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Dennis Andrew NILSEN






A.K.A.: "The Muswell Hill Murderer" - "The Kindly Killer"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Homosexual - Necrophilia - Dismemberment
Number of victims: 16
Date of murders: 1978 - 1983
Date of arrest: February 9, 1983
Date of birth: November 23, 1945
Victims profile: Students or homeless men whom he picked up in bars
Method of murder: Ligature strangulation
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 November 1983

Dennis Andrew Nilsen

Known victims

Dennis Nilsen admitted killing and butchering 15+ men, most of them homeless homosexuals. After meeting his victims in pubs and bars, he lured them to his home where he killed them and then carried out bizarre rituals on their bodies. He received six life sentences in 1983, for six counts of murder and two of attempted murder, with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years. It is thought he may have killed more.


Name: Stephen Dean Holmes
Age: 14 years-old
Murdered: December 29, 1978
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Nilsen met the young Irish-boy in a pub, and invited him home. They continued to drink and eventually crawled into bed together to sleep. Nilsen woke up at dawn and realized that his new friend was now going to leave. Something he didn't want to happen, so he took his tie and slipped it around his victims neck and pulled tight. The boy woke up immediately. And they struggled off the bed onto the floor.

Nilsen tightened his grip, not about to let go and lose this battle to the death. His victim pushed himself with his feet, with Nilsen on top of him, along the carpet. When he came up against the wall, he lay there and grew limp, giving up. Nilsen relaxed, but realized the man was not yet dead, only unconscious. He ran into the kitchen and filled a plastic bucket full of water in order to drown the man. Nilsen lifted him onto some chairs, draping his head back, and pushed it into the bucket. The man did not struggle, although water splashed all over the carpet. After a few minutes, the bubbles stopped coming. Nilsen had just killed his first victim.

He saved the corps under the floorboards. It remained there for seven and a half months, until He took it out and burned the remains in a bonfire. He added rubber to the fire to mask the smell of burning flesh. He raked the ashes into the ground. Nilsen confessed to the murder in january 2006.


Name: Andrew Ho
Age: ?? years-old
Attempted murder: August 1979
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Nearly a year after the first murder, a young Chinese student went home with Nilsen. The young man wanted to try some bondage play. Nilsen was disinclined, but put a tie around his neck and told him he was playing a dangerous game. Ho left and informed the police, but no charges were brought.


Name: Kenneth Ockendon
Age: 26 years-old
Murdered: December 3, 1979
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Ockendon met Nilsen at lunch at a pub on December 3, 1979. They drank together for several hours, took a tour of London, and ended up in Nilsenís flat. They got along very well, and the more Nilsen enjoyed Ockendonís company, the more desperate he felt at the thought that the Canadian was flying home the following day. Nilsen strangled Ockendon with an electrical cord from some headphones. Nilsen relegated Ockendon to the space beneath the floorboards. He took him back out several times so they could sit together and watch television. Five months went by before it happened again.


Name: Martyn Duffey
Age: 16 years-old
Murdered: May, 1980
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Martyn Duffey was homeless and he accepted Nilsenís invitation to spend the night. After two beers, he went to bed. Nilsen climbed on top, trapping his arms under the covers, and strangled him. He went limp, but was still alive, so Nilsen carried him into the kitchen and drowned him by pushing his head into a sink full of water. Then he took him to the bathroom and got into the tub with him. Duffrey went into the cupboard for two full weeks, and then was placed under the floorboards.


Name: William 'Billy' Sutherland
Age: 27 years-old
Murdered: August 1980
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Sutherland slept with men for money. Nilsen did not even want to take him home, but he followed Nilsen after they went bar-hopping one night. Nilsen barely recalls strangling him and finding a body in his home the next morning.


Name: Douglas Stewart
Age: ?? years-old
Attempted murder: August, 1980
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Stewart said that Nilsen had attacked him. He had fallen asleep in the armchair, waking to find his feet tied and Nilsen putting a tie around his neck. He fought back, knocking Nilsen over, and Nilsen told him to leave. He called the police to 195 Melrose Place on August 11, 1980, around 4:00 a.m., but they noticed that he had been drinking. They knocked at the door and Nilsen seemed surprised by what they said. They figured it to be a homosexual encounter, with both sides hiding some of the truth. They made a report, but Stewart failed to follow-up as required.


Between november 1980 and may 1981
Nilsen killed seven men who were never indentified.


