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Bullseye serial killer John Cooper hated women so much that losing to one on the darts-based TV game show could have led him to murder, according to investigators who snared him.
His appearance on the show in 1989 helped finally nail him 21 years later when police carrying out a cold case review into the Pembrokeshire Murders used it to match him to a police sketch of the suspect.
The five-year probe led by Det Supt Steve Wilkins, which finally put Cooper behind bars in 2011 for two double murders in the 1980s, was dramatised in a gripping three-part ITV drama that ended last night after pulling in millions of viewers.
John Cooper's appearance on the show in 1989 helped finally nail him 21 years later
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ITV reporter Jonathan Hill helped the probe by finding the Bullseye footage, recorded in 1989 weeks before Cooper killed Peter and Gwenda Dixon on the Pembrokeshire coast path.
It came four years after he killed Richard and Helen Thomas at their nearby home outside Milford Haven.
Mr Hill, 50, told the Mirror: “A psychologist in the case pondered that Cooper losing to a woman on that show could have been a contributing factor on the murder of the Dixons.
John Cooper was found guilty of two double murders
(Image: Wales News Service)
John Cooper appeared on Bullseye and lost to a woman
The Pembrokeshire Murders: Tiny clue in suspect's kitchen that finally nailed killer
"It would have been very difficult for him to deal with.
"He hated women, was very jealous of other people’s happiness and also lost his gamble on the car at the end of the show, and just a month later went on to kill.”
Cooper, now 76 and serving a whole life term for the murders, terrorised his wife and kids and was cruel to animals.
The Pembrokeshire Murders looks into the chilling case of John Cooper
Keith Allen stars as John Cooper in The Pembrokeshire Murders
Retired detective Mr Wilkins, 61, said: “Cooper had an over-inflated view of his abilities, and when his plans failed it was never his fault and if he failed he would lash out. He is also a control freak.
"Nobody would cross him.
"I think he enjoyed the violence and the control.”
The Pembrokeshire Murders by Steve Wilkins and Jonathan Hill, published by Seven Dials Paperback, is out now.
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