A charity event’s offer of a night in the serial killer’s cell has caused understandable anger – as did a previous Halloween offer of a selfie at the Jack the Ripper Museum. How did things ever go this far?

What japes we have to look forward to at Halloween! Bobbing for apples, making pumpkin lanterns, or, er, spending the night in Fred West’s former cell. Thanks to an imaginative charity fundraiser, £75 will get you a bed at the Steelhouse Lane Lock-up in Birmingham, where West Midlands police once held the serial killer. That surely tops the chance to take a selfie with the victims of another notorious sexually motivated murderer, as offered by the Jack the Ripper Museum a few years ago.

This taking of the macabre to the max has, not surprisingly, caused a rumpus. West killed at least 12 young women between the 1960s and 80s, many of whose relatives are still alive. It is hard to dispute the verdict of a local woman who called the event “very distasteful and highly insensitive to the victims’ families”.

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Read More A night in Fred West’s old cell: when Halloween fun becomes hateful bad taste

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