Dennis Nilsen by Russ Coffey

By Russ Coffey

In February 1983, civil servant Dennis Nilsen was once arrested after physique elements have been discovered to be blockading drains on the residence the place he lived. because the squad vehicle drove him away, he confessed he had strangled 15 younger males. however it wasn’t simply the crimes that surprised the police, however the means Nilsen spoke. He stated he enjoyed the younger males he killed. whilst newspapers carried tales of the way the 37-year-old lured males again to his flat and why, the kingdom was once stunned by means of his sheer evil. but a few psychiatrists thought of him a guy of infrequent, advanced, and severe mental difficulties. additionally, none of them had met a killer who appeared so willing to appreciate his personal psyche. while on remand in Brixton legal, Nilsen crammed fifty five workout books with techniques. in the course of his subsequent 30 years in criminal he has persevered to write—most particularly at the first draft of a multi-volume autobiography—which the house workplace has banned. utilizing specific entry to Nilsen's writing and huge self sufficient learn, Russ Coffey explains what Nilsen says and what sort of of it we will be able to think. it is a stunning glimpse into the brain of a killer.

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Extra info for Dennis Nilsen

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Olav senior took some interest in the eldest child but, otherwise, he didn’t take any of his responsibilities seriously. Later, Dennis would discover ‘Nilsen’ wasn’t even his real name. It was a pseudonym Olav had adopted for his Scottish adventure. Nilsen says this contributed to his poor sense of identity as a child. During his first decade in prison, Nilsen would look back over these early years like a detective in search of clues. In letters, he told me how he suspected his mother had been hiding things from him.

He quit choir and missed church, but still he carried on working. One day, we hear, he went out to sea looking particularly seasick. The next morning, he failed to appear up on the deck. His crewmates went to his bunk to wake him; they found him dead. It was 31 October and he was 62. Nilsen first described this day soon after his arrest. It wasn’t just the death, he said, but also the cold, emotionless way the news was broken to him that caused his emotional scars. One day he remembered running around amid the normal bustle of everyday life and the next his mother was telling him to go and see Grandad ‘laid out’ in his coffin.

I washed the body … I sat him on the white-and-blue dining chair. I sat down, took a cigarette and a drink and looked at him … His eyes were not quite closed. ‘Stephen,’ I thought, ‘you’re another problem for me. What am I going to do with you? ’ The next morning … I lay beside him and placed the large mirror at the end of the bed. I stripped … and lay there staring at both our naked bodies in the mirror. He looked paler than I did … I put talcum powder on myself and lay down again. We looked similar now.

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