were finally exposed in May 1992, when Fred videotaped himself raping one of his daughters. When she told her friends, one of them reported the Wests to the police. When another girl raped by Fred came forward, the police obtained a search warrant. In August, they searched the house for evidence of child abuse. Fred was arrested for rape and sodomy of a minor and Rose was arrested as an accomplice. While they were being processed, their younger children were placed in the care of the government.

On December 13, 1994, Fred was charged with a dozen counts of murders. On New Year’s Day, he hanged himself in his cell at Winson Green Prison with a knotted bedsheet. Rose was also put on trial in the end, first for rape but then for murder as well. She never confessed to any murders and the evidence against her was largely circumstantial. Rose was found guilty of ten murders and sentenced to life in prison. She will be never released. Though she maintains her innocence, she announced in 2001 that she will not try to appeal her conviction.

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