The young mothers racing out of their homes screamed in horror when they saw the boy's legs sticking out from under an ice-cream van.

It was November 1965 and behind the wheel was Englishman Fred West.

Lying dead in the middle of the road in Glasgow's Castlemilk was three-year-old Henry Feeney.

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Glasgow Times:

West, from Gloucester, had arrived in the city two years earlier after marrying his pregnant girlfriend Rena Costello, a Glaswegian.

By 1965, he had become a familiar sight in the south side of the city, particularly the Gorbals, as he toured in his ice cream van often late into the evening.

Police treated Henry's death as accident but the local people were not too sure.

West had promised the boy a present and told him to wait in a small cul-de-sac.

But when the van pulled up, West reversed into the child, killing him instantly.

Henry's father Peter ran 150 yards from his home to find his son under the van.

Tom McGougan, who lived only yards from the scene, gave his account of the incident in 1998.

He said: "There was an angry mob and they didn't believe West's story that it was an accident. The crowd was going to lynch him."

West lived with Rena and her daughter Charmaine at Maclellan Street, in Glasgow's Kinning Park. They had previously lived in Coatbridge and then moved to a flat in Savoy Street, Bridgeton.

West kept an allotment in nearby Gower Street, growing a few potatoes and cabbages and also keeping the soil freshly turned over.

Glasgow Times:

The brute's first known murder was lover Anne McFall in 1967 in his home village of Much Markle in Herefordshire.

Rena — one of West's 12 known victims — was murdered by him four years later in the same location.

But did West first develop his taste for killing in Glasgow?

Could his first murder victim have been young Henry or other women who went missing around that time?

Howard Sounes, who wrote the biography Fred & Rose, said in 2013:"The police looked into the disappearance of a number of young girls but by then the allotments were buried underneath concrete at the junction of the M8 and the M77.

"Directly after West comes back to England we know he starts killing people and cutting their bodies into pieces before burying them.

"This is within months of him being in Glasgow, so it wouldn't be mad to suggest that he started earlier and killed his first victims in Scotland."

Neighbour John McLachlan first revealed the suspicions about the Kinning Park allotment in 1995, just days after Rose West's conviction.

He said at the time:"West had a piece of ground which was always well-dug but which he never put any plants in.

" I asked him several times why he did not use that bit for potatoes and he always said he was keeping it for 'special purposes'.

"He sometimes did not return from the allotment until the early hours of the morning.

"I told the police and said they should check up on missing girls from that period.

"Nobody knows what he was up to in that allotment, he sure as hell wasn't gardening."

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In 2018 Glasgow born Hollywood Screen writer Paul Pender publicly urged police to reopen the Henry Feeney case.

He had received a tip-off from a man who worked in a Glasgow abattoir with Rena Costello.

West was a frequent visitor and became fascinated with the dismemberment of carcasses, according to Rena's former colleague.

Could West, who dismembered many of his victims, have learnt butchery skills at the same city slaughterhouse?

Pender became convinced West began his murder spree in Scotland and deliberately killed young Henry in November 1965.

He feared West may also have murdered other women, suggesting their remains may have been buried on his allotment.

Pender said at the time: "When Fred would visit the abattoir he would apparently ask lots of questions about how to use all the bits of the carcass and was fascinated by the dismemberment process.

"This is quite alarming, knowing the lengths he went to when dismembering his victims."

Pender believed West lured the boy using a small ball which he then claimed was stuck under a hedge behind the van.

When the child went to retrieve it, West reversed over him at high speed.

Pender, who wrote and produced the 2002 film Evelyn, starring Pierce Brosnan, suspects that Henry may have seen something that compromised West, leading the killer to silence him.

The writer told one newspaper: "The allotment is buried under concrete, but who knows what imaging equipment might reveal beneath?"

Bestselling author Colin MacFarlane, author of childhood memoirs such as Gorbals Diehards and The Real Gorbals Story, says he could easily have ended up as one of Fred West's earliest victims.

At that time local youths would jump on the back of moving vans and lorries for quick thrills - called a Hudgie.

Usually large vehicles would have steps and handles that they could hold on to.

Colin, then ten, jumped on to West's ice cream van but ended up in hospital for several days when the serial killer suddenly drove off at high speed.

He told the Glasgow Times:"West had been going really slowly down Thistle Street in the Gorbals looking to sell a cone or two.

"Then when I jumped on the back he just put the foot down and drove off very quickly.

"My pals saw what happened and said West had tried to kill me.

"He was even nodding and smiling when he sped off with me lying on the ground.

"Most normal men would have stopped their vans and told me to get off.

"I think the same thing happened in Castlemilk. He saw a chance to kill the young boy and did it."

MacFarlane said it was a reflection of how tough the Gorbals was that Fred West was the local ice cream man.

He added:"Can you imagine doing something as simple as going for an ice cream and Fred West is dishing out the 99's?

"When West arrived in the Gorbals, he was treated as a joke by kids like us, particularly with his broad Gloucester accent.

"There was something not quite right about him.

"West looked and sounded sounded like one of Ken Dodd's diddymen who were on television at the time.

"He was always boasting about his exploits with women, even claiming that pop star Lulu was his girlfriend "Being from the Gorbals, we could tell most of his stories were fantasy.

"Given what happened to myself and Henry, I now realise West was a psychopath who killed just for the pleasure of it.

"But then he was wee Fred who the kids all laughed at."

Glasgow Times:

Colin and his pals suspected that West was also using his van for a more sinister purpose, to abuse young girls.
The Gloucester man was eventually chased out of Glasgow by a razor-wielding lynch mob for sexually assaulting the young sister of a gang leader.
Something which Colin personally witnessed.
The gang attacked the van with knives, razors, bricks and hatchets but West managed to escape.
Colin added: “It was like a scene from a cowboy movie when the bad guy gets run out of town.
“West was lucky that day to survive. The gang leader had said he planned to cut his head off.”

Instead West moved to Gloucester — and set out on a murder spree that would make him one of the most notorious serial killers in criminal history.

The majority of West's murders were carried out at his home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.

West killed 12 people between 1967 and 1987 — including Rena.

Many were expertly chopped up and buried in his garden.

He was arrested in 1994 with second wife Rose but took his own life in jail a year later, aged 53.

On November 22, 1995, Rose West was convicted of 10 murders and sentenced to life in prison.

One of her murders included Rena's daughter Charmaine in 1971.

Colin added:"After the gang incident West disappeared and we never saw him in the Gorbals again.

"I instantly recognised Wee Fred 30 years later when his photograph appeared in the newspapers and on TV.

"Unbelievably Fred West our ice cream man had become Fred West, the mass murderer."