Serial killer Dennis Nilsen’s personal recordings heard for first time in Netflix true crime documentary

·3-min read

Watch: Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes trailer

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen’s personal memoir tapes have been heard for the first time in the first trailer of a new Netflix true crime documentary.

Memories Of A Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes, set to be released in August, has been granted access to more than 250 hours of recordings that Nilsen made while serving life in prison for the murder of numerous men.

The number of men he lured to his home before killing remains unknown, with the then 37-year-old confessing to 15. 

Read more: 'I escaped Dennis Nilsen': Man, 66, says serial killer bought him dinner

However, only eight have been formally identified, and he was officially convicted of six murders and two attempted murders at the Old Bailey.

In the first look at the film, created by the team behind smash-hit Don’t F**k With Cats, Nilsen is heard talking about the murders he committed, branding himself “the harbinger of death”.

Crime Dennis Nilsen The house of horrors killer who butchered 15 young men being led from prison van by police. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Dennis Nilsen (right) being led from prison van by police. (Getty Images)

He then chillingly added: “It’s a great hurt to be considered to be monstrous. I am not a monster. I am a man… Awkward, isn’t it?”

Alongside Nilsen’s first-person account, the film will speak to survivors of his attacks, the detectives who tried to track him down, and the loved ones of those that died.

Read more: Suspect labels Netflix true crime series 'demonising propaganda'

The aim is to examine how Nilsen managed to go untraced for five years in order to become one of the UK’s most notorious killers.

When did Dennis Nilsen kill?

Dennis Nilsen’s killing spree lasted between 1978 and 1983 when he was finally caught.

Police were alerted to his home in Muswell Hill when neighbours in the block of flats complained there was something wrong with their drains, and a plumber uncovered human flesh and remains when trying to fix it.

23 Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill, London, one of the homes of British serial killer Dennis Nilsen, September 1985. Three men were murdered here between 1981 and 1983, but when Nilsen tried to dispose of the bodies by flushing them down the toilet, the drains became blocked, resulting in Nilsen's arrest. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
23 Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill, London - home of serial killer Dennis Nilsen (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

When Nilsen was arrested, he immediately confessed to 15 murders, saying he would tempt young men back to his home with the promise of a place to stay before strangling them or drowning them.

He would often keep the bodies around the house long after they were dead, before hiding them under the floorboards or dismembering them.

Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the back of a police van during his trial at the Old Bailey, London, October 1983. He was charged with six murders and two attempted murders. In November, he was convicted on all charges and sentenced to life imprisonment. It is thought Nilsen is responsible for at least 15 murders. (Photo by Dave Benett/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the back of a police van during his trial at the Old Bailey, London, October 1983. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

During his confessions he admitted to sexually defiling some of the bodies in the days after the murders.

The murders happened across two addresses in north London, the second and most known address being Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill.

Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes launches on Netflix on 18 August (Netflix)
Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes launches on Netflix on 18 August. (Netflix)

Where is Dennis Nilsen now?

Dennis Nilsen died at the age of 72 in May 2018, after spending the rest of his life at HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire.

In the days prior to his death, he had undergone an operation and suffered a blood clot.

His official cause of death was ‘a pulmonary embolism and retroperitoneal haemorrhage’.

During his time in prison, he worked alongside a biographer for book Killing For Company, before eventually writing his own memoir, History Of A Drowning Boy, which was banned from release.

After his death, the autobiography was released.

Memories Of A Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes launches 18 August on Netflix.

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