Appropriate Adult tells the tale of serial killer Fred West but also mentions his brother, John West. But just who was Fred West’s brother and what did he do?

True crime has always been a popular genre in the world of film and TV.

Whether it’s an engrossing docuseries on Netflix or a TV drama on the BBC or ITV, viewers simply can’t help themselves.

In September 2020, ITV brought the chilling Appropriate Adult back to our screens, detailing the investigation into the serial killers Fred and Rose West.

The two-part drama also makes reference to John West, Fred’s brother, but just who was John West and what did he do?

Appropriate Adult on ITV

Appropriate Adult returned to ITV on September 22nd, 2020.

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The two-part drama, shown over two nights, tells the story of the notorious serial killers, Fred and Rose West, who between them killed at least 12 girls and young women between 1967 and 1987.

While Appropriate Adult may centre on the case of the Wests, the main focus of the series is actually the titular appropriate adult, Janet Leach, who is brought in to assist in Fred West’s interviews with police.


Fred West’s brother: John West in Appropriate Adult

As Appropriate Adult centres on the case of Fred West, his brother John is only really brought up in passing comments.

Following Fred West’s suicide in episode 2, DSI John Bennett (Robert Glenister) confirms that John West is still under investigation after he’s mentioned by Janet Leach.

That’s the last we hear of Fred West’s brother until the end credits as a title card appears on-screen, confirming John West’s fate.

The title card reads:

“Fred West’s brother John was subsequently charged with the sexual abuse of two minors. He committed suicide during his trial.”


John West’s real-life deeds

While John West’s deeds are pushed to one side in Appropriate Adult, in favour of those of his notorious brother, John’s case is equally harrowing.

According to the Irish Times, John West committed suicide on November 28th, 1996, just hours before his trial – where he was charged with rape – was due to end.

The Scottish Herald described John West’s suicide as “a macabre carbon copy of that of his multiple killer brother Fred,” continuing to say that John’s suicide “may well have robbed police of a final opportunity to resolve questions surrounding the number of girls and young women linked with 25 Cromwell Street.”

John West, who died at the age of 54, was facing accusations of raping his niece, Anne Marie Davies – Fred West’s daughter – and another girl.

According to the Irish Times, Anne Marie told the jury that she was raped around 300 times by Mr West when she was a girl.

Appropriate Adult concluded on ITV on September 23rd, 2020 but the two-part drama is available to stream now on ITV Hub.

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