Mug shot of Dennis Nilsen, taken after his arrest in February, 1983
23 November 1945 |
Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
|Other names||The Muswell Hill Murderer
The Kindly Killer
Span of killings
|30 Dec 1978 – 26 Jan 1983|
|9 February 1983|
|Imprisoned at||HMP Full Sutton|
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 a series of killings committed between 1978 and 1983 in London, England.
All of Nilsen's murders were committed in one of two North London addresses in which he alternately resided throughout the years he is known to have killed. His victims would be lured to these addresses through guile and all were murdered by strangulation, sometimes accompanied by drowning. Following the murder, Nilsen would observe a ritual in which he bathed and dressed the victims' bodies, which he would retain for extended periods of time, before dissecting and disposing of the remains via burning upon a bonfire, 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. He 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 in the Muswell Hill district of North London; he also became known as the Kindly Killer due to his own belief that his method of murder was the most humane.
Dennis Andrew Nilsen was born at 10 High Street, Strichen, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, to a Scottish mother, Elizabeth Duthie Whyte, and a Norwegian father, Olav Magnus Moksheim, who adopted the surname Nilsen. 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 returned to his mother. Nilsen claimed the first traumatic event to shape his life came about when he was a small child, when his beloved grandfather died of a heart attack in October 1951. His strict Catholic mother reportedly insisted that he view the body before burial. Nilsen's father moved back to Norway, where he died. Nilsen was a beneficiary of the estate.
Army service and move to London
In 1961, Nilsen left school and joined the British Army. He enlisted in the Army Catering Corps and became a cook in South Yemen, Cyprus, Berlin, Germany and the Shetland Islands. He served in the army for 11 years, earning a General Service Medal before being discharged, at his own request in November 1972. In December 1972, he joined the Metropolitan Police, and was posted as PC287Q to Willesden Green, London in 1973. Nilsen served eight months as a policeman before resigning.
From 1974, Nilsen worked as a civil servant in a jobcentre in Denmark Street, in London. He was also active in the trade union movement, even going on other people's picket lines in solidarity. In November 1975, Nilsen moved into a flat at 195, Melrose Avenue, Cricklewood, London with office worker David Gallichan, to whom he gave the pet-name 'Twinkle'. Gallichan moved out in 1977.
Between 1978 and 1983, Nilsen is known to have killed 15 men and boys. The majority of Nilsen's victims were homeless or homosexual men whom he would typically meet in bars or on the streets and lure to his home with an offer of food, alcohol or shelter. Once at Nilsen's home, the victims were usually given food and alcohol, then strangled and drowned during the night. He used his butchering skills, which he gained from his time as a cook in the army, to help him dispose of the bodies. The bodies were not immediately dismembered, but were kept, sometimes for several months, in different locations in his home, usually under the floorboards. Nilsen later admitted to having engaged in sexual acts with the corpses of his victims.
Nilsen had access to a large garden when living at 195 Melrose Avenue, Cricklewood. He was able to burn many of the remains in a bonfire. Entrails were dumped over the garden fence to be eaten by wildlife.
In the summer of 1981, Nilsen's landlord decided to renovate 195 Melrose Avenue, and asked Nilsen the property. Nilsen was initially resistant to the proposal, but accepted an offer of £1000 from his landlord to vacate his Melrose Avenue address. He moved into an attic flat at 23 Cranley Gardens in the Muswell Hill district of north London on 5 October, 1981. The day before he vacated the property, Nilsen burned the dissected bodies of the last five victims he had killed at this address upon a third and final bonfire he constructed in the garden behind his flat.
At Cranley Gardens, Nilsen had no access to a garden, and as the flat he resided in was in the attic, he was unable to stow any bodies beneath his floorboards. For almost two months, any acquaintances Nilsen encountered and lured to his flat were not assaulted in any manner, although he did attempt to strangle a student named Paul Nobbs on 23 November, 1981. In March 1982, Nilsen strangled and drowned a 23 year old man named John Howlett. Two further victims would be murdered by January, 1983. As with Howlett, both victims were dissected and the body parts wrapped in plastic bags and stored in either a wardrobe, a tea chest or within a drawer located beneath his bathtub. Nilsen did attempt to dispose of the flesh, internal organs and smaller bones of these victims by flushing the dissected remains down his toilet. As had been the case with several victims killed at Melrose Avenue, he also boiled the heads, hands and feet to remove the flesh off these sections of the victims' bodies.
