Dennis Nilsen

“The Muswell Hill Murderer or
the Kindly Killer”
"I wished I could stop, but I couldn't. I
had no other thrill or happiness”
Scottish Betty White, and a Norwegian Olav Magnus Moksheim, gave birth to
him on November 23, 1945 in Fraserburgh, Scotland
He had a brother Olav Jr. and a sister Sylvia
His father was an alcoholic and his parents’ marriage was not a good/healthy
His parents divorced when he was just four years old
At this point he moved in with his maternal grandfather, who Nilsen loved very much
Nilsen claimed that his beloved grandfather's unexpected death, when he was just six
years old, and the traumatizing viewing of his corpse at the funeral, led to his later
behavioral psychopathology
Aware of his homosexual attractions, he claimed no sexual encounters as an adolescent
at the age of 16 in September 1961he enlisted in the British army where he became a
cook, serving as a butcher in the Army Catering Corps
At his own request he was discharged in November 1972, earning a General Service
He then took up police training, where he discovered a fascination with morgue visits
and autopsied bodies… he missed comradeship of the army and therefore he quit
Between December 1973 and May 1974, Nilsen worked as a security guard
He then got a job as a civil servant in May 1974 where his primary role was to find
employment for unskilled laborers
In 1979, Nilsen was appointed Acting Executive Officer and was officially promoted to
the position of Executive Officer, with additional supervisory responsibilities, in June
Suspicion of murder
February 9 1983
All his victims that were
flushed down his
February 11 1983
Stephen Sinclair
Brixton Prison until trial
August 1 1983
Prison officers
56 days in solitary
Six counts of murder
and one of attempted
November 3 1983
Life imprisonmentchanged to a whole life
tariff in December 1994
Believed to have killed a minimum of 12 young
men and boys between 1978 and 1983
Admitted to actually killing 16 young men
Quote - During his first arrest for suspicion of murder he was
escorted to the police station by Detective Chief Inspector Jay
and his colleagues and Nilsen was asked whether the remains
in his flat belonged to one person or two. Staring out of the
window of the police car, he replied, "15 or 16, since 1978"
-With reference to one victim, Kenneth Ockenden, Nilsen
harked that Ockenden's "body and skin were very beautiful",
adding the sight "almost brought me to tears"
The evidence found over the course of Dennis Nilsen being
in custody to prove him as guilty include
two dissected torsos
a human skull almost completely devoid of flesh
a severed head
a torso with arms attached but hands missing
lower section of a torso
two legs stowed in a bag
a skull
a section of a torso
various bones
over 1,000 fragments of bone
fingerprints on one body matched those on police files of
Stephen Sinclair
The judge sentenced Nilsen to life imprisonment
with a recommendation that he serve a minimum
of 25 years' imprisonment. Nilsen was sent to
Wormwood Scrubs prison to begin his sentence in
1983. Over the course of his sentence he was
transferred to Parkhurst prison, Wakefield Prison,
HMP Full Sutton and Whitemoor Prison. As of
2015, Dennis Nilsen is incarcerated at HMP Full
Dennis Nilsen would be an example of the social control theory because
growing up Nilsen was aware of his homosexual tendencies but kept them hidden to
keep people from judging him. Nilsen also did not have much supervision by his
divorced parents growing up and grew up watching them fight. After his parents
divorced, he formed a very close bond with his grandfather. When his grandfather
suffered an unexpected death , Nilsen became very depressed and psychologists believe
that is where his problems started from. Nilsen felt an impulse towards deviance but
decided to follow the social norm and take part in the army. After the army he
continued to follow the social norm by attending the police academy. While taking part
in all of these social jobs, he believed that he was fitting in and doing what others
expected of him.
Nilsen had had enough of following the social norm and he became interested
in dead bodies and his homosexuality. His impulse took over and he captured his first
victim on a late night, drinking about his grandfather. I believe this is social contract
theory again because he was reminded of the severed strong bond and then started
killing. One women victim he captured, he left a note saying how “this was how dad
did it.” Also saying this is the social control theory because Nilsen learned the agression
from his dad.
Movies or shows:
TV only Movie- Cold Light of Day
Movie loosely based on his murders-Tony
The BBC crime series Great Crimes and Trials of the 20th
Century features an episode devoted to the case of Dennis
Serial Killers: Dennis Nilsen- TV documentary
Real Crime series has an episode entitled A Mind To Murder,
which focuses upon the crimes of Dennis Nilsen
Dennis Nilsen:
Conversations with
Britain's Most Evil Serial
The Nilsen File: The
Inside Story of the
Cricklewood Murders
Song: You're Dying to Be with Me- Macabre
Sitting at my table, having some tea
Chatting with a bloke who's dead from strangling
I'm a lonely man in need of company
I only have to kill men to make them stay with me
You're dying to be with me
Now you'll have a cup of tea with me
You're dying to be with me
We will have a chat and some tea
You and me
I love to be with you, but you're now decomposing
The bloody smell so putrid
We must soon part company
A fire in my backyard should work sufficiently
My toilet also used to flush away dead men rotting
Killing for Company
The Drowned Boy: The
Life of Dennis Nilsen