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An authoritative account of this horrific case
on 16 January 2006
Much has been written before about the Cromwell Street murders, and their perptrators Fred and Rosemary West. Never before, though, has the point of view of the Senior Investigating Officer John Bennett, been detailed so thoroughly as in this book. Graham Gardner has written an excellent account of Bennett's experiences of the Cromwell investigation which is well worth a read for true crime buffs out there.
The investigation is detailed from the start of Bennett's involvement, and takes it right through to the end of Rose West's court case. Perhaps the best reason to read this account over others is that it provides a unique perspective on how a major police investigation is run and the frustrations, anxieties and difficulties faced by them, particularly the at times shocking behaviour of the media in the case.
Bennett and Gardner stick to the areas of Bennett's expertise only, so anyone interested in the psychology behind these crimes needs to look elsewhere. Bennett does not pretend to understand in the slightest what motivated these people to committ such horrific crimes. However, an authoritative account of their reactions to being arrested and questioned is discussed.
Overall, this is a fascinating book, which is well worth a read. Some of the detail is unpleasant reading, but it is never gratuitous and the story is told with the utmost respect the victims and their families. It is impossible not to be moved by the horrific events and helps the reader to understand how these two got away with their crimes for so long.