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Fred West’s First Victims: Documentary Explores the Years of Notorious Serial Killers Living in Glasgow

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Serial killer Fred West’s years living in Scotland are explored in a major new documentary series.

The three-part documentary – Fred West: The Glasgow Girls – is about the killer’s time in Glasgow, where he lived in the 1960s with his first wife Rena Costello, her daughter Charmaine and her friend Anne McFall.

It will also explore “the hidden lives and experiences” of the three girls. Rena was later murdered by West, while Charmaine, 8, was murdered by Rosemary, both in 1971.

West is also said to have killed McFall in 1967. He denied killing the 18-year-old, but allegedly confided to a visitor after his arrest that he stabbed her after an argument.

The new documentary, made by Glasgow-based production company IWC Media, and commissioned by Sky, will look to see if any clues have been missed regarding West’s criminal behavior during his time in Glasgow.

West and his wife Rose murdered at least 12 young women in their Gloucester home over a 20-year period starting in 1967.

West and his wife Rose (pictured) murdered at least 12 young women in their Gloucester home over a 20-year period from 1967, including Mrs Costello, her daughter and Mrs McFall

Rena Costello was born in 1944 in Coatbridge, where her family lived in Calder Street.  When she married West in 1962, the couple's first home was on Hospital Street in the city.

Rena Costello was born in 1944 in Coatbridge, where her family lived in Calder Street. When she married West in 1962, the couple’s first home was on Hospital Street in the city.

Glasgow-born Ann McFall (pictured) became the nanny for West's children.  Her remains, and that of their unborn baby, were found in a field in Kempley, near Much Marcle, the killer's home village, in Herefordshire.

Charmaine (pictured), 8, was murdered in 1971 by Rosemary

Glasgow-born Ann McFall (pictured left) became the nanny for West’s children. Her remains and those of their unborn baby were found in a field in Kempley, near Much Marcle, the killer’s home village, in Herefordshire. Charmaine (pictured right), 8, was murdered by Rosemary . in 1971

Rena Costello was born in 1944 in Coatbridge, where her family lived in Calder Street.

When she married West in 1962, the couple’s first home was on Hospital Street in the city.

They later moved to Savoy Street in Bridgeton, Glasgow, and then to McLellan Street in Kinning Park.

While living there, West drove a Mr Whippy ice cream truck for a living.

A description of the series, which will air on Sky Crime next year, reads: ‘Uncovering the hidden lives and experiences of his first three victims – his first wife, Rena Costello, her daughter Charmaine and her friend Anne McFall – Fred West : The Glasgow Girls explores how his criminal life began in Scotland and how this period shaped the serial killer he would become.

Led by a female creative team, this distinctive crime series raises questions never before asked on the subject.

Why were repeated warnings about Fred West’s abusive behavior ignored?

‘Why were these victims never reported missing? And crucially, how many lives could have been saved if Fred West had stopped sooner, before meeting Rosemary, before the horrors at Cromwell St?’

West married Rena in Ledbury in 1962, when she was pregnant with another man’s child. She gave birth to Charmaine in 1963.

West (pictured) married Rena in Ledbury in 1962, when she was pregnant with another man's child.  She gave birth to Charmaine in 1963

West (pictured) married Rena in Ledbury in 1962, when she was pregnant with another man’s child. She gave birth to Charmaine in 1963

In November 1965, West (pictured) hit a four-year-old boy in Castlemilk and killed him with his ice cream truck, but was never charged.  He left Glasgow shortly afterwards

In November 1965, West (pictured) hit a four-year-old boy in Castlemilk and killed him with his ice cream truck, but was never charged. He left Glasgow shortly afterwards

In November 1965, West hit a four-year-old boy in Castlemilk and killed him with his ice cream truck, but was never charged. Shortly afterwards he left Glasgow.

After moving to Gloucestershire, Charmaine disappeared when she was eight years old and is believed to have been murdered by Rose West.

Meanwhile, the remains of 26-year-old Rena were found in a field after she disappeared in 1971.

Glasgow-born Ann McFall became the nanny for West’s children.

Rose (pictured) was jailed after being convicted of 10 murders in 1995.  She is a serving prisoner

Rose (pictured) was jailed after being convicted of 10 murders in 1995. She is a serving prisoner

Her remains and those of their unborn baby were found in a field in Kempley, near Much Marcle, the killer’s home village, in Herefordshire.

She had been pregnant with a daughter and her pregnancy was in her eighth month at the time of her death.

West hanged himself in Winston Green Prison, Birmingham, on January 1, 1995, just before he was faced with a murder trial.

Most of the murders – including that of Fred’s daughter Heather, who was buried under a patio – took place at the West family’s home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.

Rose was jailed after being convicted of ten murders in 1995. She is a serving prisoner

The documentary series was announced by Sky along with other upcoming factual programs about mixed martial arts fighters and whales.

Poppy Dixon, Sky’s Director of Documentaries and Factual, said: “From celebrating talented, young, underrepresented voices in an exciting growth sport, to asking awkward questions about one of Britain’s most notorious killers, to using cutting-edge technology to get to the natural world with new ears, we are excited to present such an innovative, thought-provoking and entertaining series of true stories on our factual slate.”

The Tragic Victims of the Killers of House of Horrors

Although Fred West was convicted of killing 12 women and Rose 10, the couple is said to have killed 20 more.

One victim almost certainly murdered by West was his former girlfriend Anne McFall, who, like the others, was found in a shallow grave with missing body parts. West denied it.

The twisted couple used whips to torture their victims as well as their own children.

Fred West committed suicide by hanging himself in a prison cell in January 1995 – before he could face trial for the murders.

Rose West is still a prisoner at HMP Low Newton in Durham, where she has been awarded a rare ‘whole life rate’ for her part in the murders.

Confirmed victims include:

Charmaine West, eight years old: Fred West’s stepdaughter from his first marriage, Charmaine was murdered by Rose in 1971 while Fred was in prison.

Rena Costello, 27: Charmaine’s mother Rena, Fred’s first wife, was murdered when she arrived to pick up her daughter Charmaine in August 1971. With Charmaine already dead, Fred is believed to have killed her to avoid an investigation.

Lynda Gough, 20: Miss Gough was a boarder at the West house and was murdered in April 1973. Rose told her mother that she had moved to Weston-super-Mare.

Carol Ann Cooper, age 15: The teenager disappeared in November 1973 as she walked from the cinema to her children’s home in Worcester. Her remains were buried in the yard of the Wests.

Lucy Partington, 21 years old: After spending Christmas with her family in Cheltenham, Miss Partington disappeared after she left to catch a bus. The student was the cousin of novelist Martin Amis and the sister of author Marian Partington.

Therese Siegenthaler, 22: The South London student was killed in April 1974 after he disappeared while trying to hitchhike to Ireland.

Shirley Hubbard, 15: She was one of the Wests’ youngest victims and disappeared on her way home from university in Droitwich. When her body was discovered, her head was completely covered in tape with a rubber tube in her mouth to help her breathe.

Juanita Mott, 18: Miss Mott, a former tenant at 25 Cromwell Street, was living in Newent when she disappeared.

Shirley Robinson, 19 years old: Another tenant, Miss Robinson, was murdered in 1978 after becoming pregnant with West’s child.

Alison Rooms, 17: The teen disappeared in August 1979 and her remains were later found under the patio at 25 Cromwell Street.

Heather West, 17: Heather was repeatedly raped by her father, complained to friends about the abuse, and was murdered by her parents in an attempt to keep her quiet.

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