Charmaine West
1st June 1971

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Charmaine West

Charmaine West

Fred's step-daughter from his first marriage, believed to have been killed by Rose West while Fred was in prison.

When Fred West met Rose in 1969 he was looking after Charmaine and Anna Marie - Fred's biological daughter from his earlier relationship with Rena.

Fred West was arrested in November 1970 for dishonesty offences and sentenced to prison for 10 months. Only 17, Rose found herself looking after Charmaine - 8 years old at the time - and Anna Marie, as well as her own actual daughter Heather who was still just a baby. Rose wrote to Fred while in prison:

"Darling, about Char, I think she likes to be handled rough. But darling, why do I have to be the one to do it. I would keep her for her own sake, if it wasn't for the rest of the children."

At Rose's trial the prosecution told the court that "there is clear evidence that Charmaine was greatly disliked by Rosemary West" because she loathed the child's rebellious nature.

Charmaine's best friend - next door neighbour Tracey Giles - came round to the West's house to borrow a pint of milk. She was stunned to see Charmaine with her hands tied behind her back with a belt, stood on a chair. Rose was also stood in the kitchen holding a wooden spoon and from her stance appeared to have been about to strike Charmaine with it.

After around June 1971, Charmaine was never seen. At that time, Anne Marie recalled that she had asked after Charmaine and been told by Rose that she had gone back to live with her mum Rena. The same story was also told to Tracey Giles, who remembered that Rose told her that Charmaine had: "Gone to live with her mother and bloody good riddance."

Not until the grounds of 25 Midland Road were dug up and Charmaine's body recovered and identified was the truth really known. As parts of her fingers and toes were removed - one of Fred's gristly signatures - it is surmised that Rose kept the body hidden at Midland Road until Fred was released from prison and could dispose of her body himself.

At 17 years old Rose had crossed the threshold into murder already and doubtless the fact helped to cement Fred's psychological hold over her and the 'normalisation' of their shared depravity.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 26th August 2014 | © Weird Island 2010-2019
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