1. Caroline Roberts
Fred and Rosemary West are two of the most prolific serial killers in British history, having killed at least 10 young women (between the two) from 1973 to 1987, the majority of whom they tortured and r*ped. The murderous couple’s cold blooded killing spree might’ve went undetected for over two decades, but surprisingly there was someone who managed to escape their clutches. Their first intended victim, Caroline Roberts.
17-year-old Caroline Roberts began working as a nanny for the Wests in 1972, moving right into their home on Cromwell Street, Gloucestershire, which later became known as the ‘House of Horrors.’ However, she began feeling uneasy when the couple started making sexual advances towards her, so decided to return home. The couple kidnapped her under the pretense of giving her a ride home two months later. She was then drugged and sexually assaulted by both Fred and Rosemary, with Fred later admitting to police they abducted her with the intention of murdering her.
Thankfully, their plan didn’t come to fruition. After convincing her captors she’d willingly return to work for them as a nanny, Caroline Roberts was able to escape while visiting a launderette with Rosemary the next day. The Wests were subsequently charged and arrested with assault, r*pe and actual bodily harm, but still traumatized for the ordeal, Caroline Roberts refused to testify in court and the case all but collapsed. The couple was able to walk free from the court with a fine of £50 each. This decision haunted Caroline Roberts until the day she died in August 2016. She wrote, “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the girls who didn’t make it. Just three months after I escaped, the Wests killed their first victim, their baby-sitter, Lynda Gough. If I had gone through with a rape charge against Fred West back in 1972, Lynda and the other girls would still be alive.” in a 1998 article for She Magazine.