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'The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story': New ITV Doc On The 'Kindly Killer' Airs On Thursday

'The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story': New ITV Doc On The 'Kindly Killer' Airs On Thursday

ITV is to explore the real story of infamous serial killer Dennis Nilsen in a one-hour documentary on Thursday.

As we all binge drama Des, which stars David Tennant as the 'Kindly Killer,' the doc will look at the evil man behind the drama and explore how he got away with murdering up to 15 boys and men at his North London home in the five years between 1978 and 1983, and disposing of their bodies by hiding them everywhere from his garden to his cupboards to his drains.

Narrated by Doctor Who and Criminal star David himself, the documentary comes a day after the three-part drama comes to an end, and will feature interviews with experts who attempted to psychoanalyse the murderer, including criminologist David Wilson.

Wilson actually interviewed Nilsen, and was in correspondence with him over the decades, so you can bet he has a lot to say about the curiously honest murderer and how his brain worked.

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Nilsen killed up to 15 men and young boys (Credit: PA)
Nilsen killed up to 15 men and young boys (Credit: PA)

Nilsen was known as the 'Kindly Killer' due to his astounding honesty and composure during interviews, but he was actually as evil as they come.

He prayed on the homeless, and those living off the grid, susceptible to the generosity of strangers, offering them food and lodgings in his North London flat.

After killing his victims, Nilsen would also perform sex acts on them before dismembering them and disposing of parts by burning them on a bonfire or flushing them down the toilet.

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He was sentenced to life in prison on 4th November, 1983, after being found guilty of six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Experts will speak on the case (Credit: ITV)
Experts will speak on the case (Credit: ITV)
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The doc will feature new material as well as previously unseen archive content, as well as interviews with victims' families and footage from Nilsen's shockingly frank interview at Albany Prison in 1992, in which he admitted to his crimes in full, and seemingly with little to no shame.

It won't just focus on his crimes though, it will also look at the man he was before them.

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The programme follows Nilsen's journey into the army in 1961, chronicling how he become a police officer, and then a civil servant.

Nilsen died in prison on 12th May 2018 at the age of 72, and to this day there are many families who have never seen justice.

For those of us wondering how true to life the ITV drama Des was, this sounds like it'll have all the answers.

Topics: True Crime, ITV

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]