Dennis Nilsen Muswell Hill Murderer

Dennis Nilsen Muswell Hill Murderer, born in Fraserburgh on 23 November 1945 and died in York on 12 May 2018

British serial killer killed at least twelve young men in his London homes between 1978 and 1983. Second of three children of the couple formed by Elizabeth Duthie Whyte and Olav Magnus Moksheim. His father was a Norwegian soldier who arrived in Scotland in 1940 during the Second World War. After a brief courtship, he married Elizabeth Whyte in May 1942 and her spouses moved into her parents’ home.

The couple divorced in 1948. All three of the couple’s children – Olav Jr., Dennis, and Sylvia – were raised by their grandparents, Andrew and Lily Whyte (who had never approved of their daughter’s marriage).

In October 1951, at the age of 62 Nilsen’s maternal grandfather died of a heart attack while he was fishing in the North Sea. In what Dennis Nilsen later described as his most vivid childhood memory, her mother, crying, asked him if she wanted to see his grandfather. When he was brought into the room where his grandfather lay in the open casket, Dennis’ heart raced as his mother told him that his grandfather was “sleeping,” adding that he had gone to a “better place.” .

In the years following his grandfather’s death, he became increasingly shy and introverted, even with the same members of his family.

He realized during puberty that he was homosexual, but confusion and shame led him to hide his homosexuality from both family and friends.

Because many of the boys to whom he felt physically attracted had similar physical features to those of his younger sister, Sylvia, on one occasion he groped her inappropriately, believing that her attraction to boys might be a manifestation of the affection he felt for her. He never made any attempt to seek sexual contact with any of his peers, although he said he had once been groped by an older boy and had not minded it. On another occasion, he caressed his older brother’s genitals while he was sleeping. As a result, Olav Jr. began to suspect that his brother was gay and often taunted him in public by calling him “hen” (a slang term for “girl” in Scotland). However, Dennis Nilsen initially believed that his previous sexual approach to his sister was evidence of her bisexuality.

At the age of 14, he decided to join the British Army, seeing a military career as a possible escape from the rural environment of his origins.

After eleven years of his military career he returned to London and began killing homeless people and homosexuals whom he picked up in bars or on public transport, offering them a place to stay or alcoholic drinks. His victims were strangled or drowned in the bathtub, he then followed a macabre and gruesome ritual, he washed them, dressed them, depilated them and preserved their bodies for weeks or months  to keep him company in bed, while he slept, or to watch the television on the sofa. With many of the victims, Nilsen indulged in acts of necrophilia by masturbating on the corpses, and also confessed to having performed other sexual practices on them, but assured the investigators that he never went as far as actual penetration — explaining that the victims were “too perfect and wonderful” to indulge with them in the pathetic ritual of common sex.

When putrefaction rendered the corpse unusable, he dissected it and disposed of the organs in the toilet, then burning the remains in bonfires in the back garden of his home. He boiled their heads, hands and feet to remove the flesh.

It was precisely due to the clogging of the sewer pipes of the condominium that a plumber discovered the human remains and notified the police.

When asked if he felt any kind of remorse, Nilsen replied: “I wish I could have stopped, but I couldn’t. I had no other joy or distraction.” Furthermore, he wanted to point out that he did not derive any enjoyment from the act of taking someone’s life, but he only did it to “not be alone”.

Sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1983 and subsequently to life imprisonment in 1994, he died in hospital on May 12, 2018, due to a pulmonary embolism.


Dennis Nilsen Muswell Hill Murderer

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