July 5, 2011


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Heartless Rose West was found guilty of 10 murders in 1995

Sunday June 26,2011

By Jane Carter Woodrow

Rose West is notorious as one of the UK’s most violent and sadistic serial killers..

IN FEBRUARY 1994 police began excavating the garden and patio at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, Rose and Fred West’s home. Nine of their victims were found, revealing macabre and horrific indicators of what had happened to the victims before their deaths. The remains still had fetters and gags in place; duct tape mummifying one victim’s head had a straw poked through the mask into a nostril, to allow just enough air to keep her alive during torture. Another had a wide leather belt strapped around her head and fastened beneath her chin. Most victims had been decapitated and one young woman had been scalped.

In some cases, victims were suspended from a hook in the ceiling to increase their pain before death and at least one young woman had been kept alive for several days during the torture. All the bodies had been dissected and trophies kept of fingers, toes, kneecaps and other body parts, which to this day have never been found. Rose was a fully-fledged serial killer while still in her teens and early 20s. She would kill again and again. Her last known murder was in 1987 when she was 33. Horrifically, her victim was her daughter Heather.

How did an ordinary young woman sink to such depths of depravity? Was she never ordinary in the first place? To find out what made Rose West a mass murderer we must start with her early life. She was one of seven children born into a hard-up family living in the village of Northam, north Devon, in 1953. Her father Bill Letts had served on aircraft carriers during the war. Her mother Daisy, from Chadwell Heath near Romford, Essex, was petite, dark-haired, timid and regarded as a beauty by locals. They appeared to be a happy couple with an immaculately turned out family. Bill was polite and charming and Daisy was shy, but this contented appearance concealed a hideous reality. The family moved into a new local authority house in Northam in 1950. Daisy already had three children and Bill was away a lot of the time as he had stayed in the Navy after his war service.

DAISY HAD begun to experience periods of depression and developed a mania for hygiene and the state of the house. She concentrated her efforts on keeping it spotless and her three children scrupulously clean but she was becoming deeply troubled and her behaviour verged on the neurotic. In 1953 she suffered a breakdown and was referred to a psychiatric hospital in Bideford where she was given a course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Daisy consented to have her head shaved and a number of large black electrodes attached to her skull. A surge of electricity into the brain makes the patient black out and have convulsions. At the beginning of her ECT treatment Daisy fell pregnant with her fifth child, Rosemary.

Despite her pregnancy the psychiatrist continued her treatment. This meant that as Rose lay in her mother’s womb Daisy had more shocks blasted to her brain, sending convulsions through her body, the last one just days before Rose was born. When she came home everyone commented on how beautiful the new baby was but noticed her strange behaviour. She rocked her head for hours on end and the older children complained as she rhythmically bashed her head against the cot at night. As she got older she continued to swing her head in front of her for long periods of time inducing a trance-like state.

At other times her eyes were said to look vacant and lost in her own world. The kind of behaviour Rose exhibited can be indicative of learning difficulties. They might even be linked to the ECT treatment, but no one knows for sure. Conditions at home deteriorated. Despite how it looked to neighbours, Bill was the one fixated by cleanliness. He insisted on the girls’ hands and hair being inspected regularly, and soaked the carpets in bleach to kill germs. He had developed obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) so just a speck of dust on the picture rail could prompt a terrifying rage. Daisy didn’t speak to the neighbours during her husband’s absences because Bill feared his beautiful wife was going to have an affair.

He told her who she could speak to and who she couldn’t. He had returned home early from work one day to find Daisy innocently talking to some other women outside the house. Flying into a rage he punched Daisy in the face and dragged her back into the house where he continued beating her. On other occasions he’d accuse his wife of being “oversexed” and beat her into submission with his fists and a slipper behind closed doors. The children also lived in fear of their father. as well as abiding by strict rules they had to do housework before and after school each day. If they didn’t wake up on time Bill threw a bucket of icy water over them.

