Caroline Berry as Pat Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders

The Pembrokeshire Murders on ITV1: Where is John Cooper’s wife now?

Actress Caroline Berry plays Pat Cooper, who was married to the Welsh serial killer

The Pembrokeshire Murders follows the efforts of DS Steve Wilkins to track down serial killer John Cooper – who evaded capture for years. But where is John Cooper’s wife now?

Welsh serial killer John was eventually charged with two double murders, rape, sexual assault and theft. All of the crimes were committed while he was married to Pat Cooper.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Caroline Berry portrays Pat Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders. But where is John Cooper's son now? (Credit: ITV1)
Caroline Berry portrays Pat Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders. But where is John Cooper’s wife now? (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: The Pembrokeshire Murders on ITV: Is it based on a true story? When does it start?

Where is John Cooper’s wife now?

John and Pat married in July 1966, having known each other since they were 12.

The couple had two children, Adrian and Theresa, who was two years younger.

Pat worked as a seamstress but, in 1987, she was badly hurt in an accident involving a horse.

We know that John and Pat have a granddaughter Gina, who contracted meningitis and took years to recover.

Sadly, Pat died of natural causes before her husband’s conviction.

Did she know about her husband’s crimes?

Pat once provided an alibi for her husband.

John told police that the wedding ring he had sold to a jeweller’s in Pembroke was his own, when in fact it belonged to one of his victims.

Pat vouched for him.

It’s believed she knew he was a thief, but did she know he was a murderer?

ITV Wales journalist Jonathan Hill, who went on to write a book about John Cooper, explains it was an abusive relationship.

He says: “Steve [Wilkins] has wrestled with Pat Cooper all the way through, because he’s very sympathetic to her and her life was a living hell.

“It was an abusive relationship. She stayed with him, but she literally dies the night he comes out of prison. Probably because of the stress of him coming out.

“Whether she knew, I don’t know. Maybe in her darkest moments, she had suspicions.

“His son will tell you that on the night of the Scoveston fire, his father wasn’t in all evening, but came in at half 11 smelling of smoke and had a bath.”

Pat unknowingly provided the piece of evidence that brought John to justice.

After John murdered Peter and Gwenda Jackson, John kept her khaki shorts as a sick trophy.

Pat turned the shorts up, clueless as to their origin.

In doing so, however, she trapped vital DNA evidence in the seams.

DS Wilkins said: “We found the DNA of Peter Dixon’s daughter trapped in the seam.

“Now she’d been in Cyprus at the time of the murders, so how the hell does her DNA make it into shorts owned by John Cooper unless they actually belonged to the Dixons?

“It’s absolutely incredible to think Pat’s simple act would lead to him finally facing justice.”

Pat and Andrew Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders on ITV1
Pat and Andrew Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Manhunt: Martin Clunes to return as DCI Colin Sutton for new series of ITV drama

What else has Caroline Berry been in?

Caroline Berry is a jobbing actress, who has starred in Birds of a Feather, Peak Practice and Doctor Who.

She portrayed Valerie Phelan in Coronation Street between 2013 and 2014.

Coincidentally, she starred opposite her onscreen husband Keith Allen in Jack of Hearts in 1999.

She also appears in Russell T Davies’ new drama It’s a Sin, starting on Friday January 22 2021.

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.”

keith allen as john cooper
Keith Allen as John Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders (Credit: ITV)

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.

The Pembrokeshire Murders true story
Luke Evans stars as Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins in The Pembrokeshire Murders (Credit: ITV)

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.

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