I chose this book to get an insight into the investigation of this case. We have all heard of Fred and Rosemary West.
So it was interesting to read about the case from a different angle. Too marks from me! Too Chilling for Mere Words A thoroughly good read, well constructed and detailed analysis of what was required by the Murder Squad in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire The evil crimes committed by Fred and Rose West will always shock and sicken the right-minded amongst us.
Feb 17, Pam rated it it was amazing. Feb 19, Steve Parcell rated it liked it Shelves: biography , serial-killers , uk-history. Fascinating if a little formulaic. Bennett should be given the freedom of Gloucestershire for his perseverance and damn hard work in convicting the Wests for their horrible crimes. Lots of interesting facts on the case I didn't know about but it does drag a little in places.
A must read I absolutely Loved this book. Highly recommended for fans of true crime or crime novels. Nov 21, Damaskcat rated it it was amazing.
The Cromwell Street Murders: The Detective's Story
I have read several books about this horrific case and this has to be one of the best in my opinion. John Bennett led the police investigation which resulted in the successful prosecution of Rosemary West for multiple murder. The book explains how the murders first came to light — a policeman was approached in the street and told that the Wests were abusing one of their children. It was due to the tenacity of I have read several books about this horrific case and this has to be one of the best in my opinion.
It was due to the tenacity of many police officers who felt there was something more going on that the case was investigated. There had been opportunities in previous years to find out what was going on but both Rose and Fred West had managed to satisfy both Social Workers and the police that there was nothing wrong. Ultimately it was only because the younger members of the Wet family had mentioned a family joke to Social Workers when they were in care about Heather the oldest West child being buried under the patio that the police actually went to Cromwell Street and started digging up the garden.
I found the painstaking way the police carried out the investigation absolutely compelling reading. The way everything was pieced together to make a coherent case first against Fred West and then against his wife. The picture of two evil people manipulating everyone around them for their own satisfaction and perverse desires is horrific and the investigation must have affected everyone involved at a profound level. I was interested to read that Sir Bernard Knight did the forensic work and Brian Leveson was the prosecuting counsel.
The case also led to a review of the missing person enquiries are conducted and as a direct result over a hundred people were traced who had formerly been listed as missing with many of them revealed as alive and well though not wishing to be reunited with their families. The book contains an comprehensive timeline and a report of a complaint made by a potential witness in the case who alleged wrong doing by the police.
If you're purely looking for a grisly account of Fred and Rose West's lives and crimes then you will not necessarily find it here. There are of course some appalling details, but not to an overwhelming extent — only as much as is necessary to tell the story. This book is as the title says: The Detective's Story. It explains how the case came to light, the discovery of the remains, the interviews conducted with the Wests, and the subsequent trial of Rose West, all from the Police point of view. I If you're purely looking for a grisly account of Fred and Rose West's lives and crimes then you will not necessarily find it here.
This book, however, is written in a factual way and having the involvement of one of the senior figures throughout the inquiry lends credibility to the account. There is also some repetition of phrases and information, as well as some unnecessary detail about e. It doesn't detract too far though from what is an in-depth, factual account of proceedings. Publisher The History Press Ltd.
Year published Number of pages ISBN 10 ISBN 13 Cover note Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary. Note This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.
They kept her out of school for a few days and told her that if she informed anyone of what had happened, she would receive a severe beating.
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Thereafter, she was repeatedly and regularly strapped to a metal frame, erected in the cellar by Fred, so that his wife could indulge in lesbian sexual acts with her. At school, Anna Marie would often refuse to participate in sports, lest the injuries inflicted by her parents on her be revealed; but no one realized that anything was wrong or thought to intervene. It was in late that Fred and Rose first abducted a young woman from the streets.
See a Problem?
The presence of a woman in the cruising car reassured their victims that nothing was amiss with the offered ride. Their first such victim was sexually assaulted in the car by Rose, then punched unconscious by Fred, then tied up in masking tape, then dragged into the cellar of Number 25, Cromwell Street, then further assaulted by Rose, then raped by Fred while Rose was upstairs making a cup of tea for them all, a peculiarly English touch to the story , and finally released on condition—to which she assented—that she return in the near future for more.