Fearing his wrath, Daisy constantly scrubbed the house and the children so as not to provoke him but if he had a mind to, nothing would stop him beating them. In the end she appears to have become so worn down by Bill that she took on board his OCD and other irrational behaviours as if they were her own. She hit the children and constantly cleaned. Bill the affable former Navy man was really a cruel, sadistic bully who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, a fact he kept secret. Untreated he suffered severe psychotic episodes most of his adult life which had devastating effects on his family.

Rose and her siblings had two mentally ill parents whose behaviour shaped their childhood and development. Sex was also a problem. When Rose’s 15-year-old sister Patsy got out of the bath one day her father pushed her on to the bed and tried to remove her bathrobe. She screamed and pushed him away but Bill caught her on the landing and threw the young girl down the stairs, injuring her so badly that she had to go to hospital. Later he made attempts to molest her again and beat her because she resisted. Soon after she left home to join the Wrens which meant that Bill’s deviant sexual attention shifted. Rose in her formative years would have grown up believing her father’s behaviour was normal but she was being coached by Bill to share secrets with him that no child should.

Sex was secretly and illegally practised regularly within the Letts household. Rose began practising her sexuality on her brothers where she would parade around the house naked after a bath and indulged in sexual activity with both. Once, she had stripped and stood naked in front of her father despite Bill’s hypocritical rule that mention of sex was taboo in the Letts home. When she became bored with her sexual explorations of her brothers and possibly even Bill, she began testing her powers further afield with boys from the village and subsequently workmen at a tea hut she was supposed to look after.

Clearly, this was not the behaviour of a normal 13-year-old girl; this was a girl who had been highly sexualized and was sexually precocious as a result. With this background perhaps it isn’t surprising that two years later when Rose met Fred West at a bus stop in Cheltenham there was an instant attraction. Rose was naïve but sexually uninhibited and saw nothing odd in West’s bizarre appearance and constant references to sex. They believed they were made for one another…

Adapted by Graham Ball, from Rose West: The Making of a Monster by Jane Carter Woodrow, to be published by Hodder & Stoughton on July 7. © Jane Carter Woodrow

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June 21, 2011




Jonathan Adair, better known as Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair (born 27 October 1963 in BelfastNorthern Ireland) is the former leader of the “C Company”, 2nd Battalion Shankill Road, West Belfast Brigade of the “Ulster Freedom Fighters” (UFF). This was a cover name used by theUlster Defence Association (UDA), an Ulster loyalist paramilitary organisation. Adair was expelled from the organisation in 2002 following a violent internal power struggle. Since 2003, he, his family and a number of supporters have been forced to leave Northern Ireland by other loyalists.

Paramilitary activities

By the early 1990s, a new leadership had emerged on the Shankill Road following the killing of powerful South Belfast Brigadier and the UDA’s Deputy Commander John McMichael in 1987 by a booby-trap car bomb planted by the IRA; less than three months later, the Supreme Commander Andy Tyrie resigned after an attempt was made on his life. He was not replaced; instead the organisation was run by its Inner Council. With the West Belfast UDA brigadier and spokesman Tommy Lyttle in prison and gradually eased out of the leadership, Adair, as the most ambitious of the “Young Turks”, established himself as head of the UDA/UFF’s “C Company”, 2nd Battalion based on the Shankill.[2] When Adair was charged with terrorist offences in 1995, he admitted that he had been a UDA leader for three years up to 1994. During this time, Adair and his colleagues were involved in multiple and random murders of Catholic civilians, mostly carried out by a special killings unit led by Stevie “Top Gun” McKeag.[3] At Adair’s trial in 1995, the prosecuting lawyer said he was dedicated to his cause against those whom he “regarded as militant republicans – among whom he had lumped almost the entire Roman Catholic population”.[4] Royal Ulster Constabulary detectives believe his unit killed up to 40 people in this period.[5] Adair once remarked to a Catholic journalist from the Republic of Ireland upon the discovery of her being Catholic, that normally Catholics travelled in the boot of his car.[6] According to a press report in 2003, Adair was handed details of republican suspects by theIntelligence Corps, and was even invited for dinner with them in the early 1990s.[7] In his autobiography, he claimed he was frequently passed information by sympathetic British army members, and that his own whereabouts were passed to republican paramilitaries by the RUC Special Branch, who, he claimed, hated him.[8] As brigadier of the West Belfast UDA Adiar was entitled to one of the six seats on the organisation’s Inner Council and in this role Adair, who wanted to continue on the path of violence, clashed frequently with East Antrim brigadier Joe English, who advocated seeking a peace settlement.[9]

