Rose West ‘could’ have lived the life of a normal woman, but was turned into a psychopath with ‘no conscience’, claims a leading forensic psychologist.
Mother-of-eight Rose, 65, killed at least ten young women along with husband Fred in their ‘House of Horrors’ and was convicted of ten counts of murder in 1995.
The pair abducted, tortured and raped the women over a 20 year period – and buried many of them under the floorboards of their home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.
Dr Julian Boon features in new documentary series ‘Making a Monster’, where he explores the psychology of the worlds most notorious serial killers, and how monumental life events can lead people to commit the most appalling of crimes.
He told FEMAIL that in the case of Rose West, it was a cocktail of the sexual and physical abuse she received as a child from her father, as well as ‘a symbiotic relationship’ based on sexual sadism with Fred, that led her to become the killer she is today.
He explained: ‘Rose could have been a normal woman, but was doubtless carrying psychological baggage with her. But it should have been channeled into protecting others, rather than abusing others.’
Dr Julian said: ‘In my view, the first few years of life are extremely important in the development of personality.
‘In the case of West, she was sexually and physically abused, as we understand it, by her father.
‘She then hitched up with West, who already was similar in that sort of regard and they had a symbiotic relationship.
‘This meant that they would inevitably become exponential in their common interest, in abusing young girls sexually and in terms of sadism.’
He said that the lack of love and care in Rose’s childhood meant she developed a nihilistic attitude from a young age, and soon began to think of others as objects, to be manipulated for her own gain.
Dr Julian explained that she became ‘psychologically wounded’ and this impacted her ability to develop a conscience.
He said: ‘If you are not being loved, and looked after, and all the things that foster good progress in life, or if you come across something that you thought you could rely on, you can do two things.
‘You can be wounded psychologically, or you can say, “Screw it – I am not going to care, I just don’t care”.
‘Imagine at two or three-years-old, saying “I don’t care”. You successfully perverse that disappointment because you say, “I don’t care” and it works.
‘You push away the horror of the disappointment and then that rapidly becomes like a snowball, a way of dealing with the world around you.
‘Hence you don’t develop a conscience like the rest of us do. You see the world and the people in it as a means to manipulate your own ends, without conscience.’
Dr Julian told that Rose was ‘most definitely’ a psychopath, meaning she has extremely impaired empathy and remorse.
Rose was only fifteen when she met 27-year-old Fred, who had already killed and soon introduced her to the world of sexual sadism, and had been actively taking part in incestuous relationships with her two brothers and father from a young age.
He explained: ‘I think they acted in concert with one another, to make an effective force to entrap the victims, which is exactly what they did.
‘Entrap the victims and work together to do what they did, which was extreme gratification of sexually sadistic urges.
‘They acted in symbiosis and were able to facilitate each other.’
The expert went on to explain that Rose, who killed two of her own children, did not ‘in the slightest’ experience maternal instincts, and said that a person of her type perfectly fitted the criteria of a ‘monster’.
He told: ‘In my opinion, the definition of monster in the Oxford English dictionary, is an inhumane, cruel or wicked person.
‘I exclusively exclude the word evil, evil is religious, I’m a scientist. I believe what I see and if anyone looks at what she did and comes to the conclusion she is not an inhumanely cruel, they must have rocks in their head.’
The psychologist also shed light on why Rose, who still denies her role in the murders, has maintained her innocence for so long.
The expert said that in his view, Rose wishes to keep the memories of her victims to herself, and ‘doesn’t want to part with her private world’.
He said: ‘My guess is that the splendid neutrality of her situation, as far as she views it through her eyes, is something she enjoys.
‘She wants those memories and those experience not to be shared with the likes of me or you.
‘She wants those all to herself and where would be the gain? She knows damn well she’s not getting out of jail.’