A true story of the Steeltown Murders: How much of the BBC One drama is true?
Connect with us

Daily News Paper

A true story of the Steeltown Murders: How much of the BBC One drama is true?



Steel Town

The nerve-racking case crushed a local area in South Grains.

A gripping new true crime drama on BBC One and iPlayer depicts a ground-breaking murder investigation in the early 2000s.

Steeltown Murders analyses how progress in DNA innovation permitted South Grains Police to behind schedule recognise the enemy of three young ladies – Sandra Newton, Geraldine Hughes and Pauline Floyd – who found dead many years sooner.

The victims’ families were left without answers, and the Neath Port Talbot community was shaken to its core by the failure of two previous investigations, both of which took place in the 1970s.

Philip Glenister and Steffan Rhodri lead the cast of Steeltown Murders as DCI Paul Bethell and DC Phil ‘Bach’ Rees, both of whom assumed critical parts in, at long last, shutting this frightening case.

The true story of the Steeltown Murders: What gave rise to the BBC drama?

The tragic events that led to the Steeltown Murders began in the summer of 1973 when three local women’s bodies were discovered in the county of Neath Port Talbot.

After going missing while walking the five miles home from her boyfriend’s house, Sandra Newton was the first person to be found. Geraldine Hughes and Pauline Floyd never returned from a night out in Swansea two months later.

The two episodes were initially viewed as discrete, a suspicion that would be remedied numerous years later.

However, the subsequent case sparked a significant investigation by South Wales police, which questioned 35,000 people in connection with the heinous crime but made little headway due to a lack of information regarding the suspect.

The only information they had from an eyewitness was that the alleged killer was in his early 30s, drove a light-coloured Morris 1100, and had bushy hair and a moustache. However, this left many other potential suspects.

The investigation was unsuccessful, and no one was arrested on suspicion of the murders.

Yet, in the mid-2000s, South Grains Police re-opened the virus case considering progress in DNA innovation. It quickly revealed new information: Geraldine and Pauline’s murderers were the same people who killed Sandra.

Forensic scientist Dr Colin Dark told BBC News, “This was an absolute bombshell because this meant a serial killer was operating in south Wales in 1973, killing young girls.”

How the killer was identified by DNA evidence.

Unfortunately, the DNA discovered on the clothing of all three girls was not recorded in the national database, so there was still no easy way to determine who the so-called “Saturday Night Strangler” was.

However, using a method now known as familial DNA and had never been attempted before, investigators wondered if they could use their sample to identify a child or relative of the offender.

It required fishing through “a few thousand DNA profiles from men in the south Ridges region”, reviewed Dr Dim, which gave them 100 people that half-matched the example, recommending they could be an offspring of the killer.

In the meantime, the case’s detectives had identified 500 suspects based on their appearance, car ownership, and prior convictions. The surname Kappen stood out because it was on both lists.

Paul Kappen, a car thief, had a DNA match with the sample, but he was only seven years old when the murders occurred, which led authorities to Joseph Kappen, his father.

Joseph Kappen: A Suspect in the Activity Magnum Case, Dubbed a “Hooligan” by DCI Paul Bethell.

Depicted as a “hooligan” by DCI Paul Bethell, who drove the case known as Activity Magnum, Joseph Kappen had momentarily viewed as a suspect back in 1973. However, it cleaned by a justification from his then-spouse and the case his vehicle was stalled.

Joseph was a distant memory when police were back following after him – having passed on from cellular breakdown in the lungs in 1990 – however, DNA tests from his ex and little girl increased the likelihood of his contribution to the homicides.

However, the detectives and grieving families needed more certainty, so then-Home Secretary David Blunkett approved the unprecedented decision to exhume Kappen’s body.

In May 2002, a stormy night marked the beginning of the complicated procedure. Dr Dim recollected applause of thunder sounding when the casket was uncovered: ” The sensation was that evil had been discovered; It shook me to my core.”

According to the results of a forensic DNA analysis of his remains, all three of Kappen’s victims killed.

Steffan Rhodri, who plays DC Phil ‘Bach’ Rees in Steeltown Murders, told RadioTimes.com and other press that the case demonstrates the unrecognised, however instrumental work that goes into wrongdoing tackling.

He said: ” Importantly, the story is not about heroics but rather the diligence of the police work. The persistence makes it heroic, but it is not the swashbuckling police work of glamorous cops swooping in to save the day.

“It’s arduous, meticulous work to sit there and read through a lot of detail. That exemplifies how crimes must solved, not in a swashbuckling or film- or television-like manner.

How accurate are the murders in Steeltown?

According to RadioTimes.com and other media, the team behind Steeltown Murders conducted “meticulous” research into the case to accurately portray it on screen.

Producer Hannah Thomas stated, “The research we did was the core of everything.” We worked with the genuine police working on it. Paul Bethell and Phil Rees – who were there during the 70s and then likewise there during the 00s when Activity Magnum began.

“So they were only a splendid wellspring of data and direction for us. Additionally, because we are a Welsh-based company telling a Welsh story. We are close enough to the significant events to take them seriously.

She added: ” We were filming near where the murders took place, so it’s not far away. It was convenient for me. As a result, we conducted our research with extreme caution and care. Attempting to honour the three girls who perished at every stage.

We conferred with the families. We were aware of what had transpired and what they had endured. That very well balanced at every stage. The drive to tell a compelling story while remembering people’s grief and the fact that it happened.

According to screenwriter Ed Whitmore. His scripts only make two adjustments to the story to compress the decades-long case into just four hours of television.

He began, “I think the most common alterations you make to reality are slightly reducing time and the cast.” Changes that might have occurred over nine months sometimes reduced to six months.

The Multifaceted Nature of the Police: Unveiling the Vast Network of Players Beyond the Surface

“The police is a colossal, various levelled construction. And there are a larger number of players in the story than you might at any point catch. And you might at any point truly fit into a show.”

He added: ” However, to the side, we changed very little; it was more about what do we forget about? That was the hardest part because the story occurred over almost 30 years. Where do you put your concentration?”

Keep Reading: –