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Appropriate Adult: Why was Janet Leach dropped from the Fred West inquiry and other questions

Why didn't cops want Janet Leach involved in the Fred West inquiry?

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Appropriate Adult, the true-crime drama about Fred and Rose West, is back on ITV this week.

The two-part programme was first shown in 2011 and stars Dominic West and Monica Dolan as the notorious killers.

In the first episode, Gloucester mum Janet (Emily Watson) was called to sit in on interviews with Fred West as an ‘appropriate adult’. Cops initially feared he didn’t fully understand them and so wanted an independent individual present.

As the investigation proceeded, the true extent of the killings began to come to light – and have a profound effect on Janet and her home life.

Here are nine burning questions after episode one.

Appropriate Adult is back on ITV (Credit: ITV)

1) Why did Fred West say his daughter went to Bahrain?

When quizzed on the whereabouts of his daughter Heather, Fred insisted she had gone to Bahrain. He said she had been roped into working for a drug cartel – despite being open about killing her in an earlier interview.

Why did Fred so brazenly backtrack on what he had said, and why Bahrain?

Emily Watson plays appropriate adult Janet Leach (Credit: ITV)

2) Why did Fred West need Janet Leach so much?

Fred was a notorious misogynist. It’s clear during the scenes in which he’s questioned, and the contempt with which he addresses female investigators.

Read more: This Morning fans slam interview with convicted killer who shared prison with Myra Hindley and Rose West

But when Janet Leach, his appropriate adult, said she didn’t want to be involved in the inquiry any more, Fred was desperate to keep her there. He told he she’s the only one he can trust. But is there more to his motivations for wanting an appropriate adult present?

At times, Fred West claims he can hear the voices of his victims (Credit: ITV)

3) Why did Fred West say he could hear the spirits of his victims?

When Fred showed the police around the various places where he buried those he killed, he claimed to be able to hear the spirits of his victims.

At times, he even told the police what the dead were saying to him, and how it might impact their search. Why did Fred claim to be able to hear those he killed?

Janet later told her story to a newspaper (Credit: ITV)

4) Is Janet tempted to sell her story to the press?

At one point in the first episode, Janet was accosted by members of the press. Her partner encouraged her to sell her story, but she expressed reluctance.

However, as some viewers might know, Janet did end up giving her story to a tabloid newspaper.

Fred’s wife, Rose West, was a prostitute (Credit: ITV)

5) Did Fred West really not know about Rose West being a prostitute?

Rose West worked as a prostitute. When the investigators informed Fred, he appeared in shock and said he needed a break.

Did Fred really not know about Rose being a prostitute? How was she able to conceal it from him, if not?

Rose West in Appropriate Adult
Actress Monica Dolan plays Rosemary West (Credit: ITV)

6) Why did Fred West admit Rose’s involvement?

Later in the episode, Fred – who had fiercely denied Rose’s involvement in the killings – confessed to Janet privately that Rose was indeed involved.

What made him expose her, after guarding her secret so vehemently up to that point?

Robert Glenister in Appropriate Adult as DS John Bennett (Credit: ITV)

7) Why did Fred West call Janet ‘Anna’ – who was she?

When Fred was having a conversation with Janet away from the police team, he accidentally called her ‘Anna’. Janet questioned him why, but he brushed it away as a slip of the tongue. Who was Anna?

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It’s likely he was thinking of Anna McFall, a former girlfriend who he is believed to have killed in 1967, before he met Rose.

Janet was dropped from the investigation at the end of the first episode (Credit: ITV)

8) Why was Janet Leach dropped so abruptly from the investigation?

In the closing scenes of the first episode of Appropriate Adult, Janet was booted from the investigation. She asked why, but the police told her they didn’t have to provide that information.

She was taken off the inquiry because DS John Bennett (Robert Glenister), the copper in charge, feared Janet Leach was growing too close to Fred.

The killer considered Janet his friend. Controversially, they continued to correspond even after police no longer required her services.

9) What happened to Janet Leach?

Janet kept it touch with Fred West even after being dropped from the investigation.

She spoke about feeling “desperate” and was losing sleep due to nightmares about Fred’s victims. But she felt she had to keep talking to him, so the victims’ families would find out as much as possible about what happened.

At the time of the trial, she had a stroke in the witness box when she was called on to testify against Rose.

In 2011, the Daily Mail reported that Janet was still living in the Gloucester home she occupied at the time of the investigation and had remarried.

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