The tormented youngest son of serial killers Fred and Rosemary West has been found dead from a suspected overdose.
Barry West, 40, was just seven when he watched his parents beat his sister Heather to death at their Cromwell Street home in Gloucester.
Barry West, 40, (pictured) has been found dead from a suspected overdose
Taken into care five years later, he was too scared to give evidence at his mother’s 1995 trial and was plagued by nightmares and psychiatric problems his entire life.
It is understood he had long battled drug addiction.
A family source said: ‘He never found peace, never escaped the ghosts of Cromwell Street. Of all the Wests’ younger children, Barry had the most difficult life.’
Initially remaining in the Gloucester area after the trial, Barry later moved to a different part of the country, living under a new identity.
He was found dead at a hostel in Maidstone, Kent.
Because of the backlog of cases due to the pandemic, an inquest is not expected to be held until later in the New Year.
Last night, a member of the West family, who asked not to be named, confirmed that Barry had died ‘some weeks ago’ adding: ‘We heard he had died, but we know no more than that.’
Fred West killed himself in prison in 1995 while awaiting trial on 12 murder charges. His wife was sentenced to life in jail without parole for ten murders.
The couple killed West’s step-daughter Charmaine, as well as Heather.
Fred West killed himself in prison in 1995 while awaiting trial on 12 murder charges. His wife was sentenced to life in jail without parole for ten murders (pictured together)
Barry’s bedroom had been in the soundproofed cellar at 25 Cromwell Street, and, as the only other son apart from older brother Stephen, he had been close to his father.
In an interview in 2002, Barry gave a harrowing account of life inside the House of Horrors and recalled a June night in 1987 when 16-year-old Heather came home late to face the wrath of his parents.
‘It was about 3am when I heard Heather coming in,’ he said. ‘I heard my dad shouting, ‘Where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you.’
‘I heard my mum slap her, then I looked through the crack and saw my dad walk round behind her and put his leg out. Then he grabbed her neck and tripped her over.
‘She went on to the floor. I could see her just a few feet away. Then my mum just booted her.
‘She was kicking and kicking her and calling her a slag. My dad still had her by the throat.
Barry West was just seven when he watched his parents beat his sister Heather (pictured) to death at their Cromwell Street home in Gloucester
‘Then, when he tried to get her to do things to him, she refused. I think that’s why she ended up dead.’
After 15 minutes, Rose ‘rubbed her hands together’ and said: ‘Right, let’s clear this up.’
Barry said: ‘I could hear my dad wrapping her in some plastic and I could see my mum scrubbing the floor with a bucket and brush.
‘There was some white bubbly stuff which must have been soap.
‘Mum was telling him to hurry up and he asked her to help him, but she said, ‘I can’t. I’ve got to get rid of this before the kids get up.’ ‘
Later, Barry was forced by his father to disguise Heather’s grave. ‘I didn’t realise what I was doing at the time,’ he said.
Barry’s bedroom had been in the soundproofed cellar at 25 Cromwell Street (pictured), and, as the only other son apart from older brother Stephen, he had been close to his father
‘When Dad said do something you did it, you never stopped to ask him why.’
Barry and his siblings were later told Heather had gone to university. Of his mother, an inmate at HMP New Hall in West Yorkshire, Barry said: ‘She’s a psychopath.
‘I was happy when my dad committed suicide and now I think they should put my mum in a room with all the parents of the people she helped murder so they could tear her to pieces.’