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Dennis Nilsen is best known as the English murderer of many young men in the late 1970's and early 80's.
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The next morning, overcome by a desire to prevent the man from leaving, he first strangled him with a tie, before drowning him in a bucket of water. Taking the corpse to his bathroom to wash it, he then placed it back in his bed, later remarking that he found the corpse beautiful. He attempted to have sex, unsuccessfully, then spent the night sleeping next to the dead man. He finally hid the corpse under his floorboards for seven months,
before removing it and burning the decaying remains in his back garden.
Nilsen's second brush with the police came in October 1979, when a young student accused Nilsen of trying to strangle him during a bondage-play session. Despite the student's claims, no charges were pressed against Nilsen.
Nilsen encountered his second victim, Canadian tourist Kenneth Ockendon, at a pub on December 3, 1979. Following a day of sightseeing and drinking, which ended at Nilsen's apartment, Nilsen again succumbed to his fears of abandonment and strangled Ockenden to death with an electrical cable, before cleaning up the corpse as before, and sharing a bed overnight. He took photos, engaged in sex and finally deposited the corpse under the floorboards, removing it frequently and engaging in conversation, as if Ockenden were still alive.
His third victim, some five months later, was Martyn Duffey, a homeless sixteen year old, who was invited to spend the night on May 13, 1980. As with his first victim, Nilsen strangled then drowned him, before bringing him back to bed and masturbating over the teenager's corpse. Duffey was kept in a wardrobe for two weeks, before joining Ockenden under the floorboards.
His next victim was prostitute Billy Sutherland, 27, who had the misfortune of following Nilsen home one night. He too was strangled.
Malcolm Barlow, 24, was an orphan with learning disabilities, who was soon dispatched by strangulation.
By 1981, Nilsen had killed 12 men in the apartment, of whom only the above four could be identified. Given his penchant for preying on the homeless and the unemployed in a large city, this is probably less surprising than it might be in a smaller community.
Nilsen claimed he went into a killing trance and on seven occasions, actually freed the men rather than complete the act, because he was able to snap out of it. The majority of his victims were not so lucky.
By the time Malcolm Barlow was killed, Nilsen was forced to stuff him under the kitchen sink, as he was rapidly running out of storage space, what with half a dozen bodies hidden around the apartment. He was forced to spray his rooms twice a day, to be rid of the flies that were hatched from the decomposing bodies. When neighbors complained about the smell, he convinced them they stemmed from structural problems with the building.
To get rid of the corpses, he would remove his clothing and dismember them on the stone kitchen floor with a large kitchen knife, sometimes also boiling the skulls to remove the flesh, also placing organs and viscera in plastic bags for disposal.
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