Great Britain

Fred West: Excavation work to begin at cafe linked to missing Mary Bastholm

Fred West: Expert reveals the 'joke' which exposed killer

Fred West is one of Britain's most prolific serial killers who committed at least 12 murders between 1967 and 1987 in Gloucestershire. He died in 1995 aged 53 in prison and was previously a suspect over Mary Bastholm’s disappearance.

Miss Bastholm vanished in 1968 aged 15 and her body has never been found.

Police have said there is now enough evidence for excavation work to take place in the Clean Plate cafe where Miss Bastholm used to work.

Gloucestershire Police had received possible evidence from a production company who had been filming a documentary at the cafe.

Miss Bastholm was wearing a blue coat when she disappeared and the production company had given the police an image of what appeared to be blue material buried in one area of the cellar.

READ MORE: Fred West victim: Police dig up cafe in hunt for body of girl

Fred West: Gloucester cafe

Fred West: Excavation work to begin at cafe linked to missing Mary Bastholm (Image: getty)

Detective Chief Inspector John Turner said: "The analysis from our experts and the material provided by the production company means there is enough evidence to justify excavation work beginning.

"I've spoken to the family and was so impressed by their quiet dignity and gratitude for all the work we've done and will be doing.

"They understand it is possible we won't find human remains but they also know that we will do everything we can to establish if Mary is buried at this location.

"This will be slow and painstaking work but we have the best people on it and I can reassure our communities that all involved, from my team of investigators, our scenes of crime officers, search officers and family liaison officers to the forensic archaeologists who will continue their work are absolutely committed to the job ahead."

In a statement, Miss Bastholm’s family said they were happy the police were “continuing the search for Mary” as it gives them “a chance to potentially put her at rest after all these years”.

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Fred West: Gloucester cafe

Police said there is now enough evidence for excavation work to take place in the Clean Plate cafe (Image: getty)

It added: "We hope this is a chance to finally get closure for Mary."

Mr West tortured, raped and murdered an unknown number of women over a 20-year period, along with his wife Rose.

In 1994, the serial killer admitted to murdering his daughter Heather.

Miss Bastholm’s disappearance in 1968 happened during the period Mr West was abducting girls in Gloucester and he often did jobs in the street where she worked as a waitress in the Clean Plate cafe.

The police said that officers are expected to be at the cafe for several weeks.

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