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1995: Serial killer West found hanged
Fred West, the Gloucestershire builder charged with 12 murders, has been found dead in his prison cell.

Prison officers discovered the 53-year-old's body hanging from strips of clothing at Winson Green prison near Birmingham at lunch-time today.

Attempts to resuscitate him were made but a prison doctor pronounced him dead at 1330GMT today.

It is believed he committed suicide.

West, whose home became known as the House of Horrors after police found nine corpses concealed there, had been in custody for nearly a year.

He and his wife, Rosemary, who was charged with nine of the killings, were arrested in February last year by police investigating the disappearance of the couple's 16-year-old daughter, Heather, who was last seen alive in 1987.

Heather's remains were found at the couple's home, 25 Cromwell Road, Gloucester, shortly afterwards.

Within days the remains of two more bodies were found buried in the garden and six others in the cellar and bathroom areas.

Three further bodies, those of Fred West's first wife Catherine Costello, his first daughter, and the children's nanny, were later found nearby.

Mrs West, 41, was told of her husband's death by her lawyer who visited her in her prison cell at Pucklechurch prison near Bristol this afternoon.

Questions are now being raised over security and surveillance policies surrounding such high-profile in-mates in prisons such as Winson Green.

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Fred West
Fred West found hanged in Winson Green prison

Serial killer Fred West found hanged

In Context
Fred West's death was later confirmed as suicide.

Rosemary West was convicted in 1995 at Winchester Crown Court for the murder of nine young women, including her own daughter Heather.

She was also convicted of the murder of Fred West's stepdaughter, Charmaine West. She was sentenced to 10 life terms.

An appeal against her convictions was rejected by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor in 1996.

She launched a second appeal in 2000 but abandoned her plans in September 2001.

She is currently serving her sentence at Bronzefield Prison, near London.

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