Rose West: The Making of a Monster

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.


  1. I also have written a book about a monster. My sister, Kathy Whorton, was raped and murdered in 1981, and the serial killers, Henry Lee Lucas and Otis Toole confessed to her murder. In 2003 I decided to look into her murder myself because the two serial killers confessed to hundreds of murders, and I just didn’t believe they did it. I went on a long journey to find her real killer which included the help of the famous Vidocq Society. Twenty-seven years later, her real killer was identified through DNA evidence. He was captured only miles from where he abducted her and took her life. Because of evidence that mysteriously disappeared and an autopsy report that was never filed because of the coroner’s suspected substance abuse problem, he will never be brought to trial for her murder. The good news is that through some pretty miraculous twists and turns, he is now serving a life sentence because he stole a bottle of cologne. My book, Sweet Scent of Justice, gives all the details of my amazing story. It can be found on or
    Thank you,
    Debbie Wilson

  2. Of all the true crime books at WildBlue Press, Steve Jackson’s true crime book BOGEYMAN is about a cold case serial killer David Elliot Penton and the chase to put him hehind bars. A great story about the passion of the detectives to bring this killer to justice.

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