Although not born or brought up in Machynlleth, Mark Bridger was welcomed and described as a "friend to everyone."
In reality, he was a fantasist who wove an extraordinary web of lies.
ITV News Special Correspondent Rageh Omaar on "charming" Mark Bridger:
Two Family Liaison Officers give us a unique insight into how April Jones' family are learning to cope with their grief.Read the full story ›
This terrible case, made worse for the family by Bridger's refusal to say where April's body is, has left a deep scar on the nation.
The NSPCC's thoughts are with her family and friends and we hope this verdict is a small comfort after such a horrendous ordeal.
It seems Bridger lived in a fantasy world which included looking at child abuse images online.
For some time we have been concerned about the growing number of these obscene images which are becoming more easily available and can fuel the fantasies of offenders like Bridger.
This case points to the ever-growing evidence that there is a worrying link between looking at this vile kind of material and committing other serious sexual assaults.
April's death will hopefully lead to effective measures to stamp out this vile trade.
Protesters could be heard hurling abuse at the prison van which carried as Mark Bridger arrived back in Manchester to begin his life sentence.
Detective Superintendent Andy John, senior investigating officer in the April Jones investigation, has spoken outside court.
He described Mark Bridger as an 'evil and manipulative individual' who had 'gone to enormous lengths' to destroy evidence, but said the case against him was 'overwhelming'.
As he begins his life sentence for the murder of five-year-old April Jones, Mark Bridger joins a small group of prisoners whose crimes were deemed so appalling they will spend the rest of their lives in prison.
According to Ministry of Justice figures, today's sentence takes the number of prisoners for whom life means life to 48.
Notorious cases include Moors Murderer Ian Brady and murderer and robber Donald Neilson, "The Black Panther", who shot and killed three sub-postmasters.
In 2008 club bouncer Levi Bellfield was told he would die in prison for murdering two young women and trying to murder a third.
In the same month, Steve Wright was also given a "whole life" term for the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich
The only woman on the list is Rose West, who was convicted in 1995. A killing spree with husband Fred saw 10 young women murdered - eight within a two-year period.
Judge tells Mark Bridger, he is 'a pathological and glib liar.' Read the full statement by Mr Justice Griffith Williams.Read the full story ›
Mark Bridger leaves Mold Crown Court to begin his life sentence for the abduction and murder of schoolgirl April Jones.