Fred West  

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Frederick Walter Stephen West (29 September 1941  – 1 January 1995), was a British serial killer. Between 1967 and 1987, he alone, and later, he and his wife Rosemary, tortured, raped and murdered at least 11 young women and girls, many at the couple's homes. The majority of the murders occurred between May 1973 and September 1979 at their home in Gloucester. Rosemary West also murdered Fred's stepdaughter (his first wife's biological daughter) Charmaine, while he was serving a prison sentence for theft. During this time they resided at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester. The house was demolished in 1996 and was converted into a landscaped footpath connecting Cromwell Street to St. Michaels Square.

Cultural impact

Harold and Fred (They Make Ladies Dead) was a 2001 comic strip in Viz, also featuring serial killer Harold Shipman, which attracted criticism from the victims' families. The editor of Viz commented: "Yes, it is going a bit far and I don't need to defend it, but I'll make a half-hearted attempt. I'm sure Mel Brooks didn't think the Nazis were funny, but a lot of his comedy was based around them. The cover of Viz gives you a pretty good idea of what the content is going to be like and people that are offended by it, don't buy it."

The surnames of the two families in the BBC comedy series Gavin and Stacey are West and Shipman. There is no suggestion that the characters are linked to the serial killers, but the co-incidence of the names is deliberate, and is mentioned in the wedding episode at the end of series 1.

The West murders are mentioned in the 2006 episode "The Final Act" of the ITV television police drama Prime Suspect, to emphasise the public reaction to incomplete investigations.

A two-part drama, Appropriate Adult, aired on ITV in September 2011. This tells the story of Janet Leach, the woman asked by police to sit in interviews with Fred West.

In one episode in the fourth season of Law and Order: SVU, West is mentioned because he collected the fingers of his victims to remind him of his "dominance", something he had in common with their suspect.

British musical act Kunt and the Gang wrote a song entitled "Fred and Rose," making reference throughout, notably in the chorus, "Heaven knows / There's nothing that I wouldn't do. / We're like Fred and Rose. / I'd murder a lodger for you."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fred West" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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