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Dennis Nilsen liked to portray himself as a serial killer worthy of Hollywood, a sick genius like Hannibal Lecter, with the emotional complexity of Norman Bates in Psycho.
In his own distorted mind he was a crusader, a poet, a composer and a wit, the Oscar Wilde of mass murderers.
Truth - Murderer - People - Grubby - Sex
But in truth this deluded, manipulative murderer, who killed at least 12 people between 1978 and 1983, was essentially just a grubby sex offender who was lucky to have got away with his inadequate and disgusting crimes for as long as he did.
As a journalist who began corresponding with him 20 years ago and have waded through thousands of pages in which he detailed the sickening ways he disposed of his victims, I feel a sense of relief at his passing.
Man - Face - Face - Sense - Letters
He was an intensely controlling man: even though we never met face to face, there was always a sense in his letters that he could turn unpleasant if he were ever to be challenged.
I will never hear from him again. He died in prison on Saturday at the age of 72, after reportedly undergoing a stomach operation. He had been behind bars for 35 years.
Legacy - Repair - Victims - Clutches - Police
His legacy is lives needlessly cut short or wrecked beyond repair — victims who escaped his clutches but were ignored by the police — and the suffering of his victims’ families.
To those who knew him as an employee at the job centre in Denmark Street, in London’s West End, he was an unremarkable, introverted man. Those who served with him in the Army during the Sixties, when he was a young squaddie, say they could not recognise the cultured, erudite character who was later described in the Press.
Nilsen - Upbringing - Aberdeenshire - Dour - Father
Nilsen’s upbringing in Aberdeenshire was cold and dour. His father Olav was a shadowy figure whose real name was Moksheim, a...
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