Discovery and arrest
Nilsen's murders were first discovered by a Dyno-Rod employee named Michael Cattran, who responded to tenants' complaints of a blocked drain at 23 Cranley Gardens on 8 February, 1983. Opening a drain cover at the side of the house, Cattran discovered the drain was packed with a flesh-like substance and numerous small bones. Cattran reported his suspicions to his supervisor, Gary Wheeler. However, no assessment was made until the following morning, by which time the drain had been cleared. This aroused the suspicions of the drain inspector and his supervisor. Cattran did discover some scraps of flesh and four bones in a pipe leading from the drain which linked to the top flat of the house. To both Cattran and Wheeler, the bones looked as if they originated from a human hand. Both men immediately called the police who, upon closer inspection, discovered further small bones and scraps of what looked to the naked eye like human or animal flesh in the same pipe leading from the drain. These remains were taken to Hornsey Mortuary, where pathologist Professor David Bowen advised police that the remains were indeed human, and that one particular piece of flesh he concluded had been from a human neck bore a ligature mark.
Upon learning from fellow tenants of 23 Cranley Gardens that the tenant of the top floor flat from where the human remains had been flushed was one Dennis Andrew Nilsen, and that he worked in a job centre in Kentish Town, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay and two colleagues opted to wait outside 23 Cranley Gardens until Nilsen returned home from work. When Nilsen returned home, DCI Jay introduced himself and his colleagues; explaining they had come to enquire about the blockage in the drains from his flat. Nilsen asked why the police would be interested in his drains and also if the two officers present with Jay were health inspectors. In response, Jay informed Nilsen the other two individuals were also police officers and requested access to his flat to discuss the matter further.
The three officers followed Nilsen into his flat, where they immediately noted the odour of rotting flesh as Nilsen queried further as to why the police would be interested in his drains, to which he was informed the blockage had been caused by human remains. Nilsen feigned shock and bewilderment, stating, "Good grief, how awful!" In response, Jay replied: "Don't mess about, where's the rest of the body?" Nilsen responded calmly, admitting that the remainder of the body could be found in two plastic bags in a nearby wardrobe, from which DCI Jay and his colleagues noted the overpowering smell of decomposition emanated.
The officers did not open the cupboard, but asked Nilsen if there were any other body parts to be found, to which Nilsen replied: "It's a long story; it goes back a long time. I'll tell you everything. I want to get it off my chest. Not here—at the police station." He was then arrested and cautioned on suspicion of murder, before being taken to Hornsey Police Station.
As he was escorted to the police station by Detective Chief Inspector Jay and his colleagues, Nilsen was asked whether the remains in his flat belonged to one person or two. As Nilsen stared out of the window of the police car, he replied: "15 or 16, since 1978."
That evening, a Detective Superintendent Chambers accompanied Peter Jay and Professor David Bowen to Cranley Gardens, where the plastic bags were removed from the wardrobe and taken to Hornsey Mortuary. One bag was found to contain two dissected torsos—one of which had been vertically dissected, and a shopping bag containing internal organs. The second bag contained a human skull almost completely devoid of flesh, a severed head, and a torso with arms attached but hands missing. Both heads were found to have been subjected to moist heat.
In an interview conducted on 10 February, Nilsen confessed there were further human remains stowed in a tea chest in his living room, with other remains inside an upturned drawer in his bathroom. The dismembered body parts were the bodies of three men, all of whom he had killed by strangulation—usually with a tie. One victim he could not name; another he knew only as 'John the Guardsman',  and the third he identified as Stephen Sinclair. He also stated that, beginning in December 1978, he had killed "12 or 13" men at his former address, 195 Melrose Avenue.
A further search for additional remains at 23 Cranley Gardens on 10 February revealed the lower section of a torso and two legs stowed in a bag in the bathroom, and a skull, a section of a torso, and various bones in the tea chest. The same day, Nilsen accompanied police to Melrose Avenue, where he indicated three locations in the rear garden where he had burned the remains of his victims. He also admitted to having unsuccessfully attempted to kill "about seven" other individuals, who had either escaped or, on one occasion, had been at the brink of death but had been revived and allowed to leave his residence.
