Searching for the victims of Fred and Rose West

Monday:Fred and Rose West: The Search for the Victims; (Channel 5, 9pm)

Sunday, 6th June 2021, 5:00 pm

More than a quarter of a century since he confessed to killing his daughter Heather, the name Fred West has unfortunately back in the headlines recently, as police have dug up the grounds of the Clean Plate Cafe in Gloucester.

New evidence had suggested the body of Mary Bastholm may be buried there, and that she may be the latest and 13th victim of the Wests’ reign of terror to be found.

For years, rumours circulated that 15-year-old Mary may have been murdered by West, and her body buried..

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The cafe on Southgate Street was long cited as a possible place where her remains lay, but up to now, police have failed to solve this mystery, and questions remain.

Uncovering the story of Mary, and revisiting the detailed cases of 12 other young women known to have been murdered by Fred and Rose West, this definitive and methodical two-part series shot over the past year will explain how and why these women were killed, and follow events as the operation continues in Gloucester.

Showing over two consecutive nights, it features exclusive witness testimony from those closest to the Wests’ victims, who haven’t spoken before, and rarely seen archive to reveal the true horror of what took place behind closed doors at 25 Cromwell Street and other addresses in Gloucester over many years.

The films reveal how the Wests’ killing spree went undiscovered for years, as apparently normal life continued at the property which later become known as the ‘House of Horrors’.

For the first time, we illustrate the links between all the young women who met their deaths in such terrible circumstances, while unearthed home videos expose the veneer of a happy family that disguised the Wests’ murderous secrets.

Police recordings, and new interviews with lawyers and police who worked on the case, expose the mindset and horrific methods of a killer who continued to crave control and protect a murderous wife – who would ultimately be the only one to face justice for the heinous killings.

As victim after victim is uncovered by investigators, we hear their stories: families, surviving victims and key witnesses come forward to reveal the real people behind the grisly headlines, and details of the lives that were tragically cut short.

This is the detailed, untold story of how Fred and Rose West became Britain’s most notorious killer couple.

But more, it is the story of their victims, and the programmes raise new questions about how many more lives may have been lost to this murderous partnership.

As the investigation continues in Gloucester, we track the progress of the latest police activity and assess whether Mary Bastholm’s loved ones and those of other long suspected victims will ever get their chance of closure.

And finally the series asks: will the search for more of the Wests’ victims ever actually end, regardless of the outcome of the search at the Clean Plate Cafe?

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