Aerial photos show police dig for Fred West's 'second victim'

Aerial photos show police dig for Fred West’s ‘second victim’ as it enters its second day in back yard of cafe where 15-year-old worked in 1968 after her locket was found in killer’s home

  • Mary Bastholm served in the Gloucester eaterie then called ‘The Pop In’ and now called ‘The Clean Plate’
  • Cafe run by a domestic violence charity will be closed for weeks, perhaps even for good, if a body is found 
  • TV company making a documentary about the unsolved case found ‘evidence’ of a body in the basement 
  • Sir Trevor McDonald declines to comment but he is understood to be making West documentary for ITV 
  • Fred West was a regular customer at the cafe and may even have helped lay the concrete floor there in 1968
  • Mary’s brother asked Rose West to say what happened after locket from wedding day found at killer’s home 
  • The family of Mary Bastholm said in a statement: ‘We’re aware of the ongoing developments around Mary’s disappearance and are being kept up to date and supported by Gloucestershire Police officers’ 
  • Couple operated in 25 Cromwell Street Gloucester between 1973 and 1987 where they tortured and murdered

Police searching for teenager Mary Bastholm – feared to be Fred West’s second murder victim and the first girl he snatched off the street – are again tearing apart the cafe where she worked 53 years ago for signs of her body.

Specialist digging teams supported by an archaeologist are working in the basement and garden of the Clean Plate Cafe in Southgate Street, Gloucester, where West was a regular and may even have laid the concrete floor after Mary vanished from a bus stop in 1968.

Officers swamped the eaterie yesterday lunchtime after being presented with ‘extraordinary’ new evidence gathered by Sir Trevor McDonald and his ITV team for a new bombshell documentary, MailOnline understands. 

Sniffer dogs trained to find dead bodies are said to have become agitated when in the basement and a scanner able to penetrate stone picked up a ‘suspicious object’ under it.

It came as bosses at a Gloucester cafe say an ‘extraordinary twist of fate’ now links them to to the West case, especially because they help raise funds for women at risk of violence.

The Clean Plate Cafe is owned by Nelson Trust – an addiction rehabilitation and women’s support charity.

A spokesman for The Nelson Trust said: ‘Our thoughts and sympathies are very much with the families affected by this long-running, tragic story. As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we have done everything we can to accommodate the investigation. The Clean Plate will remain closed until all necessary activity is complete.’ 

New drone pictures directly above the Clean Plate Cafe on Southgate Street show that police have put up forensic tents at the front and rear of the property

Schoolgirl Mary served tea, cake and sandwiches in the Gloucester eaterie then called ‘The Pop In’ and now called ‘The Clean Plate’

West, who admitted killing 12 victims and may have murdered 20 more, was also said to have laid the concrete floor there just weeks before she disappeared 53 years ago


Serial killers Fred and Rosemary West are long believed to have played a part in the death of Mary Bastholm, 15, (right) who vanished aged 15. The locket she wore as a bridesmaid at her brother’s wedding (pictured right) was found in their house

This afternoon a tent was placed outside ‘The Clean Plate’ cafe in Gloucester where specialist teams and an archaeologist are scanning the basement for Fred West’s missing victim 

Mary Bastholm vanished aged 15 from a bus stop on Bristol Road in Gloucester, on January 6, 1968. 

The teen had been waiting to catch a bus to meet her boyfriend in Hardwicke, Stroud, after a shift at a nearby Pop-In café in Southgate Street.

The 15-year-old’s body has never been found but it is believed that Miss Bastholm was murdered by Fred West, after it was reported he had admitted the murder while on remand in prison before he killed himself in January 1995.

Both of Mary’s parents, Doreen and Christian Bastholm, died before they could learn the truth behind what may have happened to their missing daughter.

In 1970 Mrs Bastholm told ATV: ‘Well, she came home about half past six, and had her tea, and sat in this corner, where I’m sitting and enjoyed the Bernie Winter show.

‘She went out about between 10 and quarter past seven with a carrier bag with a Monopoly set in to catch the 25 past bus at the end of Tuffley Avenue.

‘And that was the last we saw of her.’ 

