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07 January 2021 12:33

The Pembrokeshire Murders on ITV: Luke Evans as DS Steve Wilkins and Alexandria Riley as DI Ella Richards.

serial killer

Updated on 7 January: It seems as if truly good true crime series are a bit like buses; you wait forever for one, and then three show up at once. Over on the BBC, we have slowly become obsessed with serial killer drama The Serpent. Netflix, meanwhile, just dropped a trailer for its disturbing docuseries, Night Stalker, which tells "the spellbinding true story of how one of the most notorious serial killers in American history was hunted down and brought to justice." And now ITV is getting in on the action with its own star-studded miniseries, too. Here's everything you need to know about The Pembrokeshire Murders. What is The Pembrokeshire Murders about?

ITV's Pembrokeshire Murders tells a twisted true story

The Pembrokeshire Murders: Luke Evans takes the lead in this star-studded ITV drama. Adapted from the true-crime book Catching The Bullseye Killer, the three-part mini-series sees newly-promoted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins take it upon himself to reopen two unsolved double murders from the 1980s. Employing pioneering forensic methods, Wilkins and his handpicked team soon uncover microscopic DNA and fibres that potentially link the murders to a string of burglaries committed in the 80s and 90s. The perpetrator of these crimes, though, is already in prison and nearing the end of his sentence. It's up to DS Wilkins and his team to find the evidence that will keep the killer behind bars, and stop him from striking again. You may also like Best TV shows of 2021: the 31 must-watch series coming to our screens It's worth noting that the series also includes a stranger-than-fiction twist involving the ITV quiz show Bullseye. We won't share too much here, because… well, because of spoilers. Rest assured, though, it's the sort of story that's going to have everyone talking (and googling what really happened) long after the credits roll. Is there a trailer for The Pembrokeshire Murders? ITV has released a trailer for The Pembrokeshire Murders, and it's certainly piqued our attention. Check it out: Who stars in the cast of The Pembrokeshire Murders? Luke Evans, whom you may recognise as Gaston from Disney's live-action Beauty And The Beast, will portray Welsh detective Steve Wilkins. The series also features Keith Allen as John Cooper, Owen Teale as Gerard Elias, Alexandria Riley as Ella Richards, Caroline Berry as Pat Cooper, Oliver Ryan as Andrew Cooper and David Fynn as ITV News journalist Jonathan Hill. The full cast list includes: DS Steve Wilkins - Luke Evans John William Cooper - Keith Allen DC Nigel Rowe - Kyle Lima DI Lynne Harries - Steven Meo DS Gareth Rees - Charles Dale DS Glyn Johnson - Richard Corgan DI Ella Richards - Alexandria Riley Pat Cooper - Caroline Berry Andrew Cooper - Oliver Ryan Jack Wilkins - Steffan Cennydd Amy Wilkins - Mabli Jên Eustace DCS Coles - Rhodri Evan DCI Jim Morris - Roger Evans DCI George Jones - William Thomas Jonathan Hill - David Fynn Gerard Elias - Owen Teale You may also like The Serpent episode 2 recap: a terrifying example of love bombing in action What is the true story behind The Pembrokeshire Murders? Warning: this section contains spoilers, so scroll ahead now if you want to avoid them. In 1985, a double murder by shotgun was committed in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The victims were local residents, brother and sister, Richard and Helen Thomas. In 1989, Pembrokeshire was rocked when husband and wife, Peter and Gwenda Dixon, were also murdered by shotgun. While both crimes were thoroughly investigated, no-one was charged. Then, in 2006, DCI Steve Wilkins returned to Wales after a stint at Scotland Yard and began a new job as Deputy Head of Dyfed Powys CID. Their surprise breakthrough came in the form of the TV quiz show, Bullseye. Inspired by the success DNA forensic science was having on solving rates in serious crime, Wilkins decided to reinvestigate the two double murders. And so, with a carefully handpicked team, he set to work. The evidence they gathered suggested that one man was responsible for all four murders: John William Cooper, a local man already in prison for a series of burglaries and robberies. Knowing Cooper would soon be up for parole, Wilkins and his team worked around the clock to find the concrete evidence they needed to charge him for the murders. Their surprise breakthrough came, though, in the form of Bullseye. That's right: Cooper had appeared on the TV quiz show, just one month before the murder of Peter and Gwenda Dixon. And it was this archive footage that helped match Cooper to an artist's impression based on a witness sighting. The Pembrokeshire Murders on ITV: Luke Evans as DS Steve Wilkins and Alexandria Riley as DI Ella Richards. What are people saying about The Pembrokeshire Murders? As reported on 6 January: Luke Evans has described it as a "privilege" to be playing the role in the TV drama. "It is a privilege to be playing the role of Steve Wilkins in The Pembrokeshire Murders and working again with Simon Heath, his team at World Productions and ITV," he said in a press release. "It's a huge responsibility for me as the drama depicts a true crime which to this day still affects the families of those whose lives were tragically taken." You may also like Best celebrity cameos: 23 film and TV crossovers guaranteed to surprise and delight all who see them Director Marc Evans, meanwhile, said: "You have to be as authentic and as realistic as you can be, and accurate in terms of getting the story properly represented, in terms of everybody who is involved. And then you also have to be very respectful of victims and victims' families and understand the possible effects of the scenes you are depicting. There's a feeling of responsibility." He added: "It's always tricky to cast a real life criminal. Let's not forget he's there and he did these things for real. Keith Allen was quite brilliant at absorbing the traits of Cooper and portraying a kind of strange dynamism that the man obviously had." When is The Pembrokeshire Murders on TV? The Pembrokeshire Murders begins on ITV on 11 January 2021. Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation. 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