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Rosemary West

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Name  Rosemary West
Parents  Daisy Letts, Bill Letts
Country  England
Date apprehended  April 1994
Spouse  Fred West (m. 1972–1995)
Victims  10
Role  serial killer

Rosemary West with a serious face, short hair, wearing eyeglasses, and a gray top.

Full Name  Rosemary Pauline Letts
Born  29 November 1953 (age 69) (1953-11-29) Northam, Devon, England, UK
Criminal penalty  life imprisonment (whole life tariff)
Children  Stephen West, Mae West, Heather Ann West
Similar People  Fred West, Karla Homolka, Dennis Nilsen, Harold Shipman, Peter Sutcliffe

Conviction(s)  sexual assault, murder
Span of killings  June 1971–May 1987

Murderers and Their Mothers: Fred and Rosemary West (Serial Killer Documentary) - Real Stories

Britain's Infamous Serial Killer Rosemary West (Full Documentary)

Rosemary Pauline "Rose" West (née Letts; born 29 November 1953) is a British serial killer, now an inmate at HMP Low Newton, Brasside, Durham, after being convicted of ten murders in 1995. Her husband Fred, who committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial, is believed to have collaborated with her in the torture and murder of at least nine young women between 1973 and 1987, whereas Rose was judged to have murdered her 8-year-old stepdaughter, Charmaine, in 1971. The majority of these murders were committed at the couple's home, 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England.


Fred West is looking at Rosemary West sitting on his lap while smiling. Fred with curly hair and wearing a white folded long sleeves while Rosemary with wavy hair, wearing a white blazer over a floral dress.

Fred West is known to have carried out 12 murders; Rosemary West had no involvement in the first two.

Fred West is looking at Rosemary West sitting on his lap while smiling. Fred with curly hair and wearing a white folded long sleeves while Rosemary with wavy hair, wearing a white blazer over a floral dress.

Early life and marriage to Fred West

Rosemary West with a serious face, short hair, wearing eyeglasses, and a green top.

Rosemary Letts was born in Northam, Devon, to William Andrew "Bill" Letts (25 February 1921 – 24 May 1979) and Daisy Gwendoline Fuller (1919–) after a difficult pregnancy. Her mother suffered from depression and was given ECT while pregnant; some have argued that this treatment may have caused prenatal injuries to her daughter. Rosemary grew up into a moody, yet precocious, teenager, prone to daydreaming and who performed poorly at school.

On the left, young Rosemary West smiling while holding a black pen and wearing a knitted long sleeve top. On the right, teen Rosemary West smiling while looking at something, with wavy hair, wearing a black vest over a white long sleeve and black necktie.

Rosemary's parents split up when she was a teenager. She lived with her mother and attended Cleeve School for six months, later moving in with her father at the age of 16 in Bishop's Cleeve, near Cheltenham; her father, a paranoid schizophrenic, was prone to violence and repeatedly sexually abused her. At the onset of puberty, Rosemary reportedly became fascinated by her developing body, and would purposefully parade naked or semi-naked around the house in the presence of her younger brother, Graham. On numerous occasions, she would also creep into Graham's bed at nightfall, and masturbate him.

On the left, Rosemary West smiling with a hand on her shoulder, with short black hair, wearing earrings and a red top with a white-collar. On the right, Carole Dixon with a serious face, curly blonde hair, wearing eyeglasses and a blue shirt.

In 1969, when still only 15, Rosemary began dating 28-year-old Fred West, who was at the time living at the Lake House Hotel caravan park in Bishops Cleeve. Her father disapproved of the relationship, threatening to call social services and threatening West directly. Rosemary was caring for West's daughter Anne-Marie (by his previous marriage to Rena Costello) and his stepdaughter, Charmaine (daughter of Rena Costello and a Pakistani bus driver). West and Rosemary moved in together at the Lake House Hotel Caravan Park; Charmaine briefly attended Bishops Cleeve County Primary School on Tobyfield Road. However, by 1970, Rosemary became pregnant by West and they moved to a flat in Midland Road, Gloucester.

Fred West is looking at Rosemary West sitting on his lap while smiling. Fred with curly hair and wearing a white folded long sleeves while Rosemary with wavy hair, wearing a white blazer over a floral dress.

