Serial killer Dennis Nilsen is one of the most notorious British serial killers to have ever lived. Between 1978 and 1983, this North London resident killed between 12 and 15 young men. He strangled some, drowned others, dismembered their bodies (but not before performing sexual acts on some of them,) and then disposed of their remains in various ways.
Nilsen, as with most serial killers, has a number of nicknames. He is also known as the Kindly Killer and the Muswell Hill Murderer, based on the ways in which he picked up his victims and the place where he lived when he killed them. Some also call him the British Jeffrey Dahmer.
The gruesome details of Dennis Nilsen's crimes are horrifying and have captured the fascination of people worldwide. This necrophiliac killer was demented and twisted in more ways that one.
Nilsen's final body count stands between 12 and 15. He was unable to name all of his victims, and it is possible that he made up some of them. In some cases, he stated he awakened in the morning only to find a dead body on his floor.
Either he truly did not remember killing them, or he was trying to prove that he was insane, and therefore nor fully liable for the murders attributed to him. Some speculate he could even have killed more people than he claimed.
Nilsen realized at a young age he was gay. Rather than pursue a regular relationship, he instead suppressed his natural urges and that, combined with a disturbing upbringing and some homicidal tendencies, turned him into a serial killer.
He not only murdered the young men he lured into his house, dismembering their bodies and stashing them in various places, but he also performed sexual acts with at six of their dead bodies. He stated on the stand that before he even began killing, he fantasized about having sex with passive, unconscious, and even dead bodies.
Nilsen began his murderous spree in 1978. At the time, he lived in a house at 195 Melrose Avenue in North London. While there, he killed at least 12 men, depositing their remains in various places around the structure. He removed their organs and threw them over the back fence, burned some body parts in a bonfire, and most horrifically, stashed bits of his victims underneath the floorboards of his bedroom.
Before he moved out of the house, he removed the remaining body parts and burned them in the backyard, masking the smell by burning an old tire along with them.
Malcolm Barlow was a 23-year-old man killed by Nilsen on September 18, 1981. Nilsen ran into Barlow the previous day in an alley. In a twisted act of kindness, Nilsen helped Barlow get to the hospital, who was having a reaction to his medication.
After Barlow left the hospital, he went straight to Nilsen's house in order to thank him. Instead, Nilsen fed him dinner and then strangled him to death. Since Nilsen had no more room under the floorboards for another body, he instead stashed Barlow's remains under his kitchen sink.