Rose West’s former solicitor Leo Goatley, who represented her for 12 years including at her 1995 trial for murdering ten girls and young women, and who also visited her in prison on dozens of occasions, alleged that Rose could have been involved in the disappearance in his 2019 book.

Mr Goatley alleges that Rose, who was 14, already knew Fred by then and this could have been her first homicide experience.

Mr Goatley writes: ‘When Fred was remanded in custody at Winson Green, he told his son Stephen that he had killed Mary Bastholm.

‘She [Rose] was an accomplice, albeit a junior accomplice, who may not have been present at the time of dismemberment, but in all probability was present at the time of death. She knew he was a killer.’

Mr Goatley writes that there is a consensus among experts that ‘it is more than likely that there were other unknown victims of the Wests’ reign of terror’.

Fred West had claimed there were 20 more victims, but did not give precise details of the location of other remains, other than to talk vaguely about a ‘farm’ where he would take his captives.

Mr Goatley writes: ‘It is my belief that when Fred talked of other victims who were buried at a ‘farm’ near Gloucester, this was his cryptic way of intimating that victims who were killed at Cromwell Street were then dismembered, put in sacks and bin liner bags, thrown on the back of a dustcart and unwittingly taken to Hempsted Tip [on the edge of the city]. To the Wests, Hempsted Tip was a farm.’

Pleading for Rose to break her silence in 2014, Peter Bastholm, Mary’s brother told Sky News: ‘I think Rose knows exactly what happened to Mary because I assume she and Fred discussed it between themselves. Whether she will ever disclose it, I really don’t know.

‘It would be a final act to find Mary’s body and lay it to rest after all these years, after all we have gone through.’ 

He told Sky News in 2014 that his wife had identified a silver locket on a chain that had been found at the West’s Cromwell Street House of Horrors as Mary’s which she had worn to their wedding as a bridesmaid.

Mr Bastholm said: ‘We had a photo of [the locket] and police took it away to examine, but because it was a black and white picture they said they could not tell if the locket was silver or gold, so nothing came of it. But it was exactly like the one found at Cromwell Street.’

In 2012, on the 44th anniversary of the disappearance of Mary, a petition was set up calling for Gloucestershire Police to search Mary’s remains at a cafe on Southgate Street. 

Chris Roberts, who set up the petition and knew Mary, believes West had installed a concrete floor as part of a basement toilet conversion at the cafe around the time of Mary’s disappearance.

His petition to search the building was rejected by Gloucester police in 2012, who said there was no new evidence to investigate. 

Sir Trevor McDonald is understood to be making a new follow up film to his 2019 show Fred & Rose West: The Real Story, with particular focus on the abduction of Mary Bastholm, viewed by experts as West’s last unsolved murder. 

Schoolgirl Mary served tea, cake and sandwiches in the Gloucester eaterie then called ‘The Pop In’ and now called ‘The Clean Plate’- and serial killer West was a regular customer there before she vanished 53 years ago. It remains sealed off today with forensics tents at the front and rear.

West, who admitted killing 12 victims and may have murdered 20 more, was also said to have laid the concrete floor there just weeks before she disappeared 53 years ago. 

Eminent newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor declined to comment when approached by MailOnline, including on claims he was in the cafe when the evidence of a body was found, but locals have said the star, 81, has been filming in the area for some weeks. 

In April he was seen in the village of Brockworth outside Gloucester, where West had lived on a caravan park in 1966, months before he murdered his first victim, Anna McFall, who was strangled, dismembered and buried with her fingers and toes removed.

A year after Miss McFall died, Mary was grabbed on January 6 1968 while waiting for a bus to see her boyfriend – and West has long been suspected of killing her. Miss Bastholm’s family have repeatedly begged Rose West to say what she knows about the crime because a silver locket belonging to the teenager was found in their home.

Specialist officers from Gloucestershire Police are digging the cafe’s basement and using technology to scan the floor for human remains in an ‘extraordinary development’ in the cold case, with the excavation suspected to last ‘weeks’. 

This afternoon forensics put up a white tent outside while police cleared the basements of items, including picture frames, menus and office files. 

