Mary Bastholm’s best friend claims Fred West buried more bodies in cafe cellar

Mary Bastholm's childhood best friend is convinced that serial killerFred West murdered her in 1968.

Christine Ford, 69, recalled how Mary talked about the local butcher in Gloucester before she went missing from a bus stop aged 15.

The basement of a cafe where she worked is now being dug up after new evidence suggesting the House of Horrors monster buried her there.

Chris told the Mirror that she is sure that's where her friend's body and others will be found buried by West.

She said: “I knew for a fact that she knew Fred West.

“She’d told me about him, that he was a customer in the Pop In cafe where she was a waitress.

"I remember her saying that he was always in there, and that he was going to do some work in the cafe.

“He was friends with her in the cafe, so I knew she would have no qualms about getting into a car with him, because she knew him, it wouldn’t have crossed her mind.”

West was a regular at what was then called the Pop-in cafe where Mary worked as a waitress.

Chris was convinced he was behind her disappearance after his crimes came to light.

Fred West had confessed to murdering up to 30 victims before killing himself in 1995 while on remand in prison.

He is also said to have confessed to killing Mary to his son Stephen, but never admitted it to police.

  • Fred West search: Cadaver dog trained to sniff out human remains 'picked up something'

Fred’s wife Rose was convicted of 10 murders, and sentenced to 10 life terms in 1995.

Chris says: “I think they will find her.

"I know it sounds awful, but I’d like to think she’ll be found.

“I think there’s more than one down there as well."

She added: “Mary never leaves my mind. This has always been in my life.

  • Inside Fred and Rose West's 'House of Horrors' where they tortured and murdered victims

"I think there are a lot of people like me who would like to finally find closure.”

Police have begun excavating its cellar after an ITV production company identified a void within the floor underneath the toilet in the basement.

A cadaver dog indicated there may be something of interest within the cavity.

Chris, a mother-of-three who lives in nearby Coleford with her husband Bill, paid tribute to her "great friend".

She said: "She had a lovely nature, she was quiet and gentle, and never nasty to anyone.

  • Fred West victim search: Police to excavate cafe toilet 'anomalies' in hunt for missing teen

"But she was headstrong, what she wanted to do she was going to do it.

"That’s the way I’ll always remember her.”

She added: “Mary could be a little bit rebellious, although she was always a good girl.

"She wasn’t too worried about staying out past the time she was supposed to."

She recalled the night Mary disappeared when she was off to meet her boyfriend Tim Merrett.

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Chris said: “People were thinking, that’s Mary, she might have just gone off.

"But I didn’t agree, and nor did her mother, because she only had the clothes she was wearing and a purse with her bus fare in it.

"She wouldn’t have just vanished like that.

"It was the most poignant thing in my life."

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