Under English law, police had 48 hours in which to charge Nilsen or release him. Assembling the remains of the victims killed at Cranley Gardens on the floor of Hornsey Mortuary, Professor David Bowen was able to confirm the fingerprints on one body matched those on police files of Stephen Sinclair. At 5:40 pm on 11 February, Nilsen was formally charged with the murder of Stephen Sinclair. Formal questioning of Nilsen began the same evening, with Nilsen agreeing to be represented by a solicitor (a facility he had earlier denied). Police would interview Nilsen on 16 separate occasions over the following days, in interviews which would total over 30 hours.
Nilsen was adamant he was uncertain as to why he had killed, simply asking, "I'm hoping you will tell me that" when asked his motive for the murders. He was adamant the decision to kill was not made until moments before the actual act of murder. Most victims were killed by strangulation, although on several occasions, he had drowned the victims once they were unconscious (one victim, John Howlett, had regained consciousness at the point of drowning) before he would typically bathe the victim's body, apply makeup to any noted blemishes, then dress the body in socks and underpants. He would then drape the victims' arms around him as he talked to the corpse. The victims' bodies would be kept for as long as decomposition would allow: upon noting any major signs of decomposition, Nilsen would stow the body beneath his floorboards. If a body did not display any signs of decomposition, he would occasionally alternately stow the body beneath the floorboards and retrieve it before again bathing the body and applying makeup to blemishes. Often, Nilsen would talk to the victim's body as it remained in a chair or on his bed, and he harked to his being emotional as he marvelled at the beauty of his victims' bodies. With reference to one victim, Kenneth Ockendon, Nilsen harked that Ockendon's "body and skin were very beautiful", adding the sight "almost brought me to tears." Another, unidentified victim had been so emaciated, he had simply been discarded under the floorboards.
When questioned as to why the heads found at Cranley Gardens had been subjected to moist heat, Nilsen confirmed he had frequently boiled the heads of his victims on a stove in order that the internal contents would evaporate, thus removing the need to dispose of the brain and flesh. On four separate occasions at Melrose Avenue, Nilsen had removed the bodies from beneath his floorboards and dissected the remains; on three of these occasions, he had then disposed of the accumulated remains on a bonfire he had prepared in his garden. These bodies would be dismembered after several weeks or months of internment beneath the floorboards, and Nilsen recalled that putrefaction of many bodies would make this task exceedingly vile; he recalled having to fortify his nerves with whiskey, and having to grab handfuls of salt with which to brush aside maggots from the remains. Often, he would vomit as he dissected the bodies, the dismembered parts from which he would wrap inside plastic bags before carrying the remains to the bonfires.
When questioned as to whether he had any remorse for his crimes, Nilsen replied: "I wished I could stop, but I couldn't. I had no other thrill or happiness."
195 Melrose Avenue
- Murder 1, Stephen Holmes: Nilsen's first murder occurred on 30 December 1978. The victim was described by Nilsen as being an Irish teenager he estimated to be around 17. Nilsen met the youth in the Cricklewood Arms on the evening of 29 December before inviting him to Melrose Avenue. The following morning, Nilsen strangled him with a necktie until he was unconscious before drowning him in a bucket of water. In January 2006, the victim was identified as Stephen Dean Holmes, a 14-year-old youth who was last seen on his way home from a rock concert. In November 2006, Nilsen confessed to the murder of Holmes in a letter sent from his prison cell to the Evening Standard. Nilsen was not charged with the murder as the Crown Prosecution Service decided that a prosecution would not be in the public interest.
- On 11 August 1979, Nilsen burned the body of Stephen Holmes in his garden.
- On 11 October 1979, Nilsen attempted to murder Andrew Ho, a student from Hong Kong he had met in The Salisbury public house in St. Martin's Lane. Although afterwards he confessed to the police about the incident no charges were brought and Nilsen was not arrested.
- Murder 2, Kenneth Ockendon: Nilsen's second victim was 23-year-old Canadian student named Kenneth Ockendon. Nilsen met the tourist in a pub on 3 December 1979 and escorted him on a tour of Central London, after which they went back to Nilsen's flat for another drink. Nilsen strangled him with the cord of his headphones whilst Ockendon was listening to a record. Ockendon was one of the few murder victims who was widely reported as a missing person.
- Murder 3, Martyn Duffey: Martyn Duffey was a 16-year-old runaway from Birkenhead. On 17 May 1980, he accepted Nilsen's invitation to come over to his place. Nilsen strangled Duffey and subsequently drowned him in the kitchen sink.
