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Dennis Andrew Nilsen “The Kindly Killer”

Mar 09, 2014
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Dennis Andrew Nilsen (born 23 November 1945) is a serial killer and necrophiliac, also known as the Muswell Hill Murderer and the Kindly Killer, who committed the murders of 15 young men in London, England, between 1978 and 1983. Dennis NilsenHe retained his victims’ bodies for extended periods of time before dissecting their remains and disposing of them via burning or flushing the remains down a lavatory. Nilsen was convicted at the Old Bailey in November 1983 of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder and is currently incarcerated at the HMP Full Sutton maximum security prison in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.
Nilsen became known as the Muswell Hill Murderer as his later murders, which led to his detection, were committed at his home at 23 Cranley Gardens in the Muswell Hill district of North London. The description Kindly Killer came from his own belief that his method of murder, strangulation and drowning, followed by a ritual in which he bathed and dressed the bodies, was the most humane method of murder. Owing to the similarities between the modus operandi of the murders, Nilsen has been described as the “British Jeffrey Dahmer.”


Nilsen was born in Strichen, Aberdeen shire to a Scottish mother and a Norwegian father. His father was an alcoholic and his parents divorced when he was four years old. His mother remarried and sent her son to his grandparents, but after a couple of years, he was sent back to his mother again.

Nilsen claimed the first traumatic event to shape his life came about when he was a small child, when his beloved grandfather died. His strict Catholic mother insisted that he view the body before burial. Whether this incident, or his mother and stepfather’s lectures on the “impurities of the flesh” helped shape him into what he was to become, no one really knows.

In 1961, Nilsen enlisted in the British Army and became a cook in Aden, Cyprus and Berlin. He left the army in 1972 and served briefly as a police officer. From the mid 1970’s, Nilsen worked as a civil servant in a job centre.

He was involved in a series of superficial, transitory relationships with men, though they did not assuage his feelings of profound isolation and loneliness. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, he sought somebody “who wouldn’t leave”; that is, a corpse.

All his victims were students or homeless men whom he picked up in bars and brought to his house either for sex or just for company. Nilsen strangled and drowned his victims during the night, waking up with little memory of what he had done. He used his butchering skills, learned in the army, to help him dispose of the bodies. Nilsen had access to a large garden and was able to burn many of the remains in a bonfire.

In 1981, however, Nilsen moved to an upstairs flat. As his murders continued, he found it difficult to dispose of the remains and had suitcases full of human organs stored in his wardrobe, and plastic bags with human remains under the floorboards. Neighbours had begun to notice the smell. When he tried to dispose of the bodies by flushing them down the toilet, he blocked the sewerage of his house in Muswell Hill (23 Cranley Gardens), north London. When a company was called to unblock the sewer system, they first found the drain to be packed with a flesh-like substance. The drain inspector then called his supervisor to assess the situation; however, this was not to take place until the next day, by which time the drain had been cleared. This aroused the suspicions of the drain inspector and his supervisor, who immediately called the police. Upon closer inspection, some small bones and what looked like chicken flesh were found in a pipe leading off from the drain; these were later discovered to be of human origin.

Dennis Nilsen was arrested in 1983 on suspicion of multiple murders. He apologized to the police for not being able to tell them the exact number of people he had killed. When his house was searched, they found three heads in a cupboard, and they found thirteen more bodies in Nilsen’s former place of residence at Crinkleroot at 195 Melrose Avenue.

During the trial at Old Bailey, Nilsen was cold and distant, and seemed utterly unaffected by the fact that he had murdered fifteen people. He was sentenced to life in prison. Nilsen’s minimum term was set at 25 years by the trial judge, but the Home Secretary later imposed a whole life tariff, which meant he would never be released. But after the Home Secretary was stripped of his powers to set minimum terms in November 2002, Nilsen could be freed on life licence in 2008 because of his original 25-year minimum sentence. In 1993 he was given permission to give a televised interview from prison.