Instead, she went to the police. The police convinced her that it would be better to charge the Wests with indecent assault rather than with kidnap and rape: that way, the Wests would plead guilty, and she would not have to make a traumatic appearance in court. It was after their lucky escape that the Wests got down to some serious killing, deciding that if their sexual playmates were going to go to the police, it would be better to dispose of them altogether. They took in lodgers, to many of whom Mrs. Occasionally, the police would raid Number 25 and would prosecute some of the lodgers for possession of small quantities of marijuana—an ironic attention to detail, under the circumstances.
The Wests also ran a brothel patronized by the local police, according to rumor , in which Mrs.
West was the sole prostitute. The Wests repeatedly placed advertisements in local magazines seeking W. Of Mrs. Initially, Mrs.
25 Cromwell Street: Daughter reveals parents’ serial murders
Fred enjoyed watching and listening to his wife at work, and installed an intercom system so that he could hear her wherever he happened to be in the house. He also installed spy holes and videotaped his wife on many occasions, later showing the films to his children on one of the seven video machines in the house all of them stolen, for Fred was a petty thief as well as a mass murderer, with 11 convictions for theft.
He also offered tapes of women being tortured to the local video store, but the store owner declined the offer and went to the police instead, who, anxious in the then-new permissive moral climate to demonstrate that they were as broad-minded as anybody, did nothing. This was far from the only missed clue that something strange was going on at Cromwell Street. One daughter, age 15, attended the hospital with an ectopic pregnancy Fred was the father, of course , but although this meant that, legally speaking, a rape must have taken place, the age of consent being 16, no one thought to investigate further or even to ask the simple question as to who the father was: for to have done so would have been regarded as implicitly judgmental.
Rosemary was so angered by her son one day that she grabbed him round the throat and throttled him nearly to unconsciousness. There were bruises on his neck afterward—clearly finger marks—and the blood vessels had burst in the whites of his eyes; but when he was asked about these signs at school, he said that he came by them while playing in a tree with a rope around his neck, when he accidentally fell.
This was regarded as a perfectly adequate and acceptable explanation. He regularly appeared in school covered in bruises. The Wests switched from male to female lodgers. West, being bisexual, found them as much fun to be with as men; and Mr. West who, incidentally, had often boasted of his ability to perform abortions and may actually have performed a few regarded them as more reliable payers of rent than casually employed males, especially if the girls were single, pregnant, and in receipt of welfare.
The majority of them—though not quite all—were rebellious and difficult teenagers from broken homes, who had either run away from home or had been in the care of the social services. One, however, was a university student of medieval English, the niece of the novelist Kingsley Amis, while another was the daughter of a well-to-do Swiss businessman, hitchhiking her way to Ireland.
Extensive searches by the police failed to find them: there was nothing to connect them to the Wests. More typical were the cases of Lynda Gough and Juanita Mott. I have got a flat and will come and see you sometime. Three Saturdays later, having heard nothing from her daughter, Mrs. Gough managed to trace her via her friends to Cromwell Street. By then, Lynda had been tortured, raped, cut up, and buried.
Rosemary West came to the front door wearing Lynda's slippers; moreover, Mrs. West told Mrs. Gough that her daughter had departed for the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, leaving her belongings behind. After a further lapse of time, Mrs. Gough and her husband searched Weston for Lynda but of course did not find her.
They sought the help of several organizations, including the Salvation Army, but never reported her as missing to the police.
Thereafter, they made no further efforts to trace their daughter: perhaps they did not really care, or thought that their daughter, who had attended a school for the mentally backward, had the right and duty to make a life for herself, at the age of 19 the age at which she disappeared , untrammeled by parental guidance. Juanita Mott was the daughter of an American serviceman whose parents split up when she was very young.
She left both school and home at age 15; three years later, having already lodged with the Wests earlier, she accepted a lift from them and was abducted by them, suspended from the beams in their cellar, and then murdered. She, too, was never reported as missing. As the number of the West children grew, and as they matured, it became more difficult to conduct burials at home.
The abuse of the older children, however, escalated, so that their son, then age 13, ran away from home and stayed for a while with friends. When he returned home, he was beaten and told that he would soon be old enough to have intercourse with his mother the normal thing for a boy, his father told him.
Heather, the eldest daughter, then age 16, vehemently rejected the advances of her father, and was told that this meant she was a lesbian. She was then tied up, raped, killed, and buried in the backyard rather than the cellar. The eldest son was asked to help with the digging, under the impression that it was for a fishpond.