Mary’s brother Peter died a few years ago without ever knowing where his sister was buried. His widow Denise, 76, told MailOnline: ‘We’ve been waiting a long time to find out what happened to Mary and now hopefully this latest development will provide some closure at last. 

‘My husband and his brother and their parents went to their graves without ever finding out what happened to her.

‘She only has a few relatives left, nephews and nieces, who are on the other side of the world in Australia.

Denise added that the family were being kept up-to-date by Gloucestershire Police but had so far ‘not been told much other than there’s a search going on’.

The family of Mary added in a statement: ‘We are aware of the ongoing developments around Mary’s disappearance.

‘We are being kept up to date and supported by Gloucestershire Police Family Liaison Officers.

‘At this time please may we ask for privacy so we can grieve for Mary.’

The force said they were called on Friday by a production company filming a documentary about Fred West’s crimes. 

The team had reported how they had found possible evidence to suggest a body could be buried within the property, with The Sun reporting a dog trained to sniff out human remains reacted to being in the basement.  

The newspaper also said a scanner had also ‘shown up a suspicious image below the concrete surface’.

It is not clear if news veteran Sir Trevor, who is presenting the documentary, was there at the time the discovery was made.

An ITV source told MailOnline: ‘Assessments were made that indicated further investigation was warranted, which prompted the production crew to contact the police.’

A white tent was erected outside the cafe on Tuesday, with police officers stationed outside the building and a police van parked nearby.

Officers were seen carrying evidence bags out of the cafe at about 2pm on Tuesday.

Detectives attended and agreed to investigate because the building has been linked to the disappearance of Miss Bastholm. 

Family Liaison Officers have now been put in place to provide support and updates to Mary’s family as enquiries continue. 

Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said: ‘This could be a significant development on a case which has gained a lot of public interest over the years.

‘On the basis of the information provided to us, we consider this to be new and potentially important evidence in the case of Mary Bastholm.

‘However further detailed assessments will take place over the following few days to determine the extent of excavation needed.

‘First and foremost our thoughts are with Mary’s family and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time. 

‘This news may understandably alarm those who work near to the premises, as well as those in the wider Gloucester community and beyond.

‘The Constabulary has always said any fresh evidence would be reviewed. 

‘This has happened and a focussed and proportionate investigation will now take place.

‘Due to the potential scale of this there will likely be some disruption to those who work nearby, and I ask for their patience and co-operation during this time.

‘We will have local officers in the area and a visible police presence at the location possibly for a number of weeks.

‘We would also encourage anyone who is affected by this news to please seek support.’

A forensics tent has been raised in the rear of the Clean Plate cafe in Gloucester, which is also under police guard as officers hunt for the remains of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who disappeared 53 years ago


Officers cleared the basement of rubbish, picture frames and menus with an archaeologist also brought in to help with the search for human remains

Fred working as a builder, and he may have laid the floor now being dug up in Gloucester

Veteran broadcaster Trevor McDonald (pictured) made a previous documentary about Fred West for ITV called Fred and Rose West: The Real Story. He is now filming a follow-up piece to the documentary

Meanwhile the owners of the cafe have said they have done ‘everything they can to accommodate the investigation’.

The venue is owned by Nelson Trust, an addiction rehabilitation and women’s support charity, said: ‘It is an extraordinary twist of fate that this building, now associated with a story as tragic as that of the victims of Fred and Rosemary West, is part of a charity working to support women at risk from violence.

‘At The Nelson Trust we work hard to support women who have experienced violence so they can have a life of security, away from the stress and trauma that violence causes to its victims and survivors.

‘From our Women’s Centre in Gloucester we support women who experience multiple and complex needs, the women and girls who, sadly, are often most vulnerable to experiencing sexual and other forms of violence.’ 

In a statement to local news site Gloucestershire Live, a spokesperson added: ‘Our thoughts and sympathies are very much with the families affected by this long-running, tragic story.

‘As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we have done everything we can to accommodate the investigation.’

Bosses say the cafe will remain closed until ‘all necessary activity is complete’. It is expected officers will be in there area of ‘several weeks’.

Fred West is believed to have also killed 15-year-old Mary, although her remains have never been found. 

