Criminologist Jane Carter Woodrow presents a deeper examination of Rose West in Rose West: The Making of a Monster, published in 2011.
From years of research into West, Carter Woodrow presents evidence and detail that Rose was the driving force in the murders and sexual depravity with her husband Fred. The couple is notorious as the perpetrators of “The House of Horrors” murders in the early 70s through to the late 1980s where young women and the children of Fred and Rose were sexually abused, tortured and murdered to satiate the couple’s perverted desires.
The book goes into great detail about West’s early years. She was the product of two mentally ill parents – her father was a paranoid schizophrenic who terrorised his eight children. The book reveals that Rose’s father Bill Letts groomed his daughter, who learned that the abuse meant that she wouldn’t be targeted for her father’s brutality. By age 13, Rose was sexually abusing her two younger brothers.
While the book focuses mainly on Rose, Carter Woodrow also details Fred West’s depraved upbringing and the fact that the union of Fred and Rose (she met Fred when she was just 16) was like the “perfect storm” of dysfunction and danger that saw Rose become one of Britain’s worst sexual predators and serial killers.
Carter Woodrow draws from previous books written about the pair, including Fred & Rose by Howard Sounes. For those who have read about the Wests before, they will be familiar with the timeline of murder and the pair’s crimes, which are also detailed in this book but what is different is the extensive look at Rose’s childhood and the events that led to her behaviour. Carter Woodrow find evidence that it was Rose, rather than Fred who was the stronger of the two – the dominant force in the sick relationship. In fact it is believed by some investigators that it was Rose who did most of the murders and Fred disposed of the bodies. The abuse that The Wests own children suffered is also sickening, shocking and unfathomable.
Rose West: The Making of a Monster is published by Hodder & Stoughton.