Serial killer Rose West is serving a life sentence in prison – but what is her life like behind bars?
West tortured and murdered at least nine young women with husband Fred West.
When she was just 17 years old, she also murdered her eight-year-old step daughter Charmaine.
Despite what has been widely reported in the past, many experts and witnesses believe Rose actually had the dominant role in killing the defenceless victims, reports The Mirror.
Fred killed himself in prison on New Year’s Eve in 1995, leaving his wife to face trial alone in October 1995, with it soon becoming clear that he had not been operating alone as the horrifying truth emerged.
After seven weeks of evidence and almost 100 statements from witnesses, Rose was found guilty on all counts of murder.
West, who has spent time in County Durham jails, maintains her innocence to this day but is currently serving a life sentence and will die in prison.
Myra Hindley ‘love affair’
Two of the most despised and feared women in Britain started having a ‘love affair’ in prison.
Myra Hindley, along with her boyfriend Ian Brady, was jailed in 1966 for killing five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, in what became known as the Moors Murders.
She was sentenced to spend the rest of her life behind bars for her crimes and was jailed in HMP Durham when she first met West in the mid-1990s.
The two women are said to have quickly become close and one fellow prisoner has insisted they were more than just friends.
Prisoner relationships are allowed but sex is against the rules because the premises are regarded as public places.
The pair reportedly enjoyed a fling, with West telling her former solicitor Leo Goatley: “Yeah, Myra, she’s all right, we get on, I want to see how it goes.”
Mr Goatley claims West was “impressed by Hindley’s knowledge and ability” as the serial killer had studied with the Open University.
The lawyer, who represented West for 12 years , published the book, Understanding Fred and Rose West in which he revealed the relationship between the two women.
He said: “Rose’s first paramour was the Moors murderer, Myra Hindley, who happened to be on the hospital wing at HMP Durham at the same time in 1995 an early 1996.”
However, Mr Goatley claims their relationship didn’t last long with West saying Hindley could be “very manipulative”.
He told the Daily Mail: “When I visited a few months later, Rose’s opinion of Hindley had changed dramatically. She was saying, ‘You have to watch Hindley, mind.
“She is very manipulative. You don’t realise it, but she gets you doing stuff for her. Oh, she’s clever, all right. She’s flippin’ dangerous, that one. She ain’t going to take me for a c*** again.’ And so heralded the end of the romance.”
Middle class life behind bars
West was reportedly enjoying a ‘middle class’ life behind bars in November 2017.
She spent her days listening to The Archers, baking cakes and getting foot massages.
Far from being seriously ill, West was said to be in good health and regularly hitting the gym while attending yoga classes several times a week.
Having taken a hairdressing and beauty therapy course, Rose started cutting her own hair in a short, feathered style, dyed dark brown at HMP Low Newton, County Durham, according to reports.
She also provided a hairdressing service to other prisoners although she was only allowed to use blunt-nosed scissors under prison rules.
Despite rumours West was suffering from a life threatening illness, a prison insider said: “There’s nothing wrong with her, more’s the pity. But it’s hardly surprising, is it? She’s treated like royalty in there.”
West spent most of her time on F-Wing, along with other women prisoners serving life and long-term sentences, in her own en-suite cell, complete with curtains at the window, a ‘fluffy rug’ on the floor and a coffee machine, TV and radio.
According to sources in the jail, West liked to see herself as the prison matriarch.
“She is always very welcoming to new convicts and often befriends some of the harder cases coming into the prison,” said a second source.
“Despite her years in prison, she has always maintained her innocence and encourages others to fight their cases if they also claim they are not guilty.
“She sees herself as a barrack-room lawyer and will spend a lot of time helping people with legal problems.”
The notorious killer won first prize in a prison bake-off competition with a Victorian sponge cake, it was reported in October 2018.
West impressed fellow prisoners with her offering and her sweet treat was voted the best in the contest, which was held among inmates in Low Newton Prison’s F-Wing in County Durham.
Despite her horrific crimes, West enjoyed baking cakes and was reportedly allowed to use knives under the supervision of staff.
