Dramatisation of the case of serial killers Fred and Rose West, focusing on the way in which they were brought to justice.
Runtime: 90 minutes
Appropriate Adult - Appropriate Adult - Netflix
Appropriate Adult is a British crime drama television film shown in two parts on ITV, on the 4th and 11th of September 2011. It is based on the true story of Gloucester serial killer Fred West and his wife Rosemary West. It dealt with the events between the Wests' arrests in 1994 and Fred's suicide in Birmingham's Winson Green Prison on New Year's Day 1995. The series stars Dominic West, Monica Dolan and Emily Watson as the protagonists of the story, Fred and Rose West, and Janet Leach, respectively. The series was named after the role of Janet Leach as an “appropriate adult” during the questioning of Fred West. The senior investigator wanted to ensure that there could be no suggestion that West did not understand any part of the process, so arrangements were made so that he had an “appropriate adult” present to ensure this at all times.
Appropriate Adult - Plot - Netflix
In Gloucester 1994, housewife Janet Leach is an appropriate adult, someone present during police interviews with children or vulnerable adults. She attends a police interview with Fred West, who confesses to killing his daughter. Fred privately tells Janet there were more victims, but appropriate adults cannot share conversations. After the police find the remains of more than one person at the West home, Fred says the other victim is a lodger, Shirley, who was pregnant with his child. Janet is given the opportunity to leave the case due its distressing nature but resolves to continue. West tells the police there is a third body in the garden. DC Hazel Savage suspects his first wife and stepdaughter are also buried there, and that Fred's wife Rose was complicit, but Fred denies this. Fred appears surprised to learn that Shirley's baby had been removed from her abdomen, and tells Janet that Rose must have removed it. Fred tells Janet he feels they have a connection. Disgusted, she decides to leave the case, but he begs her to stay. She agrees on the condition that he confess everything, and he confesses to “approximately” nine murders. The police begin digging in the Wests' basement and in the countryside, where West indicates a different area to Janet, and reminisces about his “true love”, Anna McFall. DSI John Bennet is concerned that Fred's confession might have been made under duress or fabricated to impress Janet, and warns her not to get too close to him. Janet is approached by the media. Her partner Mike, who is bipolar, urges her to sell her story. He has a manic episode and is admitted to hospital. Janet's son Josh accuses her of having neglected the family. Fred tells Janet that he and Rose agreed to have Fred take the blame for the murders so Rose could look after the family. He calls Janet “Anna” and insists they are going on a journey together. The police find remains of several more victims. Fred leads the police to a rural location, where he says he feels Anna's presence; he tells Janet that Anna is “guiding” him through her. Savage tells Janet that Anna was Fred's teenage babysitter while he was married to Catherine in 1967; they had an affair and she went missing. Fred and Rose are jointly charged with murder and Savage tells Janet she is no longer required. Her family life resumes until Frank calls her from prison; she agrees to help him find a solicitor, to the dismay of Josh and Mike. A twelfth body is identified as Anna. With Janet's help, Frank begins writing a memoir. Mike and Janet meet a journalist who suspects that the Wests may have been involved in the ritual killings of children. She agrees to sell information to him. Fred describes to Janet hearing the screams of children in a barn, and that there were at least 20 more murders. When Janet cancels her Christmas visit, Fred calls her, saying he sees more of Anna in her than in Rose. Fred hangs himself in prison. Bennet chastises Janet, blaming her for his suicide. As her duty of confidence no longer applies, she recounts everything Fred told her. Bennet dismisses Fred's book and tells her that Janet meant nothing to him. At home, Mike catches Janet preparing to swallow pills. She confesses that she misses feeling needed and important. In court, Janet testifies that Fred described Rose as sadistic and murderous. She lies that she has never spoken to the media about the case and collapses. Appearing in court again, she confesses that she sold her story. The defence accuses her of encouraging Fred to invent lurid stories, and suggests she was romantically involved with him. She testifies that she was only interested in the truth, and Rose is found guilty. The journalist finds a location matching Fred's description of the barn, but Janet expresses doubt that the truth will ever be known and returns to family life.
Appropriate Adult - References - Netflix