Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Last bodies at house in Gloucester identified: Dental records used to name victims

DETECTIVES yesterday named the last of the nine young women whose remains were dug up at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester.

They were Shirley Hubbard, 15, who vanished in Worcester in November 1974, and Therese Siegenthaler, 21, a sociology student from Trub in Switzerland, who disappeared in April 1974.

Police are now searching a field at Kempley, near Gloucester, and are expected to start excavations in another field after finishing digging operations at Cromwell Street, the home of Frederick West, 52, a builder, who is accused of nine murders. On Thursday he was remanded in custody when he appeared before Gloucester magistrates.

Detective Superintendent John Bennett, who heads the inquiry, said that none of the nine named by police had been formally identified. But the Gloucester coroner, David Gibbons, is to formally open an inquest next Thursday when he will hear evidence of identification.

It is understood that the nine women, allegedly murdered over a 20-year period, were able to be named due to examination of dental records.

Shirley Hubbard was born Shirley Lloyd on 26 June 1959. She was later fostered and, in 1972, decided she wanted to change her name, although this was never formalised by deed poll.

At the time of her disappearance she was working at Debenhams in Worcester on a work-experience assignment from Droitwich High School. She left work on Friday, 14 November 1974, apparently to return to her home, but was never seen again.

Therese Siegenthaler was born in Trub on 27 November, 1952. She was studying at the Woolwich College of Further Education while living at Caterham Road in Lewisham, south London.

Therese left her home on 15 April 1974 to spend Easter in Ireland. She apparently intended travelling via Holyhead but never arrived at her destination.

Mr Bennett said that police had been in contact with relatives of the women.

He added that the digging at the Cromwell Street house - now in its sixth week - was drawing to a close. The teams still needed to look at areas of the ground floor, and a rear extension would be demolished in order to complete the search, he said.

(Photographs omitted)