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article imageOp-Ed: Doc on serial killer a fair portrait of evil

By Alexander Baron     Sep 12, 2011 in Crime
Gloucester - ITV has just screened a two part docudrama on serial killer Fred West; low key without the usual blood and guts, it is a fair portrayal of the banality of evil.
Actually, this is less a drama than an attempt to reconstruct the interrogation of West and come to terms with his crimes and those of his equally depraved wife, seen through the eyes of Janet Leach, the social worker who was brought in by the police as an appropriate adult to sit in on their sessions with the borderline imbecilic psychopath.
Serial killers are often both charismatic and intelligent; unusually, West was neither. Anyone in Britain of a certain age will have heard of “Fred and Rose” and their house of horrors on Cromwell Street, Gloucester.
West committed suicide in Winson Green Prison on New Year’s Day, 1995, nine years and twelve days before the even more notorious Harold Shipman ended his life in HMP Wakefield. The big difference is that Shipman – who acted alone – had been convicted of 15 murders, while West who had yet to face trial, left his wife to face the music. On November 22, 1995, she was convicted of ten murders and given the mandatory life sentence, the judge telling her she could never expect to be released.
Numerous articles and documentaries about the Wests and their crimes can be found all over the Internet, with the usual fine material on YouTube. In fact, Appropriate Adult has already been uploaded to that site, but the original is currently on iplayer. As usual with programmes of this nature it raises more questions than it answers, but in their case it appears that depravity was an end in itself.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Fred West, Rosemary West, Serial killer, Cromwell Street
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