- Murder 4, Billy Sutherland: Billy Sutherland was a 26-year-old father-of-one from Scotland who worked as a male prostitute. Sutherland met Nilsen in a pub in August 1980. Nilsen could not recall how he had murdered Sutherland; it was later revealed that Sutherland had been strangled with bare hands.
- Murder 5, Unidentified: Nilsen could recall very little about both this and the following two victims. The fifth victim was another individual who worked as a male prostitute, whom Nilsen met in the Cricklewood Arms in October 1980. This man was never identified. All that is known is that he was probably from the Philippines or Thailand.
- Murder 6, Unidentified: All that Nilsen could remember about the sixth victim was that he was a young Irish labourer whom he had met in the Cricklewood Arms in the autumn of 1980.
- Murder 7, Unidentified: Nilsen described the seventh victim as a starving "hippy-type" he had found sleeping in a doorway in Charing Cross. Nilsen and the youth took a taxi to Melrose Avenue where Nilsen strangled the youth before placing his body under the floorboards.
- On 10 November 1980 Nilsen attacked a Scottish barman named Douglas Stewart, whom Nilsen met at the Golden Lion in Dean Street. Once Stewart was asleep in Nilsen's flat, Nilsen attempted to strangle him. Stewart awoke and was able to fend off his attacker. Although Stewart called the police almost immediately after the attack, the officers refused to take action; reportedly they considered the incident to be a domestic disagreement.
- In the late autumn of 1980, Nilsen removed and dissected the bodies of each victim killed since December 1979 and burned them upon a communal bonfire he had constructed on waste ground behind his flat.
- Murder 8, Unidentified: Nilsen could recall little about his eighth victim, except that he had met him in the West End after the pubs had closed in either November or December 1980. This victim's body was retained beneath the floorboards of the flat until Nilsen removed the corpse, cut it into three pieces, then replaced the dissected remains beneath the floorboards. He burned the corpse one year later.
- Murder 9, Unidentified: The ninth victim was a young Scottish man whom Nilsen met in the Golden Lion pub in Soho in early January 1981. He reported in to work as sick on 12 January in order that he could dissect both this victim and victim 8.
- Murder 10, Unidentified: The 10th victim was another young Scottish man Nilsen met in the West End in February 1981. Nilsen strangled him with a tie and placed the body under the floorboards.
- Murder 11, Unidentified: Nilsen picked up his eleventh victim in Piccadilly Circus in April 1981. The man was an English skinhead who had a tattoo around his neck reading "cut here". The man had boasted to Nilsen about how tough he was and how he liked to fight. Once he was drunk, he proved no match for Nilsen, who hung the man's naked torso in his bedroom for a day, before burying the body under the floorboards.
- In August 1981, having already dissected the bodies of his 8th and 9th victims, Nilsen removed all the bodies and parts from beneath the floorboards and dissected the remaining two bodies. He dumped their internal organs on waste ground.
- Murder 12, Malcolm Barlow: The 12th victim was a 24-year-old named Malcolm Barlow, whom Nilsen murdered on 18 September 1981. Nilsen found Barlow in a doorway close to his own home; he took him to his home and called an ambulance. 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. Nilsen murdered Barlow that night. Barlow was the final victim to be murdered at Melrose Avenue.
- On 4 October 1981, Nilsen removed the bodies of victims 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and burned them on a bonfire at the rear of his house. As with the previous fire he had constructed, he crowned the bonfire with an old car tyre to disguise the smell. The following day, 5 October 1981, Nilsen moved to 23 Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill.
23 Cranley Gardens
- On 23 November 1981, Nilsen encountered a 19-year-old named Paul Nobbs at the Golden Lion pub in Soho, and invited the youth 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. Nobbs was concerned about what would happen if his sexual predilections were to be disclosed, and chose not to report the attack.
- Murder 13, John Howlett: Howlett had first met Nilsen in a West End pub, called The Princess Louise in High Holborn, in December 1981. In March 1982, John Howlett was the first victim to be murdered in Nilsen's Muswell Hill home. Howlett was one of the few who were able to fight back; Nilsen had taken a dislike 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. Eventually, Nilsen drowned Howlett, holding his head under water for five minutes. Nilsen dismembered Howlett's body, hid some of Howlett's body parts around the house and flushed others down the toilet.