A silver locket belonging to her was found at his Cromwell Street ‘house of horrors’, which stood around half a mile from the cafe before it was demolished.

Mary Bastholm: The teenage cafe waitress who may have been a victim of notorious serial killer Fred West 

Mary Bastholm was a 15-year-old schoolgirl who went missing in her home town of Gloucester in 1968.

The teenager worked at The Pop In Café where she worked as a waitress. Serial killer Fred West was known to have frequented the cafe at the time he was abducting women around Gloucester.

In January 1968, Mary had finished a shift at the cafe and was on her way to visit her boyfriend in nearby Hardwicke when she disappeared. She is believed to have been waiting for a bus at the time.

It is also believed that West offered her a lift, before murdering her and disposing of her body – which has never been found.

Her parents, Doreen and Christian Bastholm, said in 1970: ‘She went out about between 10 and quarter past seven with a carrier bag with a Monopoly set in to catch the 25 past bus at the end of Tuffley Avenue. And that was the last we saw of her.’ 

Though her body has never been found, it was reported that West admitted to killing her while on remand in prison, prior to his suicide in January 1995.   

West, who admitted killing 12 victims and may have murdered 20 more, was also said to have laid the concrete floor at The Pop-In cafe just weeks before she disappeared 53 years ago.  

Earlier this week Sniffer dogs reacted when in the basement and a scanner able to penetrate stone picked up a ‘suspicious object’ under it, it is said.

Police are at the cafe, now known as the Clean Plate Cafe, and have erected a tent at the rear of the property. 

Mary’s brother Peter made a public appeal in 2014 telling Rose West to break her silence and reveal where her sister is.

Mr Bastholm said: ‘I think Rose knows exactly what happened to Mary because I assume she and Fred discussed it between themselves. 

‘Whether she will ever disclose it, I really don’t know.

‘It would be a final act to find Mary’s body and lay it to rest after all these years, after all we have gone through.’

It is understood that Peter Bastholm died last year. 

Police have found evidence that Mary was abducted by Fred West, but need a body to be sure.

Her brother said; ‘My wife and I went down to the police station to view a lot of things that had been taken from the Wests’ house.

‘My wife picked out a silver locket on a chain and she said that was Mary’s because she wore it as a bridesmaid at our wedding.

‘We had a photo of it and police took it away to examine, but because it was a black and white picture they said they could not tell if the locket was silver or gold, so nothing came of it. 

‘But it was exactly like the one found at Cromwell Street.’ 

Rose West ‘may have been involved in Mary Bastholm disappearance’

Rose West may have been involved in the disappearance of Mary Bastholm, according to the lawyer who represented her for more than a decade.

Speaking this afternoon, Leo Goatley, who represented Rose West for 12 years, said the search was news to him, although he did suggest the Gloucester teenager may have been Rose and Fred’s first victim in his book Noose, Lamella and the Gilded Cage: Understanding Fred and Rose West.

‘I am pleased that there has been a new development,’ he said. ‘And I hope that it does reveal something and that at least the relatives will get some kind of closure.’

He has suggested Fred and Rose may have met much earlier than either of them suggested and that Rose was used to lure Mary into a car.

‘When I wrote my book, the case of Mary Bastholm occupied a lot of my time because I felt it was unresolved and if indeed there are remains at the Pop-In (the previous name for the cafe) it is a very clear and definite link to Fred and possibly Rose West.

‘And it is my theory that Fred and Rose were involved in the disappearance and that Mary Bastholm was Rose West’s first victim.’

Rose West, who has consistently claimed her innocence, and husband Fred, abducted, tortured and raped innocent women over a 20 year period at their house in Cromwell Street, Gloucestershire, where they resided from 1972 until their arrests in 1994.

And Rose West may have been involved in the disappearance of Mary, according to the lawyer who represented her for more than a decade. 

Speaking this afternoon, Leo Goatley, who represented Rose West for 12 years, said the search was news to him, although he did suggest the Gloucester teenager may have been Rose and Fred’s first victim in his book Noose, Lamella and the Gilded Cage: Understanding Fred and Rose West.

‘I am pleased that there has been a new development,’ he said. ‘And I hope that it does reveal something and that at least the relatives will get some kind of closure.’

