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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A tale of murder & mystery at Scoveston Park

Scoveston Park before the fire

Some years ago I holidayed at Scoveston Park, originally infamous for the murders of brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas. When I stayed there much of the house was still a ruin as a result of the fire that had been set in an unsuccessful attempt to cover up the killings.Originally a three story building, the new owners, who were in the process of restoring the mansion, had removed the top storey altogether. As I walked around the building I sensed what had gone on there on the night in question. That afternoon I went to the local library in Haverford West and researched the news stories about the murders, and later that evening I sat with the new owner to put forward my theories. We both came up with the same conclusion, that the murders had been committed by someone who had some previous knowledge of the mansion, most probably someone who had worked there as a casual labourer of some sort. We pictures a local man who would have been in his mid to late 40's at the time of the killings, and were convinced that the motive had been robbery. There were several red herrings being put about at the time, one of the favourites being that Richard Thomas was involved in some sort of homosexual liaison and that was the reason behind his death, his sister being killed to shield the killer's identity. I never bought into that theory for one minute, and was convinced that my conclusion about the events, which concurred with the current owner, Idris Evans, provided the answer to the mystery.

It's gratifying to learn, all these years later, that we were right, and to see the killer, John Cooper, finally brought to justice.

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