Was The Pembrokeshire Murders based on a real story? If so, where are John Cooper and his family now?

The ITV true-crime series has become the network’s best new drama launch in five years

ITV’s The Pembrokeshire Murders has racked in a lot of views with UK citizens completely hooked on to it. The true-crime thriller has earned the channel it’s its highest ratings for a new drama series since 2016.

The series is about catching serial killer John Cooper, portrayed by Keith Allen. Cooper notoriously arrived on the game show Bullseye mere days before he murdered two tourists in the Welsh village of Milford Haven. However, he was arrested for the murders he committed and his sexual assault charges only after two decades. But what happened after that?

Cooper’s current life

John Cooper
Credit: Rex Features

Detective Steve Wilkins, who is played by Luke Evans in the series, left the force sometime after Cooper was jailed in 2009. He co-wrote the book, The Pembrokeshire Murders: Catching the Bullseye Killer in 2013, from which the series was adapted. He also stated that the adaptation was done well.

Cooper’s arrest brought in a lot of changes for everyone involved. One of the most unusual character in this is his wife Pat (played by Caroline Berry). Police were convinced that Pat had no idea about her husband’s terrible secrets but lived fearing him anyway. Pat was found dead when Cooper was released in 2009. Wilkins said that she just gave up. Pat was a lady with heart problems and when the husband she feared so much was out of prison and back in their house, her heart just gave way.

Cooper’s children

The Pembrokeshire Murders

Cooper’s son Andrew played a big part in his arrest and also assisted the makers of the series. Screenwriter Nick Stevens said that Andrew used this as a medium to set the record straight about his terrible father. Cooper’s daughter Theresa’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

Cooper himself was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011.

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