Between 1978 and 1983, Dennis Nilsen kidnapped and murdered about sixteen or seventeen young men; the exact number of victims is unknown. Dennis consistently selected victims from the same demographics i.e. runaways, homeless boys, drug users and sex workers, therefore the deaths or disappearances were never recorded. As one can imagine, Dennis Nilsen targeted these young men as they were less likely to be reported missing.
Who was Dennis Nilsen?
Dennis Nilsen was the son of Olav and Elizabeth Nilsen, and he had two siblings: a brother, Olav Jr., and Sylvia. Dennis’ father didn’t want to live with a family of his own or start a family of his own. As a result, Dennis’ father, Olav Nilsen, left his family when he was a child. Dennis’ mother, Elizabeth’s father, served as a father figure to the family.
Dennis was devastated when his grandfather died while fishing in the North Sea. Dennis’ mother allowed him to see his grandfather’s body, but it seemed to have a negative impact on him. He sank into himself and never quite emerged from it.
He also had an event where he was saved from drowning in 1954 or 1955 while spending time near the sea, which is said to have brought him peace.
As he got older, Nilsen realized he was gay as he was never sexually attracted to girls. Nilsen made the decision to join the Army and left home at the age of fourteen to join the Army Cadet Force.
Dennis faced many scenarios in the new city of Osnabrück, West Germany, which drove his activities and ultimately reflected in his myriad crimes. Dennis was quite shy so he drank heavily to help him interact and make friends. After passing out at a friend’s house and thinking of one of his partners engaging in sexual activity with him while he was sleeping, he became fascinated with necrophilia.
The troubled things in Dennis Nilsen’s life
While serving a life sentence in prison, Dennis recorded his own prison audio recordings. Using this footage and many interviews with Dennis’ victims, Netflix released a documentary called Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes on its platform. In these recordings some unusual things are noted about Dennis Nilsen’s early life which point to some of his later life actions.
Dennis created his own audio recordings from prison while serving a life sentence. Using this footage and many interviews with Dennis’ victims, Netflix released a documentary on its platform entitled Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes. There are some distinctive features of Dennis Nilsen’s early life in these recordings that allude to some of his later activities.
According to one of those tapes, Nilsen claimed to have been sexually molested by his grandfather as a child up to the age of five.
That being said, and before Nilsen became a serial killer, his home was once visited by police when a teenager was reported jumping out of a third floor window. The teenager survived, explaining that he woke up naked and knew Nilsen was attacking him. Because of his experience, he jumped out of the window. Nilsen was not charged at the time because the family concerned refused to testify.
Becoming a serial killer: First victim: Stephen Holmes
Nilsen’s murder spree began in December 1978, with a fourteen-year-old teenager as his first victim. Nilsen started visiting gay bars after realizing he was gay to socialize more. He met Stephen Holmes on a similar outing to a pub and invited Holmes to his flat. They drank together and fell asleep in his apartment. When Nilsen woke up to find Holmes sleeping in his room, he feared that Holmes might wake up and leave him alone, so he strangled the boy and subsequently drowned him in his sleep.
Nilsen admitted to twice masturbating on the teenager’s body and hiding it under the floorboards for eight months. Afterward, he built a pyre in his backyard, filled it with tires, and cremated the corpse in it, where the smell of burning rubber masked the smell of burning flesh.
Did the police abandon Dennis victims?
And so did 15 other of his victims, managing time and again to lure them into his home with promises of booze and a good time. He strangled or drowned them after they fell asleep, then hid their bodies under the floorboards of his home.
There were other survivors of his attack who escaped and reported this to the police, but no charges were brought. Andrew Ho, a student from Hong Kong, was among the refugees. He reported this police officer and Nilsen was also interrogated, but for some reason Andrew didn’t report it.
Nilsen moved into the apartment in 1980 after its previous owner decided to renovate the building. Because there was not enough space in its new place to burn corpses. So Nilsen came up with a new idea, he started dismembering the victims, flushing meat and small bones down the toilet and throwing the rest of the bones in the trash after boiling the body parts.
Nilsen would have gotten away with the murders if he hadn’t complained to the property owners about the clogged pipes. When a plumber was called he discovered small bones and flesh blocking the pipes, the problem was further investigated and they found the drain was filled with extra bones and flesh.
It was taken to a pathologist, who discovered that the bones and flesh were human and that it all came from the top-floor pipes where Nilsen lived.
https://news.atlantanewsmedia.com/born-to-kill-the-story-of-british-serial-killer-dennis-nilsen/ “Born to Kill”; The story of British serial killer Dennis Nilsen