Warped Fred and Rose West brought the gaze of the world on to the sleepy town of Gloucester, with their insatiable and sadistic sexual appetites leading to the brutal murders of innocent women. We look at 25 Cromwell Street, the house of horror at the centre of this most shocking of crimes.
When police dug up the yard at 25 Cromwell Street, discovering human remains, the net finally began to close in on Fred and Rose West. The house of horror held grim secrets which had been building up for years.
In 1972, the newly married Wests and their growing family moved into 25 Cromwell Street. It was large enough for them to take in lodgers to help pay the rent. It also had a large cellar, which Fred said he would use as his ‘torture chamber’. The horrors which it was home to can only be imagined.
Over the years, many young women came through the doors at 25 Cromwell Street, either as nannies, lodgers, family or friends. And for many of them, it was the last place they would see. A place of torture, depravity and ultimately death.
Horrifically, the cellar became so full of the remains of the Fred and Rose Wests’ victims, that the rear garden became the ‘overflow’ burial ground.
Nearly a quarter of a century after first moving into the house, police finally got a search warrant after a tip-off. A search for pornography and evidence of child abuse eventually turned into a hunt for bodies. As Fred looked on, the patio was dug up, and slowly but surely 25 Cromwell Street began to give up its grisly secrets.
When Fred West killed himself in prison on New Year’s Day 1995, Rose was left to face justice alone for the couple’s crimes. She was found guilty of 10 counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment on each.
No right-minded person could want to live in a house with so much evil history, and so it was that the building was razed to the ground, to be replaced by a public walkway; a place where the hustle and bustle of daily life could try to begin to erase the haunting memories of what took place at 25 Cromwell Street.