- In May 1982, Nilsen targeted Carl Stottor, a drag queen known as Khara Le Fox at The Black Cap pub in Camden. After drinks, Stottor slept in a sleeping bag, then awoke to find himself being strangled, before losing consciousness. Stottor then awoke to find his head immersed in water as Nilsen attempted to drown him in his bath. Two days later, Stottor awoke in Nilsen's flat: Nilsen explained to Stottor he had almost strangled himself on the zip of the sleeping bag before he led the young man to a nearby railway station.
- Murder 14, Graham Allen: Allen was a 27-year-old father of one, originally from Motherwell, whom Nilsen met in Shaftesbury Avenue in September 1982. Nilsen took Allen to Cranley Gardens and prepared an omelette for him. As Allen was eating the omelette, Nilsen crept behind him and strangled him to death. After murdering Allen, Nilsen left his body in the bath for a total of three days before dissecting his body in the same manner as he had with Howlett. Parts of Allen's remains subsequently blocked the drains at Cranley Gardens.
- Murder 15, Stephen Sinclair: Nilsen's final victim was a 20-year-old man named Stephen Sinclair who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Nilsen targeted Sinclair in Oxford Street and bought the youth a hamburger. Nilsen then suggested that they go back to his place. After Sinclair drank alcohol and used heroin at Nilsen's flat, Nilsen strangled Sinclair and dismembered the body. Nilsen recalled that the youth's wrists were covered in slash marks from where Sinclair had recently tried to kill himself. This murder was committed on 26 January 1983, less than two weeks before Nilsen was arrested.
Trial and sentence
Nilsen was brought to trial at the Old Bailey on 24 October 1983. He pleaded diminished responsibility as a defence, 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.
Nilsen's minimum term was set at 25 years by the trial judge, Sir David Croom-Johnson. The Home Secretary later imposed a whole life tariff, which meant he would never be released, although a ruling by the Law Lords in November 2002 meant that Nilsen could have been released from prison as early as 2008. In 2006 he was denied any further requests for parole.
At his trial, The defense witness, Dr. James MacKeith, discussed the various aspects of an "unspecified personality disorder" from which he believed Nilsen suffered. When questioned by the Crown, Dr. MacKeith did state that borderline personality disorder was the most likely personality disorder at play in Nilsen, but Dr. MacKeith declined to make the diagnosis and left it at "unspecified personality disorder". However, He then described how Nilsen had always had "trouble expressing his feelings, and he always fled from relationships that had gone wrong. His maladaptive behaviors had been in place since childhood. He had the ability to separate his mental and behavioral functions to an extraordinary degree, which implied diminished responsibility for what he was doing". The psychiatrist also described Nilsen's association between unconscious bodies and sexual arousal. He stated that Nilsen "also had narcissistic traits, with the added hindrance of blackouts from excessive drinking. He had an impaired sense of identity and was able to depersonalize others to the point where he did not feel much about what he was doing to them". Dr. MacKeith did concede that impairments in sense of identity were classic symptoms of borderline personality disorder. On strenuous cross-examination, MacKeith was forced to retract his judgment about diminished responsibility in all of the cases. He said that was for the court to decide.
The second psychiatrist, Dr. Patrick Gallwey, diagnosed Nilsen with borderline personality disorder with occasional outbreaks of schizoid disturbances that he [Nilsen] managed most of the time to keep at bay. Such a person is most likely to disintegrate under circumstances of social isolation. In effect, Nilsen was not guilty of "malice aforethought."
In January 1993, the Home Office claimed copyright over tapes of prison interviews with Nilsen in the possession of the television programme World In Action. Mr Justice Aldous allowed the footage to be broadcast, a decision that was later upheld in the Court of Appeal.
In 2001, while in Whitemoor Prison, he brought judicial review proceedings over the governor's decision not to allow him access to the gay pornography magazine Vulcan. 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.
In 2003, he brought a further judicial review over a decision not to allow him to publish his autobiography, entitled The History of a Drowning Boy. Nilsen's appeal to the European Court of Human Rights was dismissed in 2011.
Martens and Palermo (2005) have suggested that Nilsen suffered from antisocial personality disorder and have theorised that loneliness plays a significant role in the development and continuation of violent, antisocial attitudes and behaviour.
In popular culture
A comprehensive history of Nilsen's crimes and life post-incarceration is given in the book by his long-term friend and collaborator, Matthew Malekos, The Birth of Psychopathy – The Psychology of a Serial Killer – The Life of Dennis Nilsen (Lulu 2012), later re-issued as an e-book on Amazon Kindle as The Drowned Boy – The Life of Dennis Nilsen (2013), as well as Malekos' (2004) Towards a Transpersonal Psychology of Psychopathy: Trauma and Self-Actualisation in the Life of Dennis Andrew Nilsen (British Psychological Society). Matthew Malekos has written both with Dennis Nilsen regarding his crimes and individually.
