The Pembrokeshire Murders depicts the horrifying crimes of Welsh serial killer John Cooper, and police attempts to bring him to justice. But where is John Cooper’s son now?
The three-part crime drama, which goes out over three consecutive nights on ITV1, stars Oliver Ryan as the tortured son.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Where is John Cooper’s son now?
Writer Nick Stevens met with John’s son, Andrew, before writing the script for The Pembrokeshire Murders.
Andrew gave Nick more details about his mum Pat and his dad’s life as a heartless criminal.
Speaking to press ahead of the show airing, Nick said: “Meeting with Andrew and spending a lot of time with him, delivered an additional storyline not in the book, which I think enriches the eventual drama.”
Nick had “quite a job” finding Andrew initially, but with the help of ITV journalist Jonathan Hill, he was able to set up a meeting.
He continued: “I was quite apprehensive about the first meeting, here I am a TV writer wanting to burrow into the darkest recesses of this man’s private life.
“And he was never anything but totally generous and open. He saw this as an opportunity to set the record straight, to tell his side of the story.
“He had a score to settle with his absent father and he saw this drama as an opportunity to do precisely that.”
Since his father was sentenced, Andrew has kept a very low profile and wishes to stay out of the spotlight.
Andrew, who left at home at 15 due to his difficult relationship with his dad, has a younger sister Theresa, but very little is known about her.
Did Andrew testify against his dad John?
Adrian Cooper, now known as Andrew, changed his name to escape the horror of his father John’s crimes.
During the 2011 trial, Andrew took to the witness stand appearing as a prosecution witness.
He testified with damning evidence against his dad – who stood accused of double murder.
He said his father would go for long evening walks with a shotgun under his jacket.
Andrew told Swansea Crown Court that his father, a farm labourer from Letterston, would disappear for hours.
Appearing via video link, he described his dad as “very strong”, “very fit” and “loud and aggressive”.
He said part of his father’s routine was to go for long walks, usually after tea and would sometimes have a shotgun “on a piece of string” around his shoulder, concealed under his jacket.
Andrew told the court how his father kept what “looked like other peoples’ possessions”, including photographs of people he did not know, trinkets, and burned jewellery and coins.
When John was originally arrested and interviewed by police, he implicated his son in the crimes – something which disgusted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins.
What is The Pembrokeshire Murders about?
The Pembrokeshire Murders is a true crime drama starring Beauty and the Beast actor Luke Evans.
It follows the story of four cold-case murders and DS Steve Wilkins’ quest to bring serial killer John Cooper to justice.
As a result of watching a 1990s episode of Bullseye, the killer was cornered.
ITV says: “Two unsolved double murders from the 1980s cast a shadow over the work of the Dyfed Powys police force.
“In 2006, newly-promoted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins decided to reopen both cases.
“Employing pioneering forensic methods, Wilkins and his handpicked team found microscopic DNA and fibres that potentially linked the murders to a string of burglaries committed in the 80s and 90s.”
Is The Pembrokeshire Murders based on a true story?
The Pembrokeshire Murders is based on the true story of serial killer John Cooper, also known as The Bullseye Killer.
He brutally killed Helen and Richard Thomas, and Gwenda and Peter Dixon in 1985 and 1989 respectively.
Furthermore, the double murders in Wales in the 1980s remained unsolved for years.
In 2006, newly-promoted DS Wilkins decided to reopen two unsolved 1980s murder cases linked with a string of burglaries.
New advances in technology for Forensic DNA analysis, and witness reports of artist impressions of the suspect all led Dyfed-Powys Police to the killer.
Who was John Cooper?
John Cooper led two lives – in contrast to his life as a family man, he was also a serial killer.
First of all, he murdered Helen and Richard Thomas in 1985.
Finally, he killed Gwenda and Peter Dixon in 1989.
John eluded prosecution for his crimes for 20 years until a combination of a new detective team and advances in forensic science finally brought him to justice in 2011.
John’s crimes were uncovered after a stint in prison for a series of burglaries in the county during the 1980s.
Is The Pembrokeshire Murders based on a book?
The drama is based on the book, Catching the Bullseye Killer, by Steve Wilkins.
It tells the story of Operation Ottawa, the cold case detection of John Cooper for two Pembrokeshire double killings.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins tells how he gathered a specialist team to review the murders.
He used cutting edge forensic techniques to prove Cooper’s involvement in the crimes.
Wilkins watched a 1989 episode of Bullseye, which led to the serial killer finally being caught.
Most noteworthy, the same year John committed several horrific murders, he dared to appear on national TV.
The Pembrokeshire Murders goes out on ITV over three nights, starting on Monday January 11 2021 at 9pm.
What do you think? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.