Fred & Rose
The Full Story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors
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The definitive account of one of Britain’s most notorious killer couples, who loved, tortured, and slayed together as husband and wife.
From the outside, 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England, looked as commonplace as the married couple who lived there. But in 1994, Fred and Rose West’s home would become infamous as a “house of horrors” when the remains of nine young women—many of them decapitated, dismembered, and showing evidence of sexual torture—were found interred under its cellar, bathroom floor, and garden. And this wasn’t the only burial ground: Fred’s first wife and nanny were unearthed miles away in a field, while his eight-year-old stepdaughter was found entombed under the Wests’ former residence.
Yet, for more than twenty years, the twosome maintained a façade of normalcy while abusing and murdering female boarders, hitchhikers, and members of their own family. Howard Sounes, who first broke the story about the Wests as a journalist and covered the murder trial, has written a comprehensive account of the case. Beginning with Fred and Rose’s bizarre childhoods, Sounes charts their lives and crimes in forensic detail, constructing a fascinating and frightening tale of a marriage soaked in blood. Indeed, the total number of the Wests’ victims may never be known.
A case reminiscent of the “Moors Murders” committed in the 1960s in Manchester by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady—as if Hindley and Brady had married and kept on killing for decades—Fred & Rose “is a story of obsessive love as well as obsessive murder” (The Times, London).
Howard Sounes (b. 1965) who was born in Welling, a suburb of South East London, was working as a news reporter for the Sunday Mirror in 1994 when he broke the first major stories in the case of Frederick and Rosemary West. Sounes went on to cover the West story extensively for the Sunday Mirror, then the Daily Mirror, up to and including Rose West’s trial in the autumn of 1995. Fred & Rose was first published shortly after Mrs. West’s conviction on ten counts of murder. A bestseller at the time, it has remained in print ever since, becoming one of the most widely read true crime books.
Shortly after Fred & Rose was published, Sounes resigned from the Daily Mirror to pursue a career as a full-time author. His subsequent books have included a biography of American writer Charles Bukowski (Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life); biographies of musicians Bob Dylan (Down the Highway), Paul McCartney (Fab), and Lou Reed (Notes from the Velvet Underground); a book about Amy Winehouse and other musicians who died at the age of twenty-seven (Amy, 27); a history of the arts in the 1970s (Seventies); and Heist: The True Story of the World’s Biggest Cash Robbery.
For more information visit www.howardsounes.com.