Murder 1: Nilsen’s first murder took place on December 30, 1978. Nilsen claimed to have met his first victim in a gay bar. Nilsen strangled him with a necktie until he was unconscious and then drowned him in a bucket of water. On January 12, 2006, it was announced that the victim had been identified as Stephen Dean Holmes, who was born on March 22, 1964 and was therefore only 14 at the time; Holmes had been on his way home from a pop concert.

Between the first and second murders, Nilsen attempted to murder a student from Hong Kong he had met in the West End. Although questioned by police, the student decided not to prosecute, and Nilsen was released without charge.

Murder 2: The second victim (on December 3, 1979) was Canadian student Kenneth Ockendon. During their sexual intercourse, Nilsen strangled him. Ockendon was one of the few murder victims who was reported as a missing person.

Murder 3: Martyn Duffey was a sixteen-year-old homeless boy from Birkenhead. In May 1980, he accepted Nilsen’s invitation to come over to his place. He was strangled and subsequently drowned in the kitchen sink.

Murder 4: Billy Sutherland was a male prostitute from Scotland. Nilsen could not remember how he murdered Sutherland; however, it was later revealed that the victim had been strangled by someone using their bare hands.

Murder 5: The fifth victim was another male prostitute; however, this one was never identified. All that is known is that he was probably from the Philippines or Thailand.

Murder 6: Nilsen could recall very little about this and the following two victims. All that he could remember about number 6 was that he was a young Irish labourer that he had met in a bar.

Murder 7: The seventh victim was what Nilsen described as a starving “hippy-type” he had found sleeping in a doorway in Charing Cross.

Murder 8: Nilsen could recall nothing at all about his eighth victim.

Murder 9 and Murder 10: Both were young Scottish men, picked up in pubs in Sotho.

Murder 11: The eleventh victim was a skinhead Nilsen picked up at Piccadilly Circus who had a tattoo around his neck saying “cut here”. He had boasted to Nilsen how tough he was and how he liked to fight; however, once he was drunk, he proved no match for Nilsen, who hung his naked torso in his bedroom for 24 hours before he was buried under the floorboards.

At some point between murders 6 and 11, on November 10, 1980, a potential victim of Nilsen’s woke up while being strangled and was able to fend off his attacker. Although he called the police almost immediately after the attack, no action was taken by the officers who, it is reported, considered the incident to be a domestic disagreement between two homosexual lovers.

Murder 12: The twelfth victim (and the last before Nilsen moved home) was a man called Malcolm Barlow. He was murdered on September 18, 1981. Nilsen found him in a doorway not far from his own home, and took him in and called an ambulance for him. When Barlow was released the next day, he returned to Nilsen’s home to thank him and was pleased to be invited in for a meal and a few drinks. He was murdered later that night.

After moving to a new house in Muswell Hill in October 1981, Nilsen met a student in a bar in Soho and invited him back to his new home. The student awoke the next morning with little recollection of the previous evening’s events, and later went to see his doctor because of some bruising that had appeared on his neck. The doctor revealed that it appeared as if the student had been strangled and advised him to go to the police. However, afraid of his sexual orientation being disclosed, the student decided not to.

Following this attempted murder, Nilsen met a drag queen in a pub in Camden. After passing out from strangulation, he came to while Nilsen was trying to drown him in a bath of cold water and managed to fight off his attacker.

Murder 13: John Howlett was the first to be murdered in Nilsen’s Muswell Hill home, in December 1981. Howlett was one of the few who was able to fight back; however, Nilsen had taken a disliking to him and was determined that he should die. There was a tremendous struggle, in which at one point Howlett even tried to strangle Nilsen back. Howlett was eventually drowned, however, after having his head held under water for five minutes. Howlett’s was the first body to be dismembered, and the various body parts were either hidden around the house or flushed down the toilet.