A source told the Daily Star she used her skills in the kitchen to win over lags, claiming: “West uses her cooking skills to win people over.
“There are some very violent women on the wing and a lot of them are very aggressive towards West because of her crimes. But she tends to defuse situations by offering other prisoners cakes and biscuits.”
In February 2019, it was reported that West was “dangerously overweight” after ballooning to 18st.
She was told to lose weight by doctors or face an early death, so chose a ketogenic diet in a bid to lose excess fat, according to reports.
Her unhealthy diet behind bars consisted of cake, crisps and chocolate, but she was told to ditch the sugary treats for more nutritious foods such as fish, salads and vegetables to see her health improve.
Medics said West sufferers from high blood pressure and risked developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“West has been told on a number of occasions that she is dangerously overweight,” one jail source told The Daily Star.
“She has opted to go on the keto diet, which promises rapid weight loss quickly if you stick strictly to the rules.
“She is so heavy that she is often out of breath and sometimes has to have help getting off the toilet.”
West could only have 20g of carbohydrates a day and was told not consume more than 1,500 calories daily.
Prison move after killer threat
West was moved out of her cushy prison cell after more than a decade in July 2019 because another notorious serial killer threatened to murder her.
West burst into tears as prison chiefs packed up her belongings for a secret transfer after psycho stabber Joanna Dennehy was moved to the same jail.
Insiders at top-security Low Newton where West had been held for more than 10 years said she was gutted to lose her easy life.
But jail bosses feared Dennehy, who stabbed three men to death, would carry out a similar attack on West after saying: “I’ll kill that b****.”
The double transfer was carried out amid high security because prison bosses did not want them in the same jail.
A source said: “Rose West lived a life of luxury in there. She’s got it made because she’s in the lifers’ unit. She doesn’t even leave her cell and they bring food to her.
“So she was gutted when she had to leave. She was in tears and the prison officers just packed her things up. She was really upset. She didn’t want to go.
“It’s been her home for more than 10 years and West is an elderly woman. Low Newton is the highest security prison for women in the country and they had to send Dennehy there.
“She’s one of the UK’s most dangerous inmates. She said, ‘Send me there and I’ll f***ing kill Rose West.’
“Prison officials took the threat seriously. They moved West to another prison because they said it was a massive security threat.”
In the hope of distancing herself from her evil crimes, West reportedly paid £36 to change her name to Jennifer Jones.
It’s understood she changed her name by deed poll in December last year and told friends it’s her way of moving on.
But the decision reportedly infuriated fellow inmates at New Hall women’s jail, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
A pal said: “Rose thinks the name will give her some anonymity but there’s a lot of anger about it.
“She’s chosen the new surname because it’s so common and the Christian name just because she’s always liked it.
“For her, it’s more about getting rid of any association to Fred for good.”
In February this year, it was reported that West had become the latest of Britain’s notorious prisoners to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
The murderer even had the jab before the prison officers and other staff at HMP New Hall, where she is currently being held.
She has been classified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ due to her weight and now struggles to even walk up a flight of stairs, sources told The Sun.
West has received the jab even though many people in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ group had not yet been vaccinated.
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The serial killer apparently suffered a bad reaction to the AstraZeneca jab.
“There were lots of flu-like symptoms and she took to her bed,” a source told The Sun.
While West was said to be at greater risk from Covid-19 due to her weight, there were questions over how early she got the vaccine.
The source added: “But does that really mean she should be the first in the queue?”
Dancing on Ice and Strictly
West is said to be a huge fan of some of the nation’s biggest celebrity talent shows.
The serial killer is a huge fan of both Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice, according to reports.
This month it was revealed that Rose had been watching the ITV skating contest from prison every week and getting her friends to cast votes for her.
A source told The Sun : “Rose is a huge fan. Every weekend she clears a slot in her evening to watch the latest episode – it’s a big part of her prison life.
“She’s got a friend outside prison who she chats to and who makes the call to put a vote in for Rose.
“If you were the dancer she was backing, it’d be enough to send a shiver down your spine.”