He has suggested Fred and Rose may have met much earlier than either of them suggested and that Rose was used to lure Mary into a car.

‘When I wrote my book, the case of Mary Bastholm occupied a lot of my time because I felt it was unresolved and if indeed there are remains at the Pop-In (the previous name for the cafe) it is a very clear and definite link to Fred and possibly Rose West.

‘And it is my theory that Fred and Rose were involved in the disappearance and that Mary Bastholm was Rose West’s first victim.’

The pair even killed their eldest daughter Heather in June 1987.

Fred, who confessed to the murders, killed himself in his cell while on remand at HMP Birmingham on New Year’s Day, 1995. His evil wife is serving a whole life term, meaning she will die in jail.

Their other victims included Alison Chambers, 16, Shirley Robinson, 18, Juanita Mott, 18, Shirley Hubbard, 15, Theresa Siegnethaler, 21, Lucy Partington, 21, Carol Ann Cooper, 15, Lynda Gough, 19, Rena Costello, Fred’s ex-wife, 27, Charmaine West Fred’s daughter, eight, and Anne McFall, 18. 

Police outside The Clean Plate cafe where officers are reportedly digging for Mary Bastholm, who vanished in 1968 and is feared to be a victim of Fred West. It is half a mile from West’s now demolished home

Fred West being handcuffed and led out of court after his pre-trial, shortly before he killed himself in his cell on New Year’s Eve 1995

A chilling look at the Wests’ basement, which they used as a torture chamber for their victims, which included their own children 

Police searching the gardens of 25 Cromwell Street in search of more evidence following the arrest of Fred and Rose West in 1994

A man carries the remains of a body found in the Wests’ garden in Gloucester during the police investigation

THE TRAGIC VICTIMS OF THE HOUSE OF HORRORS MURDERERS 

Although Fred West was convicted of killing 12 women and Rose 10, the pair are thought to have killed up to 20 more.

One victim who was almost certainly killed by West was his former girlfriend Anne McFall who like the others, was found in a shallow grave with body parts missing. West denied it.

The warped pair used whips to torture their victims as well as their own children. 

Fred West committed suicide by hanging himself in a prison cell in January 1995 — before he could stand trial for the murders.

Rose West is still a prisoner at HMP Low Newton in Durham, having been handed a rare ‘whole life tariff’ for her part in the killings. 

Confirmed victims include:

Charmaine West, eight: Fred West’s stepdaughter from his first marriage, Charmaine was murdered by Rose in 1971 while Fred was in prison.

Rena Costello, 27: Charmaine’s mother Rena, Fred’s first wife, was murdered when she arrived to pick up her daughter Charmaine in August 1971. With Charmaine already dead, it is thought Fred killed her to avoid an investigation.

Lynda Gough, 20: Miss Gough was a lodger in the West’s home and was killed in April 1973. Rose told her mother she had moved to Weston-super-Mare.

Carol Ann Cooper, 15: The teenager disappeared while walking home from the cinema to her Worcester children’s home in November 1973. Her remains were found buried in the Wests’ garden.

Lucy Partington, 21: After spending Christmas with her family in Cheltenham, Miss Partington disappeared after leaving to catch a bus. The student was the cousin of novelist Martin Amis and the sister of author Marian Partington.

Therese Siegenthaler, 22: The South London student was killed in April 1974 after disappearing while attempting to hitch-hike to Ireland.

Shirley Hubbard, 15: One of the Wests’ youngest victims, she disappeared on her way home from college in Droitwich. When her body was discovered, her head was completely covered in tape with a rubber tube placed in her mouth to allow her to breathe.

Juanita Mott, 18: Miss Mott, a former lodger at 25 Cromwell Street, was living in Newent when she vanished.

Shirley Robinson, 19: Another lodger, Miss Robinson was killed in 1978 after becoming pregnant with West’s child.

Alison Chambers, 17: The teenager disappeared in August 1979 and her remains were later found beneath the patio at 25, Cromwell Street.

Heather West, 17: Repeatedly raped by her father, Heather complained to friends about the abuse and was murdered by her parents in a bid to keep her quiet.

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