Fred West was 'terrified' of wife Rose, their son claims

Serial killer Fred West was ‘terrified’ of his wife Rose who was the real driving force behind House of Horrors crimes, their son claims

  • Stephen West claims his father Fred had a ‘softer side’ and was Rose’s ‘minion
  • The 45-year-old says it was his mother who was the ‘driving force’ for crimes 
  • Says parents’ crimes ruined his life and was jailed for sex with girl, 14, in 2004 

Serial killer Fred West was terrified of becoming a victim of his evil wife Rose, their son has claimed.

Stephen West, 45, says his mother was the ‘driving force’ behind the couple’s horrendous crimes and his father ‘lived in fear’ of her until his death. 

He claims Mr West was simply a ‘minion’ during their time at their ‘House of Horrors’ in Cromwell Street, Gloucester, where they murdered their victims. 

Mr West, who claims his life has been ruined by his parents’ crimes, said: ‘He was terrified of her without a doubt. Right up to the day he died he was terrified of her and what she could do.’

The Wests’ oldest son said he didn’t want to defend his father, but he wants people to know the truth about him. He claims he had a ‘softer side’, despite his hideous crimes. 

Stephen West, 45, (pictured in 2004) says his mother was the ‘driving force’ behind the couple’s horrendous crimes and his father ‘lived in fear’ of her until his death

The 45-year-old told the podcast Unheard: The Fred and Rose West Tapes: ‘She was the callous, the evil, spiteful, vindictive, manipulative person out of them.

‘He was just a minion in a way. He just did what she wanted him to do. I’m not saying he didn’t get any gratification from it.

‘I’m sure he did. But basically the torture was driven by her. There was a softer side that you saw but we never ever saw that softer side of mum.

‘So I think that she was the driving force in the pair and I feel that people don’t really get that.

‘They look at him and they think she was the controlled wife – this poor wife who was brought into this – but it wasn’t that way at all.

‘I know it wasn’t. I was there. I saw it. I witnessed it. The way he was around her he just wanted to please her.

‘He was terrified of her without a doubt. Right up to the day he died he was terrified of her and what she could do.’


Rose West, 66, (left) was convicted of 10 murders in 1995 and sentenced to a whole life tariff – meaning she will never leave prison. But she has consistently claimed her innocence, showing no remorse. Her husband Fred (right) confessed to most of the 12 murders but hanged himself in 1995 before he could be tried, aged 53

Mrs West, 66, was convicted of 10 murders in 1995 and sentenced to a whole life tariff, which means she will die behind bars. 

She has consistently protested her innocence and showed no remorse, with several unsuccessful attempts to overturn her sentence. 

Her husband confessed to most of the 12 murders but hanged himself in 1995 before he could be tried, aged 53.

The pair raped, tortured and killed young women and children over three decades. The victims included the couple’s daughter Heather, murdered in June 1987, aged 16. 

Their son Stephen was jailed for nine months in 2004 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.  

Speaking to the podcast, he said: ‘It’s hard for me to say this without someone jumping down my throat and saying ‘you are protecting your father’ but I’m not protecting him at all.

‘What he did was awful and there is no doubt about that. What I’m saying is she was the callous, the evil, spiteful vindictive, manipulative person out of them.

‘I just felt when I reflect he was just a minion in a way. He just did what she wanted him to do.’ 

Stephen West claims Mr West (pictured with wife Rose) was simply a ‘minion’ during their time at their ‘House of Horrors’ in Cromwell Street, Gloucester between 1967 and 1987

He claims prison saved his life, adding: ‘If they hadn’t sent me to prison I wouldn’t be alive today.

‘Without a doubt. I came out a better person and made massive changes to my life.

‘I always believed I came out of it unscathed. As a guy I guess you think I’m better than that and tougher than but the truth was I didn’t come out of it unscathed at all. I had to grow up.’

He said he had cut off contact with his mother and had not spoken to her for 20 years. 

He added: ‘I cut contact with my mum. That was important. I had to. In 1999 she called me with hate and was blaming me for everything.

‘She said I should have died when I was born and all that sort of stuff. It was a disgrace.’

House of Horrors: A policeman is pictured patrolling the front of the Wests’ former home in Cromwell Street, Gloucester where they committed several murders 

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