The Provisional Irish Republican Army‘s Shankill Road Bombing of a fish shop in October 1993 was an attempt to assassinate Adair and the rest of the UDA’s Belfast leadership in reprisal for attacks on Catholics. The IRA claimed that the office above the shop was regularly used by the UDA for meetings and one was due to take place shortly after the bomb exploded. The bomb went off early, killing one of the IRA men, Thomas Begley, and nine Protestant civilians. The UFF retaliated by carrying out the Greysteel massacre, a random attack on the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel, County Londonderry, in which eight civilians, two of whom were Protestants, were killed. Adair has survived 13 assassination bids, most of which were carried out by the IRA and Irish National Liberation Army.[10]

During this time, undercover officers from the Royal Ulster Constabulary had recorded months of discussions with Adair, in which he boasted of his activities, producing enough evidence to charge him with directing terrorism. He was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in the The Maze prison.

Adair was held with other loyalist prisoners in their “block” of the prison. In prison, according to some reports, Adair sold drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy tablets and amphetamines to other loyalist prisoners, earning him an income of £5,000 a week.[10]

In January 1998, Adair was one of five loyalist prisoners visited in the prison by British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam. She persuaded them to drop their objection to their political representatives continuing the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement in April that year. In 1999, Adair was released as part of early-release scheme for paramilitary prisoners under the Agreement.


Exile from Northern Ireland and personal life

He was released from prison again on 10 January 2005. He immediately left Northern Ireland and joined his family in BoltonLancashire where it was claimed he stayed with supporters of the far-rightCombat 18 group. [12]

The police in Bolton have questioned his wife, Gina about her involvement in the drugs trade, and his son (nicknamed both ‘Mad Pup’ and ‘Daft Dog’ [2]) has been charged with selling crack cocaine and heroin.[13] Adair himself was arrested and fined for assault and threatening behaviour in September 2005. He had married Gina Crossan, his partner for many years and the mother of his four children, at the Maze Prison on 21 February 1997.[14] She is three years Adair’s junior and grew up in the same Lower Oldpark neighbourhood. Gina was part of the local skinhead scene and Adair began dating her in 1980 when she was 14 years old. Adair and Gina have four children: Jonathan, Natalie, Chloe, and Jay.

A former girlfriend, Jackie “Legs” Robinson, claimed that after a UDA/UFF killing had been set up and carried out, he would become highly aroused and afterwards be “particularly wild in bed”.[15][16] It was also alleged that the mere discussion of an operation’s details gave him a “sexually charged excitement”; even when the actual killings had been done by others he had personally chosen as hitmen.[17]

After being released, he was almost immediately arrested again for violently assaulting Gina, who suffers from ovarian cancer.[18] Since this episode Johnny Adair is reported as having moved to Scotland, living in Troon in Ayrshire.[19] The Adair family moved to Horwich, Lancashire in early 2003.[20]

In May 2006, it was reported that Adair had received £100,000 from John Blake Publishing for a ghost-written autobiography.[5]

In November 2006, the UK’s Five television channel transmitted an observational documentary on Adair made by Donal MacIntyre. The focus of the film centred around Adair and another supposedly reformed character, a former neo-Nazi from Germany called Nick Greger, and their trip to Uganda to build an orphanage. Adair was seen to fire rifles, stating it was the first time he had done so without wearing gloves.

In November 2008 Adair appeared in an episode of Danny Dyer‘s Deadliest Men which profiled fellow C Company inmate Sam “Skelly” McCrory.


June 21, 2011



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