Other recent works on Nilsen's life and crimes include Russ Coffey's Dennis Nilsen, which was published by John Blake Publishing in the summer of 2013. Prior to creating the book, Coffey corresponded with Nilsen for many years and was able to read chapters of Nilsen's banned autobiography. The book covers his crimes, imprisonment, and Nilsen's many attempts to understand his own psyche.
- Bizarre English killer found guilty The Phoenix, 5 November 1983.
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 136-142. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- Shirley Lynn Scott. "What Makes Serial Killers Tick?". truTV. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- Buchan, Jamie (29 December 2009). "Author inspired by serial killer Nilsen". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- The Black Museum; ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p184
- Dennis Nilsen – Gradh a Bhais?, BBC Alba, 2009
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p188
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p190
- Carol Ann Davis. "Killer Cannibals". Shots: The Crime & Mystery Magazine. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- Katherine Ramsland. "Dennis Nilsen". truTV. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p195
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p195
- Murder In Mind (8): 21. ISSN 1364-5803.
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p199
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 117. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- "Professor David Bowen". Sunday Telegraph. 12 April 2011.
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 119. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 119. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- Murder In Mind (8): 5–6. ISSN 1364-5803.
- Murder In Mind (8): 6. ISSN 1364-5803.
- [Killing for Company ISBN 0-09-955261-2/ Killing for Company p. 16]
- CrimeLibrary.com p.10
- [Killing for Company ISBN 0-09-955261-2/ Killing for Company p. 113]
- [Killing for Company ISBN 0-09-955261-2/ Killing for Company p. 19]
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 137. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 137. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 142. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- [Serial Killers, Time-Life Books, 1992 p. 150. ISBN 0-7835-0000-9/ Serial Killers, 1992.]
- "Serial killer Dennis Nilsen confesses to first murder". Daily Mail. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
- "Dennis Nilsen – CPS decision about first victim : Press Release : Crown Prosecution Service". Crown Prosecution Service. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p194
- Marriott, Trevor (2012). The evil within. London: Blake. ISBN 978-1857827989.
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p196
- Ramsland, Katherine. "CrimeLibrary.com/Serial Killers/Sexual Predators/Dennis Nilsen — A Taste for Death — Crime Library on". Trutv.com. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Killing for Company ISBN 0-09-955261-2 p123
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 pp 196–197
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p197
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p198-199
- Killing for Company ISBN 0-09-955261-2 p126
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p.200
- The Black Museum ISBN 0-316-90332-9 p201
- "Sir David Croom-Johnson" at telegraph.co.uk
- Broadcasters welcome 'surprising' decision, Andrew Culf, The Guardian, 27 January 1993.
- Robert Verkaik (26 October 2001). "Serial killer fights to gain access to gay pornography". The Independent.
- R v The governor of HMP full Sutton Ex. P. Nilsen, United Kingdom, 2004 EWCA Civ 1540 (Court of Appeal of England and Wales 17 November 2004).
- Kane, Patricia; Smyth, Bob (3 November 2013). "Fury as murderer Nilsen's 'pornographic' book is published online". Daily Mail (DMG Media). Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- Martens, W. H. J. and Palermo, G. B., (2005), Loneliness and Associated Violent Antisocial Behavior: Analysis of the Case Reports of Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49(3), 2005 298–307, DOI: 10.1177/0306624X05274898 Case reports of Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen
- Malekos, M (2012) The Birth of Psychopathy – The Psychology of a Serial Killer – The Life of Dennis Nilsen ISBN 978-1-105-62061-4
- Malekos, M & Nilsen, Dennis (2013) The Drowned Boy – The Life of Dennis Nilsen Kindle e-book edition, Amazon.
- Lisners, John (1983). House of Horrors Dennis Andrew Nilsen. London: Corgi. ASIN B0012JFAC6.
- Masters, Brian. Killing for Company. Random House (UK). ISBN 0-09-955261-2.
- McConnell, Brian; Bence, Douglas (1983). The Nilsen File. London: Futura. ISBN 0-7088-2430-7.
- Odell, Robin; Gaute, J. H. H. (1989). The new murderers' who's who. London: Headline. ISBN 0-7472-3270-9.