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Grandma who ‘escaped from Fred West’s van’ calls for ‘forgotten victims’ probe

Janice Collins told her story after earlier this month police were urged to excavate land where it is believed as many as 20 more victims of serial killers Fred and Rose West lay buried

Detectives at Fred and Rose West’s Gloucester home in March 1994

A grandmother has revealed how she escaped from serial killer Fred West’s van after accepting a lift from him as a teenager.

Janice Collins revealed her story after calls for a new investigation into the murderer’s ‘forgotten victims.’

Earlier this month police were urged to excavate land where it is believed as many as 20 more victims of serial killers Fred and Rose West lay buried.

The original investigation into the sick couple confirmed they had, between them, brutally murdered at least 12 women and girls.

But a new seven-month probe has uncovered evidence to suggest many more died at their hands.

The ITV team, led by former DCI Colin Sutton discovered two new potential graves using Ground Penetrating Radar machines and cadaver dogs.

They are also calling for police to search a farm where Fred claimed to have buried 12 bodies.



Serial killers Fred and Rosemary West
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Image:

PA)




Recalling her terrifying ordeal in an interview with Mail Online Janice, who is now 70, said she ‘ran for her life’ from a screaming West, who had chased her after she jumped from his van to escape.

In 1968, when she was just 16, she said she feared becoming another of the killer’s victims

She said a small van pulled up at a bus stop and a man asked her where she was going and if she wanted a lift, which she ‘stupidly’ accepted.

She told the publication: “During the journey the man made small talk to me, he said: ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ He made me feel very uneasy so I said yes – even though I didn’t have a boyfriend.

“He then put his left hand on my right leg and moved it to my inner thigh and said: ‘You won’t think anything of that then?’ I moved his hand away and felt extremely worried.”

She said that West began driving away from where she had wanted to go.



It is feared more victims remain buried. File image at their home address
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Image:

Press Association)




She added: “I immediately said this is the wrong way. I knew then something was seriously wrong. I opened the passenger door and jumped out while the van was moving.”

Janice described running as fast as she could for ‘four or five minutes’ before hearing ‘shouting’ on the opposite side of the road.

After a brief exchange he left and she got away.

She said her ordeal was ‘so traumatic’ and it was many years later while watching a documentary on the killings that it made her ‘blood run cold.’

In the interview she said she could not be completely sure it was Fred West as she had no proof and a lot of time had passed but said it was ‘highly likely.’

After their arrest in 1994, Fred and Rose were jointly charged with ten murders and Fred was charged with a further two.

He hanged himself on January 1, 1995, before he was due to stand trial. Rose was jailed for life.


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