Name: Malcolm Barlow
Age: 24 years-old
Murdered: September 18, 1981
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Malcolm Barlow was an orphan with mental problems. He was also a pathological liar. Nilsen found Barlow loitering outside his home, complaining of weakness from epilepsy, and he took him home and called an ambulance. When Barlow was released, he came back and sat on Nilsenís doorstep to await his return from work. Nilsen invited him in and they drank together before Barlow fell into a deep sleep. Nilsen found his presence a nuisance, so he strangled him. The next day, he stuffed Barlow in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. He sat in the flat with a half dozen other bodies awaiting disposal. Some of them Nilsen had kept in bed with him for sexual purposes for as long as a week. Having control over these men thrilled him and the mystery of a dead body that would not respond fascinated him. It was his feeling that he appreciated them more deeply than they had ever been appreciated before.


Name: Paul Nobbs
Age: 25 years-old
Attempted murder: November 23, 1981
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

On November 23rd, 1981-Nilsenís 36th birthday--he took a nineteen-year-old gay student named Paul Nobbs back home with him and they sat drinking together. Then they went to bed and Nobbs woke up at 2:30 in the morning with a terrible headache. He woke again at six and went into the kitchen. In the mirror there, he saw a deep red mark across his throat. The white of his eyes were bloodshot and his face looked bruised. Nilsen commented that he looked awful and advised him to see a doctor. That day, Nobbs visited the university infirmary and learned that bruises on his throat indicated that someone had tried to strangle him. He declined to report the incident.


Name: Toshimitsu Ozawa
Age: ?? years-old
Attempted murder: December 31, 1981
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

On New Yearís Eve, 1981, neighbors of Nilsenís were invited to his flat, but they had plans. Besides, he appeared drunk, which disturbed them. They heard him leave the house and return home with someone. Then they heard a commotion upstairs. Someone came running down the steps, sobbing, and ran out the front door. That man was Toshimitsu Ozawa. He told police that he thought Nilsen had intended to kill him. He had approached Ozawa with a tie stretched between his hands.
There was no follow-up investigation.


Name: John Howlett - Nilsen called him John the Guardsman
Age: years-old
Murdered: march 1982
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

Nilsen and Howlett had met once in a pub and had engaged in a long conversation. Then Nilsen was drinking alone one day when John walked in and recognized him. They chatted and then decided to go to Nilsenís place, where after drinking awhile, John got into Nilsenís bed. Nilsen tried to get him to leave, but he refused to go. Nilsen then found a length of loose upholstery strap on an armchair and used it to strangle the man.

At one point he feared he would be overpowered, so he tightened his grip as John fought for control. Then he struck his head and soon went limp. Nilsen kept the strap on him until he was sure he was dead, and then went shakily into the other room. He soon became aware the John was still alive. He lopped the strap around his neck again and held it for two or three minutes. However, Johnís heart was still beating, so Nilsen dragged him into the bathroom and drowned him.


Name: Carl Stotter
Age: 21 years-old
Attempted murder: April, 1982
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

Nilsen entertained drag artist Carl Stotter, 21. They drank together and went to bed. He attempted to strangle Stotter, who woke up, unable to breathe.

He thought Nilsen was trying to help him, but that was not the case. Nilsen carried him into the bathroom and placed him in a tub of water, submerging him several times until Stotter begged for him to stop. Stotter then went under and stopped struggling. Nilsen thought he was dead and carried him to the couch. Bleep jumped up and began to lick Stotterís face, aware that he was still alive.

Nilsen then took him to bed and wrapped himself around the young man until he regained consciousness. Nilsen told Stotter that he had gotten his throat caught in the zipper of the sleeping bag that had covered him. Stotter attributed the experience to a bad nightmare, despite getting a check-up and learning that his condition was consistent with severe strangulation. He actually agreed to meet Nilsen again, but did not keep the appointment. He also did not go to the police.


Name: Archibald Graham Allan
Age: years-old
Murdered: late 1982
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

Nilsen made him an omelet, and what he recalled of this death was rather odd. ďI noticed he was sitting there and suddenly he appeared to be asleep or unconscious with a large piece of omelet hanging out of his mouth.Ē At that point he thought he strangled him, but does not recall. He thought the man might have choked on the egg dish. ďIf the omelet killed him, I donít know.Ē Since an omelet does not leave red marks on someoneís neck, Nilsen supposed that he was the one responsible.


Name: Steve Sinclair
Age: 20 years-old
Murdered: January 26, 1983
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

Steven Sinclair took drugs and loitered about the Leicester Square. On January 23rd, 1983, some of his acquaintances saw him go off with strange man. They went to Nilsenís home where Nilsen sat and listened to music, while Sinclair shot up and then fell asleep in a chair. Nilsen went into the kitchen and found some thick string, thinking to himself, ďHere we go again.Ē The string was too short so he attached it to a tie. He draped the ligature over the sleeping manís knees and poured himself a drink. Then he sat and contemplated all the pain in Stephen's life and decided to stop it for him. He went over, made sure he was deep asleep, and then used the string-and-tie ligature to strangle him. He struggled slightly and then went unconscious. He was Nilsen's last victim.



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