Rosemary West and her husband were convicted of sexual assault in January 1973. They were fined for indecent assault of Caroline Roberts, who escaped the couple's home after being attacked and reported them to the police. The Wests' typical pattern was to pick up girls from bus stops in and around Gloucester and imprison them in their home for several days before killing them.

On the left, David Williams with a serious face, white hair, and wearing a gray vest over a blue shirt. On the right, Pauline Williams with a serious face, shoulder-length black hair, and wearing a blue shirt.

Beginning in the early 1970s, Rosemary West regularly worked as a prostitute, often while her husband watched. She also actively encouraged Fred to sexually abuse her stepdaughter, Anne-Marie, beginning when the child was just eight years old; Rose would also sexually abuse the girl herself. Later, Anne-Marie was forced to prostitute herself within the household — being told by Rose she was a "lucky girl" for doing so.

Poster of Charmaine West with her birthdate and date of death. Charmaine is smiling, with long wavy black hair, and wearing a red top.

One of the most frequent visitors to the now demolished 25 Cromwell Street, was her abusive father, who died in 1979. Others are reported to have been local authority figures. She was often pregnant and was the mother of eight children. Five of her children were fathered by Fred West, while three were fathered by clients she met through her prostitution.

It is reported that, even after Rosemary had given birth to her fourth child, her father would still visit Rosemary for sex. He was also reported to have raped Fred's daughter Anne-Marie.


The majority of the crimes for which Rosemary West was convicted occurred between April 1973 and August 1979. She is believed to have murdered Charmaine West, the daughter of Fred's previous wife Rena, single-handedly sometime on or after 15 June 1971, and stored her body in the cellar at their previous home at 25 Midland Road, Gloucester, while Fred West was near the end of a six-and-a-half month prison sentence for the theft of car tyres and a vehicle tax disc. (Shortly after Fred's release on 24 June, he buried the body.)

One of the bodies found at 25 Cromwell Street was that of their daughter, Heather, who was murdered in June 1987 at the age of 16, after being abused by her parents all her life. Barry, her younger brother, would later describe watching his mother kick Heather repeatedly in the head until she was no longer moving. The Wests told friends and concerned parties that Heather had left home to work at a Devonshire holiday village, and on one occasion, fabricated a phone call, supposedly from Heather, to allay her siblings' suspicions regarding their sister's disappearance. This was the last known murder that the pair committed.

In August 1992, Fred West was arrested after being accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter three times, and Rosemary West was arrested for child cruelty. This case against them collapsed in June 1993 when their daughter refused to testify in court. All of the Wests' younger children were removed from their custody to foster homes. This case brought to light the disappearance of Heather West, who had not been seen since 1987, and triggered the major investigation that followed.


Rosemary West continued to profess ignorance of her husband's murderous activities but the circumstantial evidence that mounted against them during the spring of 1994 was considered sufficient to prosecute her for ten murders: those of the young women whose bodies were found at 25 Cromwell Street, and of Charmaine West. Fred West was charged with two further murders committed during the 1960s before his association with Rose.

While on remand at Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, Fred West committed suicide by hanging on 1 January 1995. Rose West went on trial at Winchester Crown Court in October that year.

The jury's verdict was unanimous. On 22 November 1995, West was found guilty of 10 murders. The judge, Mr Justice Mantell, sentenced her to life imprisonment, saying, "If attention is paid to what I think, you will never be released."

The Lord Chief Justice later decided that she should spend at least 25 years in prison, but in July 1997 Home Secretary Jack Straw subjected West to a whole life tariff. This was the second instance of a whole life tariff imposed on a woman in Britain in modern times. The first was serial killer Myra Hindley, convicted in 1966 and issued with a whole life tariff in 1990 before dying in 2002.


Almost immediately after being found guilty, Rose West lodged an appeal against her 10 murder Conviction(s) with the High Court, claiming that her husband (who had confessed to police during questioning that he had murdered up to 30 people) had committed the murders single-handedly. On 18 March 1996, however, the Court of Appeal refused to consider her application for an appeal to be heard.

In the autumn of 2001, Rose West announced her intention not to appeal against her convictions, while maintaining her innocence. The house at Cromwell Street (along with the adjoining property) was demolished in 1996. The site is now occupied by a public walkway.


Rosemary West Wikipedia