Friday, April 03, 2009

this weekend: Dennis Nilsen Crimes That Shook The World

Dennis Nilsen will be on Investigation Discovery for the show Crimes That Shook the World. Tonight's airing is a repeat so I'm so glad I found it on the schedule and there are a few airings of it in the future. I had mentioned him before on the website


Nilsen is the least covered on shows such as the ones found on Investigation Discovery. There are many other documentaries about so other serial killers. I think it is the most fascinating case because he preceded Jeffrey Dahmer. While living in London, working as a civil servant, he killed 15 men whom he befriended at the local pubs and, in each case, the book depicts his acts of disposing the bodies over a period of five years. Author Brian Masters wrote about Nilsen in the book Killing for Company. As the title indicates, Nilsen was, for several reasons, a victim of loneliness while at the same time his diary documents his guilt over the accumulation of victims. I remember when Dahmer was thought to be a unique case. He was saving the bodies like Nilsen. Then trying to dispose of them in pieces. I don't keep the details in the front of my mind as they're very grim. They were both necrophile serial killers, but one difference is that Dahmer practiced cannibalism on his victims. You can see an excellent docu drama titled Dahmer with Jeremy Renner expertly portraying Jeffrey.

I'll post a review of it after viewing it.

UNEDITED REVIEW of the episode: The video matches what I imagined while reading Masters's book. The English accent provides an authenticity to the vivid details of evidence found in the plumbing. The actor who plays Nilsen was very understated and he looks very similar to Nilsen. I think it is remarkable that they put Nilsen in the back seat of the car without handcuffs and when he admits to how many more victims there are, the driver nearly drove off the road. The episode's x-ray graphics of the crime scene and the lighting of the re-enactments were well done. Nilsen's story is a modern day Jekyll and Hyde story where he'd wake up after a drunken stupor and discover he had killed again. He confessed that the decision to kill came from inside him. It took him over. Masters says that he fused love and death when he saw his dead grandfather. I think the most poignant moment was from the guy that survived who says that Nilsen tried to revive him. "Was he my killer or my savior?" The authorities don't state this but they discovered that Nilsen's first victim was a 14 year old boy. Couldn't this also classify him as a pedophile if he had sex with him before he killed him?

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