Fred West police urged to search new sites with 20 more bodies to be found

Police are being urged to excavate land where it is believed serial killers Fred and Rose West buried the bodies of 20 more victims.

The original investigation in the 90s confirmed they had brutally murdered at least 12 women and girls.

But following a new seven-month probe led by former DCI Colin Sutton, evidence has been uncovered to suggest many more died at their hands.

The team discovered two new potential graves using Ground Penetrating Radar machines and cadaver dogs, the Daily Mirror reports.

The sites are in Fingerpost Field near Much Marcle, Herefordshire, where West buried his first known victim, 18-year-old Anne McFall, and close to Letterbox Field where he disposed of the body of his first wife, Catherine "Rena" Costello.

Using Ground Penetrating Radar machines, the new investigation has found a number of places of interest at the scene.

And when cadaver dogs were brought in, they scratched at two areas in Fingerpost Field – their trained response to the smell of decomposed flesh.

Mr Sutton said: “The handler is of the view that we should excavate the sites as soon as possible and I am absolutely on board with that.

“It is a really significant find and a significant piece of work from the cadaver dogs. The indications I saw the dog make were so very strong.”

A third location – a derelict farm site – could have even greater significance.

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In a chilling witness statement, which has never been made public, the woman who acted as Fred West’s “appropriate adult” when he was questioned by police following his arrest, claimed he told her of many more victims.

She said: “Fred told me there were another 20 bodies to be found after the 12, some in fields, the rest in the barn.

“Fred told me approximately 12 people were buried at the farm – all young females picked up from care homes in Herefordshire and neighbouring areas.”

A second source, West’s former employers Wendy and Derek Thomson, claim that while in prison, he said he had “done something in Berkeley”.

The investigators believe they have located "the farm" on the outskirts of the small town of Berkeley, Glos, based on what Leach and the Thomsons said.

The trustees of the derelict farmland will not allow the investigation team to search the area, meaning police would have to go.

Sir Trevor McDonald urged police to take a look.

He said: “I think the option of not investigating these fields seems very strange.

“Surely, if there is any suspicion of evidence that there might be more bodies, it follows, as night follows day, that there must be an attempt to discover what happened to these missing people.”

Lawyer Howard Ogden said: “As Fred’s solicitor, dealing with Fred led me to believe that others had been killed.

“Sadly this is something of a tip of an iceberg and inevitably there are others who are yet to be found.”

Leach also said in her statement that West had told her there were two more victims in Fingerpost Field.

And she said he admitted picking up 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who went missing in 1968 and claimed she had been killed by Rose and his brother, John.

Police were handed the investigation’s findings four months ago and are considering whether to dig up Fingerpost Field.

Det Chief Insp John Turner, from Gloucestershire Police, said of the findings at Fingerpost Field: “It’s possibly new, but may not be significant.

“What we have to do is assess the information we had last time around, the information we’ve been given around the fields and other location, then assess what we need to do around corroborating whether that’s significant in order to justify us continuing.”

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