Fred & Rose by Howard Sounes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of FRED & ROSE by Howard Sounes
A couple of weeks ago, prisoner-for-life Rose West was assaulted by another female inmate, who later stated that as a mother herself she could not tolerate Rose's crimes, nor the attention and approbation she believes Rose receives. So I found it apropos that this superb recounting of the killer couple, Fred West and Rose Leets West, their crimes and personalities, history and ancestry, be published this week (March 14, 2017 release). The author, Howard Sounes, is a journalist and biographer, who actually “broke” some of the news surrounding the discoveries in February-March 1994 of the numerous, even extensive, killings committed by one or both of this evil pair. Yes, I use the term “evil,” because I think any lesser disapprobation applies. Fred and Rose, singularly and coupled, acted far beyond the accepted bounds of human behaviour. Indeed, for these two, no taboos existed. What they desired, they acted upon, no matter how horrendous. Like two infants, they insisted on immediate gratification; they had no code of moral conduct, indeed no morality whatsoever; and their planning extended only to disposing of victims in order to leave no witnesses. Of course, if they had thought in advance, and had not responded to their every passing whim, many young women would not have died agonizingly.
FRED & ROSE is a difficult read for a human who has any emotions or empathy, but it is superbly written and very revealing of how, why, where, and what of the crimes committed by this couple (individually and in concert). It is not reading for the faint of heart; but for readers like myself, who are impelled to read true crime and crime fiction to learn “Why? How could such have happened? Who could act this way?” it's essential reading, offering also the questions “Where were the authorities (law enforcement, medical, social services) when these victims—young adults, adolescents, and children—fell prey to these two “human” monsters?
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