WHEN Fred and Rose West were charged with 12 murders, in 1994, police were convinced teenager Mary Bastholm was also a victim.
Last month police dug up a cafe's cellar to search for her remains.
The 15-year-old, who went missing from a bus stop in Gloucester in 1968, worked in the cafe where Fred West had done some building work.
The sick couple denied the murder but, in a chilling interview unearthed by the Channel 5 documentary Fred and Rose West: The Search for the Victims, a single sentence uttered by serial killer Fred appears to confirm their guilt.
On the tape, recorded by a legal team, Fred is heard saying: “The girl, Mary Bastholm, remember I said that to you in the car. I had to go back and give her a f***ing sorting out.”
It's not known exactly who he is talking to, or whether he is recalling a conversation with wife Rose.
But Rose West’s lawyer, Leo Goatley, says Fred's lies and fantasies were designed to bamboozle cops.
“Fred West was a prolific liar," he says. "I'm quite sure that he did kill Mary Bastholm, but trying to extract the remote strands of truth from Fred's fantasies and lies was very difficult.”
Mary worked at the Pop-In Cafe, where Fred often met his lover, Anna McFall – who became his first murder victim after falling pregnant in 1967.
The Gloucester builder also did some renovation work on the basement of the cafe, around the time Mary disappeared in 1968.
Over fifty years on, police excavated the cellar in the hope of finding the body of Mary and other missing girls who could have fallen prey to the Wests.
The documentary, which includes interviews with investigating officers and forensic experts involved in the case, centres on the search for the couple's victims and the recent reopening of the hunt for Mary.
Leo Goatley told the documentary: “The police, in 1994, did some checks at the cafe.
“They had to weigh the evidence and obviously the disruption they felt wasn't justified to go into the cafe and start digging and suspend the business.”
The latest search came after police were given new information but after eight days of digging, no human remains were found.
Mary's late parents believed their daughter got into the car of someone she knew and Peter Bastholm, Mary’s brother, remained convinced she had been killed by the Wests up until his dying day, in June last year.
“I believe Fred West took a lot of secrets to his grave,” he said. “Not only in our case but in perhaps other families as well.”
Child abuse and killing spree
While the couple are known to have killed 12 victims, their son, Stephen West, previously revealed his evil dad had confessed to murdering Mary Bastholm and 30 others before he hanged himself in prison in 1995.
Both Rose and Fred killed individually before beginning the killing spree that saw them kidnap, rape and torture their victims before burying them in the garden and cellar of 25 Cromwell Road.
Four years after Anna McFall’s murder, Rose murdered her eight year old stepdaughter Charmaine, in July 1971, while Fred was in prison.
Her remains were later found under the kitchen floor at the couple's previous address in Midland Road and Fred then murdered Charmaine's mother, Rena West, when she came to collect her daughter.
At eight, Fred's daughter Anne Marie was taken to the cellar, forced to strip by Rose and then raped by her father.
She grew up being sexually abused by both her parents and her sister Mae was raped from the age of five.
Rose, who beat the children with belts and rolling pins, forced the boys to watch violent porn, hitting them with a glass ashtray if they turned away.
As their blood lust escalated the couple picked up Caroline Owens, in 1972, drugged her, tied her up and subjected her to a prolonged sexual attack before she escaped.
The pair were convicted of sexual assault and were fined just £50.
Buried under the patio and used as warning to kids
Over the next few years, the pair murdered eight more vulnerable girls, often cruising around with babies in the car to offer them a job as a nanny.
They would then tie them up, often suspending them from the rafters in their cellar, before beating them, raping them and finally murdering them.
Their final victim was daughter Heather, beaten and strangled at 16 in front of brother Barry, and buried under a patio in the garden.
The sick pair told their other children to behave or they’d “end up under the patio like Heather.”
The couple were arrested in 1994 after police became suspicious about Heather's disappearance.
A search at Cromwell Road unearthed the remains of mutilated female bodies in the garden and cellar.
In 1995, Rose was convicted of 10 murders, while Fred, who admitted 12 murders, hanged himself while on remand.
Leo Goatley, says he expects more victims to be found in years to come.
"I don't think this is the final piece of the jigsaw.
"One of the wicked and sinister things about the West case is that troubling feeling that there's more that needs to be discovered. It's quite likely that there'll be still developments in, in this case perhaps in 50 years time."
Fred and Rose West: The Search for the Victims airs on Monday night on Channel 5
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