Murder 14: Graham Allen was another homeless man who met Nilsen in Shaftesbury Avenue. After murdering him, Nilsen left Allen’s body in the bath, unsure how to dispose of it. After three days, he was dismembered like Nilsen’s previous victim.

Murder 15: Nilsen’s final victim was a drug addict called Stephen Sinclair. They met in Oxford Street and Sinclair managed to scrounge a hamburger off Nilsen, who then suggested that they go back to his place. After dropping into an alcohol and heroin fuelled stupor, Sinclair was strangled and his body dismembered. It was Sinclair’s dismembered remains in the drain outside Nilsen’s home that first alerted the police to Nilsen’s murders.

Trial and sentence

Nilsen was brought to trial at the Old Bailey on 24 October, 1983. He pleaded diminished responsibility as a defense, in order to seek a verdict of guilty to manslaughter, but was convicted of six murders and two attempted murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 November 1983. In 1993, he was given permission to give a televised interview from prison.

Nilsen’s minimum term was set at 25 years by the trial judge, but the Home Secretary later imposed a whole life tariff, which meant he would never be released. In 2006, he was denied any further requests for parole.


Nilsen is currently held at HMP Full Sutton maximum security prison in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

During his time in prison he has proved a thorn in the side of prison authorities, bringing judicial review proceedings over Whitemoor Prison’s decision not to allow him access to gay pornography. This application was refused by the single judge at the permission stage. He did not establish that there was any arguable case that a breach of his human rights had occurred, nor that the prison’s rules were discriminatory. He also failed to receive any greater access to such materials as a result..

When Mike Cattran made his discovery in the drains of Cranley Gardens, Nilsen was forced into a bust of last-minute action. The night before his arrest, he climbed down through the manhole and removed all human remains from the drain. He had thought of replacing them with chicken pieces.


The kitchen with the sink in which Nilsen drowned some men.


The bathroom where Nilsen bathed with his death victims.


The back-room used as bedroom.


The bin bags containing limbs and internal organs.

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.

Stephen Dean Holmes

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  (No image)
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 Nilsen’s flat. They got along very well, and the more Nilsen enjoyed Ockendon’s 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  (No image)
Age: 16 years-old
Murdered: May, 1980
Location: 195 Melrose Avenue in London

Martyn Duffey was homeless and he accepted Nilsen’s 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.


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 Nilsen’s 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-Nilsen’s 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  (No image)
Age: ?? years-old
Attempted murder: December 31, 1981
Location: Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill

On New Year’s Eve, 1981, neighbours of Nilsen’s 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.


Name: John Howlett – Nilsen called him John the Guardsman  (No image)
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 Nilsen’s place, where after drinking awhile, John got into Nilsen’s 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, John’s 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 Stotter’s 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 (No image)
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. “I 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.” At that point he thought he strangled him, but does not recall. He thought the man might have choked on the egg dish. “If the omelet killed him, I don’t know.” Since an omelet does not leave red marks on someone’s neck, Nilsen supposed that he was the one responsible.


Name: Steve Sinclair  (No image)
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 Nilsen’s 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, “Here we go again.” The string was too short so he attached it to a tie. He draped the ligature over the sleeping man’s 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.

Here’s a photo I took outside his house about 2 years ago.. People are living there now.


Click to enlarge.

Dennis Nilson’s  Flat For Sale


New and improved: The revamped home of murderer Dennis Nilsen is on the market for £350,000 – £100,000 more than it was bought for.


23 Cranley Gardens when it was up for sale in 1983, after the serial killer was caught


Kitchen: Nilsen used hobs in this room to boil skin from his victims’ limbs


What the killer did in this loft apartment emerged when flesh began blocking the drains




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  • Eat Shit And Die

    Nice dude I shall be sure to update my stuff and post some more vids, I have gotten lazy still have like 300 to upload :/

    Thx for the credit mate

    • DeathsDoor

      More uploads! Love it.