Dennis Nilsen’s private tape recordings take centre stage in a new Netflix documentary.
In Memories Of A Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes, the killer – who died in 2018 – can be heard explaining his life and crimes for the first time.
Over the course of his incarceration, Nilsen taped more than 250 hours of his life story, seemingly to himself in his prison cell.
The new one-off film also hears him chillingly claim: “It’s a great hurt to be considered to be monstrous. I am not a monster. I am a man. Awkward, isn’t it?”
Alongside the tapes, Nilsen’s former colleagues, family members of the victims, survivors and detectives all give their input into the twisted killer’s life.
It aims to examine how warning signs were missed, and how 80s London allowed Nilsen to slip through the cracks.
What did Dennis Nilsen do?
Dennis Nilsen would head to bars in London, before luring men back to his house and strangling or drowning them to death.
As a result of deliberately picking homeless, drug addicts or gay men, many of his victims weren’t even reported missing.
In the tapes and his confession statements, Nilsen claims he ‘blacked out’ and can’t remember the actual murders.
However, he later said he kept hold of some of the bodies for weeks, defiling them, before eventually dismembering them.
Eventually, he was caught by police when his neighbours complained about clogged drains, with flesh and bone uncovered when the manhole cover was lifted.
He confessed to the murder of 15 men. Currently, only eight have been officially identified.
Others soon came forward claiming Nilsen attempted to kill them, but for some reason backed out before sending them home.
However, at the time, being gay was highly frowned upon and the AIDS epidemic was just taking hold. In Nilsen’s native Scotland, it was still illegal until 1980.
As a result, few wanted to come forward to discuss their encounter with Nilsen.
Nilsen plead not guilty due to diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey. However, he was found guilty of six murders, and two attempted murders.
He spent the rest of his life in prison, dying in May 2018.
Memories Of A Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes airs August 18th on Netflix.
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