Murder UK is a site dedicated to documenting and investigating murder in the UK. We aim to be precise with facts and avoid speculation. If however you find discrepancies please  Contact us







A - Z index







John William Cooper


The Bullseye Killer


2 September 1944

Kill Total:


Kill date:

December 1985

& July 1989

Kill Place:







Richard Thomas - 58

Helen Thomas  - 54

Peter Dixon  - 51

Gwenda Dixon - 52




Swansea Crown Court


Mr Justice John Griffith Williams KT


Gerard Elias QC


Mark Evans QC








A pretty normal upbringing, at age 22 he married his childhood sweetheart, Pat, they had 2 children.


1978, The same year as Cooper stated work on an oil refinery he won 90,000 and a 4,000 Austin Princess car on a newspaper spot-the-ball competition, life was good.


22nd  December 1985, Cooper killed brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas. She was found in the house tied up with rope with a man's shirt around her head as a blindfold. Her brother was found in an out-building. Both had been shot in the head, then doused in petrol, the house was then set alight.


July 1989, Peter Dixon and his wife Gwenda Dixon were on holiday in Pembrokeshire, it was the last day of their camping holiday, they decided to have a last walk along the cost.  Cooper lay in wait with a sawn off shotgun. 

He forced them to walk down to a secluded cliff where he tied them up, he sexually assaulted Gwenda then stole bank cars and forced them to reveal pin numbers, he then shot them both at close range.


Days after the shootings Cooper appeared on the TV quiz show Bullseye, he was also seen using the Dixon's stolen credit card, and an artists impression was drawn up, Police compared the 2 pictures, but at the time these was no other evidence.


By the 1990's he was broke, having blown most of the winnings on horse racing bets.


1996, He attacked a group of teenagers, raping a 16 year old girl and sexually assaulting her 15-year-old friend at gunpoint


1996, He was arrested for 30 burglaries and a violent armed robbery, holding up a terrified teacher with a shotgun in her home at Sardis, Pembrokeshire.


1998, He was convicted of the 30 burglaries and jailed for 16 years.

2006, Police conducting a cold Case review, as a consequence DNA was discovered on a pair of shorts belonging to Cooper, DNA that belonged to murdered Peter Dixon. Mr. Dixon's blood was also discovered on Cooper shotgun.


May 2009, Cooper was arrested and charged with 4 murders, 5 counts of attempted armed robbery, as well as charges for sexual assault and rape.


26th May 2011, Copper was found guilty on all charges, he was ordered by the judge to serve a "Whole life" term.

This puts him on the Home Office list of prisoners never to be released, see list here >>





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