She Must Have Known - Brian Masters

Reading Challenge Category: Wanted to find out more about this terrible case

Official Blurb:

In 1994, Frederick West was arrested and accused of murdering twelve young women. But it was the trial of his wife, Rosemary West, that became Britain's serial-killer trial of the century...
Detained for the murder of the twelve women found at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, Frederick West hung himself on New Year's Day 1995. The case had enraged the nation, and the subsequent trial of Rosemary for the same crimes caused a media sensation.
How are ordinary human beings driven to become serial killers? How did this psychopath ensnare so many women? And how much was Rosemary truly involved?
Brian Masters attended the Rosemary West trial on a daily basis. In "She Must Have Known" he produces a penetrating study of the sexual obsession that led to a series of horrifying and measured killings, ultimately leaving the reader to make up their own mind on the guilt of Rosemary West.

My Thoughts:

Brian Masters' "She Must Have Known" is an informative and thought-provoking book that challenges readers' perceptions of Rose West's involvement in the murders her husband, Fred West, committed. Masters provides a different perspective to Howard Sounes' book and shows that the situation is not as black and white as it may seem.
Masters' book sheds light on Rose's sexual depravity and promiscuity but does not immediately imply her guilt in the murders. The author presents a compelling argument for the possibility of Rose's innocence, which makes the reader rethink their assumptions.
In addition, one aspect of "She Must Have Known" that was particularly eye-opening was Masters' discussion of how the media's influence skewed the trial. The author points out that witnesses were often bought by newspapers, which in turn influenced the jury's perception of the case.
Despite this, the jury ultimately found Rose guilty, which suggests that the media's influence did not fully undermine the trial's integrity. Nevertheless, Masters' discussion of the media's role in the case raises important questions about the intersection of journalism and the legal system and underscores the complexity of the Wests' story.
However, at times, Masters can go off on tangents that detract from the book's overall flow, making it more like a textbook than a factual recounting of events. This approach can be a bit boring and may not appeal to some readers looking for a more engaging and fast-paced narrative.
Overall, "She Must Have Known" is a book that I would recommend to readers interested in the Fred and Rose West case. Despite its flaws, the book provides a different perspective on the case and challenges readers to question their assumptions about the Wests.

She Must Have Known
by Brian Masters
Date Started
20th March 2023
Date Finished
26th March 2023