Is Dennis Nilsen still alive and where did he live
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Des: Is Dennis Nilsen still alive and what happened to him after the murder trial?

David Tennant plays murderer Des

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Dennis Nilsen was one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.

Nicknamed the Muswell Hill Murderer, he killed at least 15 young men between 1978 and 1983.

The police investigation into his brutal crimes is currently being explored in new ITV drama Des starring David Tennant.

But is Dennis Nilsen still alive and where did he live?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Dennis Nilsen (Credit: Shutterstock)
Dennis Nilsen died in prison (Credit: Shutterstock)

Is Dennis Nilsen still alive?

Dennis Nilsen died on May 12, 2018, aged 72.

Two days earlier, 35 years into his life prison sentence, he had complained of severe stomach pains.

Officers transported him from Full Sutton maximum security prison to York Hospital where he was examined by doctors.

Test results showed he had a ruptured aortic aneurysm and he was operated on immediately.

However, he later died after developing a blood clot during the surgery.

A Prison Service spokesperson said at the time: “Dennis Andrew Nilsen, date of birth November 23 1945, died in custody at HMP Full Sutton on Saturday, May 12 2018.”

They added: “As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

A post-mortem examination ruled that his cause of death was pulmonary embolism and a retroperitoneal haemorrhage.

Dennis Nilsen (Credit: Shutterstock)
New ITV drama Des tells the story of Dennis Nilsen (Credit: Shutterstock)

Where did Dennis Nilsen live?

Dennis killed all of his victims at his two homes in north London.

The addresses were both in the Cricklewood area – a ground floor flat at 195 Melrose Avenue and the attic flat at 23D Cranley Gardens.

He would lure his victims, who were all homosexual, back home with him.

Once there, he killed them by strangulation or by drowning them.

After each murder, he would bathe and dress his victim’s body for lengthy periods of times.

Dennis later confessed to performing sexual acts on the corpses.

When the smell would become too overpowering, he would disect the men and flush their body parts down the toilet or would burn them.

Dennis Nilsen played by David Tenant in Des (Credit: ITV)
David Tennant will play ‘Des’ in the new ITV series (Credit: ITV)

How was Dennis Nilsen caught?

Police were finally altered to Dennis’ horrific crimes after receiving a phone call from plumber Michael Cattran.

He went to inspect the drains at 23 Cranley Gardens after residents reported a blockage.

When he arrived, he opened the drain at the side of the house and discovered a flesh-like substance together with a number of bones.

At the time, Dennis commented that it was likely KFC.

The following morning, Michael returned to the property to find the drain had been cleared, which alerted his suspicion.

After investigating further, he discovered more bones and what appeared to be human flesh in the drain leading from the attic flat – where Dennis was residing.

Michael then called the police.

When officers arrived, they found human organs and two torsos in shopping bags.

They also discovered a severed head, a human skull and another torso with limbs still attached.

What was Dennis Nilsen’s motive?

Dennis opened up about his motives during an interview for Central TV documentary Murder in Mind.

Speaking from Albany Prison in the Isle of Wight, he claimed he killed for company and that it gave him a sense of power.

The serial killer stated that he enjoyed the companionship of the corpses.

He said: “It was an expression of my power to lift and carry him and have control.

“The dangling elements of his limp limbs was an expression of his passivity. The more passive he could be, the more powerful I was.”

Dennis added: “The bodies are all gone. Everything’s gone, there’s nothing left. But I still feel spiritual communion with these people.”

On 4 November 1983, Dennie was found guilty of six counts of murder and two attempted murders.

He was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2018.

Des is set to air on ITV this autumn.

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