Rose West and her husband Fred formed one of the most notorious serial killing couples in British crime history – but was it their childhood to blame?
A new Channel 5 documentary asks if Rose West was born bad or if she was a product of her terrible upbringing.
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Rose: Making A Monster on C5 and Rose’s Abusive Childhood.
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Rose West Crimes: What Did She Do?
Rose and her husband Fred killed at least 10 young women – including two of their own children – during their sick rampage.
Innocent victims entered their home at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester and never left.
Police found the remains of bodies buried in the basement and garden and eventually arrested Rose and Fred in 1994.
The sadists had tortured, raped and murdered at least 10 young women and girls.
Reporters described their home as the “House of Secrets”.
Rose West Childhood: Was She Abused?
Rose’s mother had electroconvulsive therapy classes – intrusive electric shocks that went through her brain to trigger seizures – for her depression while she was in the very late stages of pregnancy with Rose.
Some argue that this treatment could have caused prenatal injuries to their daughter.
Her father Bill Letts suffered from severe paranoid schizophrenia, which is known to run in the family.
He forced his children, including Rose – the fifth of seven children – to brush the house with toothbrushes.
Rose’s parents separated as a teenager, she lived with her mother and attended Cleeve School for six months.
She later moved to live with her father in Bishop’s Cleeve at the age of 16.
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Rose West Childhood: Did Her Dad Rape Her?
Rose’s father, Bill, was subjected to extreme violence and repeatedly sexually abused Rose and her eldest sister, Patricia.
Attorney Leo Goatley, who represented Rose during her 1995 trial, says she completely denies her childhood and cannot face the reality of her horror.
He says on the show, “She had a reality that she couldn’t face.
“When I asked her to describe her childhood, she described a sweet, candy-covered, fluid, happy time.
“She presents private life as those watchful, overprotective parents who would do anything for their children and were always there, which is utter nonsense.”
Dr. David Holmes, a criminal psychologist, said the abuse Rose suffered “limited her development”.
He says, “She learned the wrong skills and motivations for life.
“She was on a path that would certainly lead to abusive relationships in the future and also instigate abusive relationships.”
Geoffrey Wansell, Fred West’s official biographer, added: “There is no doubt that Bill Letts changed his daughter significantly. He was a monster. “
Rose West Childhood: Did She Abuse Her Brothers and Own Children?
At the onset of puberty, Rose began sneaking into nine-year-old brother Graham’s bed and molesting him and her youngest brother Gordon.
She met Fred West in early 1969, shortly after her 15th birthday.
He was 27 years old.
Rose eventually began a relationship with Fred and became a frequent visitor to the Caravan Park, where he lived with the two children from his first marriage – daughter Anna Marie and stepdaughter Charmaine.
Rose abused Anna Marie and Charmaine frequently, both physically and emotionally, throughout her time with her.
She killed Charmaine when she was just eight years old.
She murdered them and hid them in the basement while Fred was in jail for petty theft.
Rose had eight more children, at least three of whom were conceived by customers.
They have all been physically and emotionally abused, some have been sexually assaulted by Rose and Fred.
Fred’s childhood was as troubled as Rose’s when he learned and experienced bestiality and pedophilia from his parents.
When Fred finally met the highly sexualized Rose, they formed a troubled alliance.
But Rose is said to have led the evil charges from the start by killing Fred’s eight-year-old daughter when Fred was away.
Where is Rose West now?
Rosemary West and her husband Fred were arrested in 1994.
Police charged the couple in nine homicide cases.
Rose was later charged with a tenth – the murder of her stepdaughter Charmaine West, eight, in 1971.
Fred committed suicide prior to his January 1995 trial, but Rose was found guilty of all counts.
She is currently serving a life sentence at HM Prison New Hall in Yorkshire.
Judge Justice Mantell sentenced her to life imprisonment in 1995, saying, “If what I think is respected, you will never be released.”
How old is Rose West?
Rosemary Pauline Letts was born on November 29, 1953 in Northam, Devon.
She is currently 67 years old.
Rose: Making of a monster on channel 5
The Channel 5 documentary examines Rose’s upbringing, interviews those who knew her best, and picks what led her to become a monstrous murderer when she was just 17 years old.
The 90-minute one-time doctor asks if Rose was born bad or a product of her terrible upbringing.
The show argues that it was Rose, not her husband Fred, who played the more dominant role in the killing of 10 defenseless women.
Her childhood neighbors discuss what she was like as a young girl, and the lawyer who represented her at the final hearing also speaks.
We also hear from tenants who fled 25 Cromwell Street and from fellow inmates who lived with her in jail.
Rose: Making A Monster will air on Wednesday March 17, 2021 at 9 p.m. on Channel 5.
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