Dennis Andrew Nilsen was a Scottish serial killer and necrophile who murdered at least twelve young men and boys between 1978 and 1983 in London.Nilsen became known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, as he committed his later murders in the Muswell Hill district of North London.
He died at York Hospital on 12 May 2018 of a pulmonary embolism and a retroperitoneal haemorrhage, which occurred following surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Who was Dennis Nilsen ?
Dennis Andrew Nilsen was a Scottish serial killer and necrophile who murdered at least twelve young men and boys between 1978 and 1983 in London, England. Convicted at the Old Bailey of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder, Nilsen was sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 November 1983, with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of twenty-five years.
Dennis Nilsen Early Life and Family
Dennis Nilsen was born on 23 November 1945.He was the second of three children to Elizabeth Duthie Whyte and Olav Magnus Moksheim (who had adopted the surname Nilsen). Following the Nazi occupation of Norway in 1940, his father was a Norwegian soldier who travelled to Scotland with the Free Norwegian Forces. In May of 1942, after a short courtship, he married Elizabeth Whyte, and the couple moved into her parents’ home.
The union between Nilsen’s parents was tumultuous. Olav Nilsen did not take his marriage seriously, as he was preoccupied with his responsibilities with the Free Norwegian Forces and made little effort to spend time with or relocate his wife. After the delivery of her third child, Nilsen’s mother came to the realisation that she had “rushed into marriage without reflection.” In 1948, the pair divorced.
All three of the couple’s children, Olav Jr., Dennis, and Sylvia, were conceived during their father’s short trips to their mother’s residence. Andrew and Lily (née Duthie) Whyte, who had never approved of their daughter’s choice of spouse, were supportive of their daughter and considerate of their grandkids after her divorce.
Dennis Nilsen Career in Army
He completed his education in 1961 and briefly worked in a canning factory before deciding on a career route. Nilsen told his mother after three weeks at the factory that he planned to join the army and train as a chef. Nilsen passed the entrance exams and received formal notice in September 1961 that he would enlist for nine years of service, beginning his training with the Army Catering Corps at St. Louis.
The Omer Barracks are located in Aldershot, England. Within weeks, Nilsen started to excel at his army duties; he later referred to his three years of training at Aldershot as “the happiest years of my life.” He remembered his regiment’s participation in a parade witnessed by the Queen and Field Marshal Lord Montgomery of Alamein as a highlight of his training.
Midway through 1964, Nilsen passed his initial catering test and was posted as a private to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in Osnabrück, West Germany. During this assignment, Nilsen increased his alcohol consumption.
After serving for two years in Osnabrück, Nilsen returned to Aldershot, where he passed his formal catering test before being sent to Norway to serve as a cook for the British Army. In 1967, he was transferred to the State of Aden (formerly Aden Colony), where he worked as a chef at Al Mansoura Prison.
This assignment was more dangerous than his previous assignments in West Germany or Norway, and Nilsen later remembered his regiment losing a number of soldiers, frequently in ambushes en route to the army barracks. Arab taxi driver kidnapped Nilsen, beat him unconscious, and placed him in the trunk of his vehicle. Nilsen grabbed a jack-handle after being dragged out of the trunk of the cab, knocked the taxi driver to the ground, and then beat him unconscious. He then placed the guy in the taxi’s trunk.
Nilsen returned to the United Kingdom after completing his deployment in Aden and was posted to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Seaton Barracks in Plymouth, Devon. During his service with this regiment, he was expected to prepare daily meals for thirty soldiers and two officers. Nilsen served for one year at these barracks before being moved to Cyprus in 1969 with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
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Dennis Nilsen Confession / Murders
Between 1978 and 1983, Nilsen is believed to have murdered at least twelve men and boys and tried the murder of seven others.The majority of Nilsen’s victims were homeless or gay men; others were heterosexual individuals he encountered in bars, on public transportation, or once outside of his home.
All of Nilsen’s murders were done within the two North London addresses where he resided during the years he is known to have committed murders. Typically, he invited his victims to these locations by offering them drinks and/or a place to stay.
Inside Nilsen’s residence, victims were typically given food and drink before being strangled, typically with a ligature, to death or unconsciousness.If the victim was knocked unconscious by strangling, Nilsen then drowned him in his bathtub, his sink, or a bucket of water before following a ritual in which he bathed, clothed, and kept the bodies in his residences for several weeks or, on occasion, months before dismembering them.
Each victim killed between 1978 and 1981 at his Cricklewood home was disposed of by burning. Prior to dissecting the animals, Nilsen removed their internal parts, which he disposed of along a fence behind his apartment or near Gladstone Park. The victims who were murdered in 1982 and 1983 at his Muswell Hill home were kept in his apartment, with their meat and smaller bones flushed down the toilet.