Tonight sees the gripping conclusion to The Pembrokeshire Murders as the evil crimes of serial killer John Cooper are retold.
The ITV series is laying bare what happened in 1985 and 1989, the two double murders that rocked Pembrokeshire and Wales while stumping police officers in the process.
Both cases were reopened more than two decades after the first victims lost their lives and viewers are shocked at the extent of the investigation to finally nail the killer.
Cooper, portrayed by Keith Allen, was cunning – and the three-part series sheds lights on the torment his son Andrew went through.
His father trying to frame him, his twisted plot didn't work and Andrew, played by Oliver Ryan, cleared his name – and helped nail the true killer.
Brother and sister, Richard and Helen Thomas, were murdered in their home in Milford Haven some 35 years ago.
Four years passed before Cooper went on to kill again – this time Peter and Gwenda Dixon's lives were taken by him.
The series turns back the clock and details just how important Andrew was to bringing justice.
The son and dad endured a difficult relationship from early in the boys' childhood.
Leaving home when he was 15, Andrew changed his name from Adrian to distance himself from his father.
He is portrayed as having a walking impairment and is clearly troubled. In the end, his suffering stopped as the right man was put behind bars.
But it wasn't without a struggle as his cruel father as he tried to implicate his son in the terrible crimes.
That appalled Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins, who wasn't sold on his wild theories.
When evil John turned on his son, Andrew had to come out fighting.
Telling police exactly what they needed to know, his damning evidence proved to be the final nail in his dads' coffin.
It all went wrong for the killer after he was spotted on an old clip of Bullseye.
John would go for long evening walks with a shotgun under his jacket.
He told the court that his father would disappear for hours at a time.
The son said at the trial how his dad kept what “looked like other peoples’ possessions”, including photographs of people he did not know. He also stored burned jewellery and coins.
Nick Stevens, who write the series, met with Andrew before sculpting the script.
The writer Nick had “quite a job” finding him, though – and enlisted the help of ITV journalist Jonathan Hill to track him down and set up a meeting.
Speaking to press about The Pembrokeshire Murders, she 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.
“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.”
- John Cooper
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