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What happened to the real-life characters in the compelling BBC thriller Steeltown Murders?

The actual account of the search for The Saturday Night Ripper, Wales’s first serial killer, is the subject of a BBC crime thriller that has been riveting viewers.

And yesterday night, 30 years after the incident, the Steeltown Murders came to a shocking conclusion as authorities identified the guy who was guilty for the rape and murder of three 16-year-old girls, Sandra Newton, Geraldine Hughes, and Pauline Floyd.
On separate Saturday afternoons in 1973, the teens were all persuaded to get into his automobile near Port Talbot, South Wales.

However, the only thing that was known about the murderer was a potential car make and model.

Police were only able to positively identify him as loner Joseph Kappen in 2002 thanks to advancements in DNA technology. By that time, he had already passed away from lung cancer, prompting a world first: the first killer was apprehended using familial DNA in a way that changed the game.In the decades that followed, this method was used to assist in the capture of hundreds of murderers and other offenders.

The series has been a huge success for BBC and was shot in and around some of the areas where the actual murders occurred. But for Philip Glenister, who played lead detective DCI Paul Bethell on Life on Mars, the most significant aspect was that it paid tribute to the real-life pioneers and the families of the victims.”What the families went through is inconceivable. It strikes you because I have girls myself,” he remarked. “I believe the general sentiment is that because there are family members, it is an obligation to serve the story. Above all, we must show them respect. I believe the word is respect. I hope we treated them fairly.
\While viewers will have been happy to see the families finally receive closure, if not justice, it was not the end of the narrative for everyone involved. What followed is described here.

The Detectives: Disseminating information

Philip Glenister’s character, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Bethell, oversaw the 2002 inquiry.

He began swabbing hundreds of suspects in the community of Pontardawe, as depicted in the drama, alongside two colleagues who were close to retiring, Phil Rees and Geraint Bale. Their ground-breaking work contributed to the case’s eventual resolution.

Paul Bethell ended a 54-year career in 2008 by retiring. He currently gives talks at numerous law enforcement organisations across the nation and served as a consultant for the BBC series.

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