A trailer for a shocking new documentary about the crimes of Tywyn's Reverend Emyr Owen brings home the effect it had on the small Gwynedd town.
“Tywyn was a close-knit rural Welsh community,” one person explains, while another states this “was the ugliest of crimes in the most beautiful country”. Summing up the feeling of the time, a third says: “The servant of God had become the servant of Satan.”
The Rev revisits the 1980s when North Wales Police found themselves investigating a series of anonymous, threatening letters. Emyr Owen’s name was suggested as the possible author, and when police searched the reverend’s house they found images of severed male genitals.
Owen admitted cutting sexual organs on three bodies awaiting burial in chapels in his care.
This was the start of an incredible story that would shock a nation and make headlines around the world.
Detective Gwyn Roberts, who led the investigation, searched Owen's home and can be heard in the documentary trailer saying: "To my horror I saw human severed body parts" He has explained previously how he went to ask Owen about the letters, "but looking around the house I opened a box of slides and held one up to the light, and saw a man’s genitals torn off from the body and placed on a plate,” he chillingly recalled.
Owen was taken to Dolgellau police station marking the start of an unusual and complex case.
“There were rumours Owen had pickled the genitals and kept them in a jar, but those were just rumours," Detective Roberts has previously stated.
“He told me he had thrown one out to the seagulls, thrown one into the sea and burned another.”
Owen died in 2001, aged 78, but the curious case continues to fascinate film-makers today.
The Rev, a true crime horror documentary, resurrects this gruesome story with interviews from police officers, psychiatrists and legal experts who shed new light on the reverend’s disturbing actions and mentality. Interwoven are dramatic recreations that delve into Owen’s history and unearth questions about his crimes that remain unanswered to this day.
The Rev premieres exclusively on the Icon Film Channel from 9 October and will be available on all major UK digital platforms from 8 January 2024.