THE Pembrokeshire Murders are a real set of crimes that have inspired a new drama from ITV.
The murders took place in the 1980s.
Is The Pembrokeshire Muders based on a true story?
Yes, the TV drama is based on a real series of murders that took place in the 80s in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The show looks at a cold case investigation called Operation Ottawa.
Two double murders took place in the mid to late 1980s, the first on locals to Pembrokeshire and the second on tourists.
Despite the investigation, no one was charged – until DCI Steve Wilkins got hold of the case in 2006.
DNA forensic science at the time was having a significant impact on crimes that were being investigated across the UK, so Steve had hope that DNA would be found on the evidence saved from the time.
He found DNA and was of the belief that John Cooper committed all the crimes, but he was currently in jail for a different offense.
As John's parole neared, the police had to work against the clock to gather enough evidence against him.
Bizarrely, John had appeared on a TV quiz show the month before his second double murder – the footage helped nail him based on a witness sighting.
In 2011 John was sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes, which also included raping two teenage girls in the Milford Heaven attack.
What was the timeline of the events in the Pembrokeshire Murders?
The series of events took place across nearly three decades.
- December 1985: John Cooper committed the double murder of siblings Richard and Helen Thomas
- May 1989: John Cooper was a contestant on the Bullseye quiz TV show
- June 1989: John Cooper committed the double murder of married couple Peter and Gwenda Dixon
- March 1996: The Milford Haven attack took place on five teenagers
- 2005: Operation Ottawa began and the double murder investigation reopened
- 2008: John Cooper was released from prison after serving 14 years for robbery and burglary
- 2011: John Cooper was sentenced to life imprisonment for both double murders and the Milford Haven attack
When does The Pembrokeshire Murders start on ITV?
The Pembrokeshire Murders begins on ITV 1 on January 11.
The rest of the series will air the next two nights at 9pm.
The miniseries is highly likely to be a one-off.
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