There was nothing special about the place. It was just a rather drab Gloucester semi while the owners looked like any other married couple…
True Detective December 2007
There was nothing special about the place. It was just a rather drab Gloucester semi while the owners looked like any other married couple. He was short and squat and looked like a modest achiever. Had you chatted with him he would proudly have shown you the work he had done on his patio and described the effort needed to develop his cellar. You would never have imagined – and why should you? – that the cellar was where he raped and tortured young girls or that it and his back garden had become the burial ground for nine of his victims. The couple were the Wests, Fred and Rose, and the house was 25 Cromwell Street, and together they form this month’s free Crime Collection pull-out.
You would think the country’s hangmen would have a break at Christmas, even in Victorian times, wouldn’t you? Not so. Our calendar of Victorian hangings for December – the twelfth and final part in the series – reveals that while Father Christmas was handing out gifts and good cheer to everyone, two murderers were hanged on Christmas Eve: one at Winchester in 1867 and the other in Manchester in 1889. Nothing, not even Christmas, could hold up the machinery of the law.
l …STOP PRESS…STOP PRESS…STOP PRESS…STOP PRESS…STOP Next month True Detective has a famous guest editor. He has picked eight crime cases that have fascinated him to share with you and invited seven top crime writers – including James Morton and Andrew Rose – to produce their definitive “little-known-facts-about-crime” lists that will amaze and intrigue you.