The story of Operation Ottawa, the cold case detection of John Cooper for two Pembrokeshire double killings: the Scoveston Mar murder of Richard and Helen Thomas in 1985 and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path murder of Peter and Gwenda Dixon in 1989. Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins tells how he gathered a specialist team to review the murders, used cutting edge forensic techniques to prove Cooper's involvement in the crimes, and how the tv programme Bullseye led to a crucial identification. The dramatic timeline involves psychological profiling, intimidation by Cooper, the relationship between police and media in the arrest and the predicament of the victims' families during the long years when the cases remained unsolved. The combination of painstaking evidence gathering, new forensics, psychological profiling, and careful detection made Operation Ottawa the template for subsequent murder enquiries. Now, for the first time, the lead detective tells the story of how a vicious killer was brought to justice.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins moved to Pembrokeshire from the North West when aged 17 and worked locally in the area before joining Cheshire Police in 1980. He transferred to Dyfed-Powys Police in 1992 and has extensive experience in CID, 27 years of his 29 years service has been as a Detective. He was seconded to the National Criminal Intelligence Service as Head of Region for the North West of England and prior to returning to force he was the head of intelligence for the UK. Wilkins returned to Dyfed-Powys Police as a Detective Superintendent to work as Senior Investigation Officer on numerous cases. He has also worked closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in trying to secure justice for the family of Kirsty Jones who was murdered in Thailand in 2000. Writing with Steve Wilkins is ITV Wales journalist Jonathan Hill, an English graduate of Swansea University who has been a leading reporter and presented on ITV Wales news for almost 20 years. He has also made news documentaries for network broadcast, including The Bullseye Murderer, about the Cooper case, broadcast to network tv in 2011.