Serial killer John Cooper’s fearful wife stayed with him while in prison

John Cooper was in prison for a string of violent robberies in the Pembrokeshire area of Wales when police re-opened a cold case into two double murders in the 1980s.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins and his team were convinced Cooper was the killer, but it took more than 20 years before he was convicted.

The crimes of serial killer John Cooper will again be detailed in ITV documentary The Pembrokeshire Murders: Catching the Gameshow Killer tonight.

The investigation, called Operation Ottawa, was also subject of ITV’s new mini-series, The Pembrokeshire Murders this week.

Viewers will have seen how Cooper had total control over his family, and even appeared a charming character to many people in his life.

His wife, Pat, stayed with him even though he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for violent burglaries.

Meanwhile, Cooper’s son Andrew, birth name Adrian, was on the receiving end of his father’s ire growing up.

Andrew revealed how he had been beaten by his father “for the most minor of transgression”, according to publication Crime and Investigation.

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Pat was also reportedly viciously beaten by her husband.

Dylan Rhys Jones, former defence solicitor of the notorious North Wales serial killer Peter Moore, answered the question of why Pat stayed with her husband.

He told Daily Express: “The truth is because of 'control' – many people stay in these relationships, usually with disastrous consequences."

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He added: “The one between Cooper and his wife seems to be based on mental, and maybe physical, abuse over a considerable amount of years.

"From what I've read about the case, and what is shown in the series, Pat was in fear of her husband and under his control totally – even doing his bidding while he is still in prison.

"She's even unwilling to break her silence, as shown in the programme, when Detective Steve Wilkins visited her because she obviously feared the repercussions from Cooper."

The Pembrokeshire Murders: Catching the Gameshow Killer airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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