Gloucester 'house of horrors' demolished
October 12, 1996
Web posted at: 8:50 a.m. EDT (1250 GMT)
From Correspondent Siobhan Darrow
GLOUCESTER, England (CNN) -- Workmen Friday began demolishing
the most notorious house in Gloucester. The house at 25
Cromwell Street was this city's House of Horrors, but for
years, nobody realized what was happening behind its doors.
Fred and Rosemary West lived there, for decades luring young
girls into their house. They sexually abused the girls,
murdered them, then buried mutilated bodies in the house and
garden. Even the Wests' 16-year-old daughter Heather was one
of the victims.
Almost a year ago, Rosemary West was given 10 life sentences
and pronounced Britain's most prolific female serial killer.
Her husband, Fred, confessed then hanged himself in jail.
Now, this English city wants to forget the whole sordid
ordeal by wiping away any trace of the murder-tainted house.
(24 sec./955K QuickTime movie)
"It's such a hell of a scar on a city like Gloucester, you
know, that it will eventually be overcome when this thing is
gone, when this great monstrosity is pulled down," one
Gloucester man said.
To help heal the wounds, the Gloucester City Council has set
up a committee to decide what to put in its place. "It will
take time to get over but this process, the demolition of the
house, is from our point of view the beginning of the end,"
said councilman Mike McCabe.
One of the possible replacements: a parking lot for the
church next door, which stood silent witness to the crimes
committed at 25 Cromwell.
A local vicar, Rev. David Brazington of Christ Church, had
another idea. "I'd like to see a simple garden put there.
... It would speak of new life and peace and hope, which is
what this community desperately needs at this time."
While some tend to spiritual healing, the police stand guard
at the property to keep trophy hunters from carting off
Demolition teams will tear down 25 Cromwell Street brick by
brick, but it will likely take more than sledgehammers and
shovels for this town to overcome the trauma and finally bury
the evil once committed there.