Sir Trevor McDonald says he did not find any answers when he came to Gloucestershire to film a documentary about Fred and Rose West.
In a question and answer session about the programme he says the case “defies belief.”
He says he remembers the case when he was a newsreader but returning to Cromwell Street murders to revisit the scene of the crimes drummed into him the true nature of the House of Horrors.
And talking to the families of victims also made him realise what the murdered girls went through before they died.
And in the end he concludes: “There is no conclusion, you just walk away stunned about what you learn.”
This is what he said:
You were reading the news in 1994, do you remember the case when the story originally broke?
STM: “I remember the case. But when you’re reading the news you introduce an item which a reporter will then go into.
“So, while it was a big crime story it didn’t make much as an impression then as when I started doing this documentary and found out what had actually been going on.
“Fred and Rosemary were cruising the streets and picking up people to kill them. It’s very difficult to contemplate anything worse than that.”
(Image: Sunday Mirror)
You visit Cromwell Street in the programme, is that the first time you have been there?
STM: “It’s the first time I have ever seen Cromwell Street. I was shocked to see that everyone knows what this street is and how relieved they are that the house is no longer there.
Nobody wanted that house there so it’s now eerily a very empty plot. You would have thought that people would have done these things in some dark remote corner of a county, this was very much in the middle of an everyday street.
“People were coming and going, the houses were very close together.”
In the film you meet some of the victim’s families, how did you find that?
“Juanita Mott was a lodger at the Wests’. What was terrible for me was to listen to what her sisters [Belinda and MaryAnn] said about what came out in court – about the condition of her body.
I thought to sit and have to listen to what was done to your sister and to keep listening and reliving this horror is appalling, really appalling.
All crime cases are horrible in some particular way but there are so many ways in this that exceeded in its criminality.
To go through, in detail, what these victims went through at the hands of Fred and Rosemary West is unbelievable and horrible to recount.”
Victim Lucy Partington’s sister Marian has written to Rose and said that she forgave her, was that surprising?
“Some people take that course as a way of helping themselves. Why be consumed by this hate of what somebody did to your sister?
It may be better to try and clear your mind and say ‘Ok, I’m trying to let this go. I’m going to forgive you.’ I suppose the theory is that it doesn’t haunt you then.
“The question is, how is forgiveness possible in this case?”
Can you tell us a little bit about the film and what can viewers expect?
(Image: The Mirror)
“What viewers can expect is a great deal of information about how these extraordinarily horrible things came to pass. This is not an everyday story, you don’t encounter this very often.”
“In every way you turn to look at this case, there is something ghastly and unexpected and totally inexplicable.
” I’ve come away from doing this without any kind of intimation at all about how this was possible. It defies belief, it defies explanation and it defies any understanding.
“There is no conclusion, you just walk away stunned about what you learn.”
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