The Fred West Murders
Caterer to a Coven?
So what about dead Fred? Was it suicide? If so, how was he able to manage it? He should have been on 24 hour suicide watch. However, the "authorities" said that he wasn't considered a suicide risk as he was always so cheerful! Obviously they overlooked the bouts of severe depression that were overcoming him with recurring frequency. So what? Why should one doubt the suicide verdict?
Let us look at the bodies that were exhumed from beneath the cellar, the back patio and the garden. Professor Bernard Knight the Home Office pathologist who oversaw the recovery of the buried remains was baffled by missing bones from every body. These were the finger bones and the toe bones. In his book Masters outlines what Professor Knight noted in the case of the first five skeletons excavated. Knee caps and the odd collar bone were missing, but I want to concentrate on the following details:
And so it went on as subsequent skeletons excavated were similarly mutilated with finger and toe bones missing. To see the significance of this let's take a quick look at a gruesome murder that occurred in 1943.
SKELETON IN A TREE - The Hagley Wood Murder
In April 1943 three young boys were playing in Hagley Wood located in the Worcestershire area when one of them climbed a large tree truck which proved to be hollow. Inside he saw what he first thought was the skeleton of a dog. Upon closer examination he saw that the skull appeared human. The three boys ran and got help. The boy who made the discovery fell ill and died soon after.
So what has this got to do with Fred West? Here I quote from "Murder By Witchcraft" by Donald McCormack (Arrow, 1969):
Professor Margaret Murray, an eminent Archaelogist and Professor of Egyptology, became involved. Dr. Murray, as she was known, was also the leading authority on witchcraft, not only in Britain but western Europe also. McCormack says,
McCormack emphasises that the history of Satanism is littered with mentions of the "magic hand" where finger bones are buried near the newly sacrificed victim for the purpose of enchantments, etc.
BACK TO FRED
The Wests had a bar built in their home in Cromwell Street to cater for Rose's clients. With the encouragement from her husband she worked as a prostitute in her home. Fred would video her various sexual encounters. The bar was called "The Black Magic Bar."
According to Rosemary West, it was given this name because several of her clients were black skinned. I really do think she believed that. Maybe it is correct? However, I suspect that Fred gave the bar its name as an in-joke that related to his activities as a caterer for a black magic coven that was (and almost certainly still is) meeting in the Gloucestershire area.
Fred West confessed to several killings, including that of his daughter Heather whose remains were found beneath the patio. I feel that there is something wrong with some of these confessions. He is always rather vague about the actual murder, e.g.,
Yet when he comes to the dismembering and disposal of the corpses, his recall is remarkable. While it is not at all unusual for serial killers to suffer blackouts after their killings, there was no evidence that West was a psychopath. In the case of Dennis Neilson, he lived alone, was a homosexual who coudn't bear to see his partners leaving the next day, and he was always in a drunken stupor when he killed - hence the blackouts!
During his interviews with the police, as outlined in Masters' book, Fred West told them that they now had a "vast amount of the truth." He further commented,
So despite his dire predicament he was frightened of the consequences if he named names. He told a journalist that he was covering for others. When asked who these others were, he said that it would all come out eventually.
My contention is that Fred West was silenced before he could get into a courtroom for the simple reason that "the others" could not allow him to be questioned in open court.
Fred West was assisted by his brother and at least two other friends in various sexual assaults on, and rapes of many of the victims. However, this was not murder. His brother John West was arrested and charged with multiple rape and was due to appear in court when, well would you believe it...he was found hanged!! His "suicide" happened only ten months after Fred's.
It is unlikely that Fred West was a member of the coven. According to Dr. Murray, commenting on another witchcraft killing, the famous Pitch-Fork Murder of farm labourer Charles Walton at Lower Quinton (only 40 miles from Hagley Wood),
Professional classes ..... like, for example, a senior police officer? Did Fred West supply the sacrificial victims for a local coven and then dispose of them after the rituals were over, minus their finger bones? He swore that he did not remove any bones from the bodies. He also, eventually, swore that he never killed the women found under the grounds of his house. Maybe, in the end, he was really telling the truth....but nobody was allowed to listen.