Mugshot of Dennis Nilsen in 1983

"I don't sleep on what I've done and I don't have nightmares about it." 

- Dennis Nilsen 

Dennis Nilsen (November 23 1945) is an English serial killer convicted for the murder of fifteen young men in London . He became known as "The Muswell Hill Murderer" and "The Kindly Killer". He is notorious as one of the most prolific serial killers in British history. 

Early Life

Dennis Andrew Nilsen was born to a Norwegian father and Scottish mother in Aberdeenshire, Scotland on November 23 1945. His father was an alcoholic. Nilsen's parents divorced when he was four years old and he came to live with his grandparents. In October 1951 his mother died of a heart-attack and his father could not be found. Nilsen went to Britain where he got in the army. He became a cook. In 1974 he worked as a Policeman in London but left the force ten months later. 

Killing Spree 

Dennis Nilsen moved in to an appartment at 195 Merlose Avenue in London. He got a job as an office-worker. Nilsen was homosexual and a drinker. Between December 1978 and January 1983 he murdered fifteen men. On December 30 1978, Dennis Nilsen picked up 14-year old Stephen Holmes at a bar with the promise of shelter. At the appartment, Nilsen strangled him with a necktie. He would later claim he was drunk. His second victim 23-year old Canadian student Kenneth Ockedon who he strangled with a the cord of headphones. His third victim was 16-year old Martyn Duffey who he drowned in his kitchen sink. 22-year old Mike Crattan was lured to Nilsen's appartment ijn 1981, he attempted to drown him but Nilsen changed his mind and revibed him. Crattan was allowed to leave. 

Over the next few years, Nilsen would kill twelve more men. He claimed he would drink liquir and strangle his victims with a necktie he had knotted a rope to. He would afterwards dismember them with a large knife. The body-parts he would sometimes keep in his cupboard. In 1981 he moved to a new London appartment at 23 Crangley Gardens. Here he killed three more victims. His last victim was Stephen Sinclair a 20-year old drug-addict. 

Investigation and Trail

On February 8 1938 plummers investigated an ill smell at 23 Cremely Gardens. The top floor owned by 37-year old  worker at the train station Dennis Nilsen. The plummer came across something blocking the drains. It where lumps of flesh and pieces of bone. Police Inspector Peter Jay arrived on the scene. He inmidiattly suspected the flesh and bone were of human origin. The bones were confirmed of being those from a human hand. Inspector Jay waited for Nilsen to arrive home from work. When Nilsen came home, Peter Jay confronted Nilsen with the findings. Nilsen confessed the rest of the body was hidden in two refuse sacks in a cupboard in his appartment. 

Investigators indeed found the remains of three diffrent males in his appartment. Their flesh was decomposed already. On his way to the Police station Nilsen told Jay he estimated he had killed fifteen people. At the Police Station he told investigators more victims were hidden at his previous adress. When they searched Merlose Avanue they found the decomposed body of a man under the floorboards. 

Peter Jay interviewed Dennis Nilsen several times. He revealed that he often had no memory of killing his victims due to the fact he was drunk at the moment. He would also keep the bodies of his victims around for company. When they became to rotten to use for sexual acts, he would cut them up and flush the pieces down the toilet. He also said he wanted to kill his victims quickly by strangling them because he didn't want them to suffer. 

The trail of Dennis Nilsen became a media-sensation in Britain. "The Daily Mirror" was the first newspaper to cover the story. In the following days Nilsen would ask for all the news broadcasts and articles written on him. He became angry at small inconsistancies like getting a date wrong. His trail began on October 24 1983. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisoment without the possibility of parole. He did not remember the names of six of his victims, they have never been identified . 


In 2003 Dennis Nilsen published his autobiography entitled: "History Of A Drowning Boy". He is one of the few whole life tarrifs prisoners in Britain, which means he can never be released. His ex-boyfreind has confirmed he would never have suspected Nilsen was cabable of murder. 

Points of Intrest

The case of Dennis Nilsen has much in common with that of American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who murdered seventeen men in Miwaulkee between 1983 to 1991. 


23 Cranley Gardens, photographed in 2004.

Police photograph of the tie with the rope attached used to kill victims, also two knives Nilsen used for dismemberment.

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