Rosemary West is the second half of notorious, English serial killer Fred West. They each killed on their own, and together amassed a confirmed 9 murders, buried in their backyard. Either person on their own would have likely committed the same or similar crimes, but once they came together, it was a storm of terror that rained down around them. While Fred West committed suicide on New Year’s Day in 1995, Rosemary still lives in prison in West Yorkshire, UK.
Who is Rosemary West?
Rosemary Pauline Letts was born November 29, 1953 to Daisy and William Letts. During Daisy’s pregnancy, she suffered severe depression which was treated with electroshock therapy, which Rosemary blamed for her stunted intellectual development and mental health issues. William Letts was a paranoid schizophrenic who sexually abused Rosemary for most of her childhood, which Rosemary now denies. As a young girl and teen, Rosemary was known to walk around her home completely naked, proud to show off her body to her father, brothers and any other person in the home. She was known to be hypersexualized, likely due to the sexual abuse. People in the town knew her as a nymphomaniac who would willingly sleep with older men.
This childhood was the perfect formula for her to have met 28 year old Fred West when she was only 15 years old. She said that Fred “could charm anyone.” Initially, Rosemary was disgusted by Fred’s unkempt appearance, but grew to like him by the affection he showered over her. Despite her father’s disapproval, Rosemary left home and moved in with Fred. Fred had one step-daughter, Charmaine, and another daughter, Anne-Marie, from his previous marriage to Rina West. The girls lived with him while Rina moved on to another man. In 1970, Rosemary gave birth to the couple’s first daughter, Heather Ann. Around this time, Fred was arrested and sent to jail for petty theft. The girls were left in the care of Rosemary, at 17 years old.
Rosemary beat the children, with witnesses describing horrific scenes, particularly focusing on Charmaine, who was more strong-willed than her sisters. Just before Fred was released from prison, Rosemary murdered Charmaine. Upon his return home, Fred simply dismembered and buried his daughter’s body in the backyard. Soon, Rina came searching for her daughters, and repeatedly asked where Charmaine had gone. Fred then murdered her as well, burying her in the backyard.
In 1972, the family began living at the infamous 25 Cromwell Street home in Gloucester. Also in 1972, the couple’s second daughter Mae June was born. Rosemary began working as a prostitute in a spare bedroom while Fred would watch from a hole in the wall. This temporarily satisfied her sexual appetite as well as Fred’s voyeuristic habits. At this time, Rosemary’s father, William, also visited and paid for her services. The couple had more children: Stephen in 1973, Tara in ’77, Louise in ’78, Barry in ’80, Rosemary Jr. in ’82 and Lucyanna in ’83. Tara, Rosemary Jr, and Lucyanna are thought to be Fathered by any of Rosemary’s many clients.
It was when they moved to 25 Cromwell Street that the torture dungeon was constructed by Fred in the basement and the hunt for young female victims had began. Fred and Rose sexually abused their children, mostly focusing on Heather until she was murdered in 1987 at 16 after being raped and tortured. They killed a confirmed 9 more victims ages 15 to 21. The total is at minimum 12 victims including Heather, Charmaine and Rina West.
How Were the Wests Captured?
In 1992, Fred West was accused of sexual assault of then 13 year old Mae. Children services investigated the claims as well as that of missing Heather West. The children disclosed to the investigators that both Fred and Rose would demand the children behave, otherwise they would “end up under the patio like Heather.” The couple had always told their children that Heather had ran away from home. Police find Heather and other remains in the backyard of the Cromwell street home. The couple were arrested in 1994.
Fred confessed to over 30 murders, yet only those discovered can be confirmed. After his confession, Fred committed suicide on New Year’s Day in 1995. Rosemary went to trial and claimed Fred had abused and forced her to participate in the crimes. She was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Where is Rosemary West Now?
In 2019, Rosemary was transferred to HM Prison New Hall in West Yorkshire, New England. She has been questioned since about the disappearances of other young girls since her incarceration, and denied any crimes. Her prison life is described by those who previously stayed near her as “luxurious.” She is described as getting whatever she desires in prison due to her notoriety. She has had many flings, being known to bake treats to win women over. She was crowned “Star Baker” in a 2018 prison baking competition. She has also since “found God” and claims to know that she has been “forgiven by God.” She also claims, “Fred made me do it.” She supposedly has no contact with her 7 living children. She is currently 69 years old.
What Happened to The Living Children?
- Most notable is that of Stephen West. In the late 1990’s Stephen was sentenced to 9 months in prison for impregnating a 14 year old girl. This was discovered when he had taken the girl for an abortion.
- Mae June has written a book about her experiences, titled, ‘Love As Always, Mum.’
- Barry was discovered dead by drug overdose in 2020.
- Anne-Marie also wrote a book titled ‘Out of the Shadows‘ and has been vocal in interviews about her experiences.
- Not much is found on the remaining children, Louise, Tara Rosemary Jr, and Lucyanna.