Steeltown Murders: Where is the real police detective Paul Bethell now?

Steeltown Murders continues this evening (May 22) on BBC One at 9pm as the plot thickens into the death of the three teenage girls killed in South Wales in the 1970s.

The show goes from the past to the present between the original 1970s case and the 2000s when the investigation was reopened with DNA testing and technology available.

Many viewers watching the show may be curious to know the fate of police detective Paul Bethell (played by Philip Glenister and Scott Arthur), who worked on both investigations and eventually discovered the killer known as the Saturday Night Strangler.

Where is Paul Bethell now?

In an exclusive interview with, actor Arthur spoke about meeting with the real-life Bethell for insight and research.

He said: “It was really lovely to meet Paul Bethell, the night before we filmed, so I could really quiz him about the things that he would have done back then.

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Arthur said he wasn’t doing an “impersonation in any way” and instead took the lead from his co-star Glenister, who played the older incarnation of Bethell.

Glenister and Arthur had to discuss their respective performances of Bethell, including details like accent and movement.

Adding: “But that meal before the first day of filming was kind of like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle. We could finally meet Paul. We’ve got the ideas, we can now go away with all these things in the back of our mind.”

The real-life Bethell continues to lecture for South Wales Police and UK law enforcement agencies.

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His career spanned 54 years and saw him work across the spectrum in very rank after first joining the South Wales Police in 1967.

Arthur also spoke about some of his more general research for Steeltown Murders, saying he looked at the pop culture of the decade and the work scene.

He said: “Port Talbot is a very industrial town and still is to this day, one of the only ones in Wales.”

Arthur, who is from South Wales grew up “30 miles down the road” in Llanelli, spoke to his grandfather who used to work in Port Talbot from time to time.

He asked him about the community's feeling at the time and trying to get a sense of the culture in this era, which provided more insight for the star.

Steeltown Murders airs on Mondays at 9pm on BBC One and is streaming as a boxset on the BBC iPlayer

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