Woman Who Became Pen Pals With Serial Killer Dennis Nilsen Opens Up On Their Friendship
If, like us, you were glued to your screens watching ITV's gritty three-part drama Des earlier this week then you'll probably have found this morning's episode of Good Morning Britain quite fascinating/disturbing.
Kate Garraway and Alex Beresford spoke to Dennis Nilsen's pen pal about her friendship with the disgraced serial killer, and she said that David Tennant's portrayal of him was "like seeing a ghost" calling it "stunning".
Speaking live from the Czech Republic, 30-year-old Andrea Kubinova developed a close bond with Nilsen after exchanging letters twice a week for a year, before eventually meeting him in person - and it all started out with a signature.
"It's a silly story," she told the GMB hosts. "I used to collect signatures, eventually got all the big names and it just was the thrill, if you will.
"At the time a friend gave me a real crime book and I came across this name. I found it very intriguing; the motivation, the loneliness, it all felt intriguing. Plus his love of animals was something that stood out compared to all the other killers."
She continued: "I was very nervous, I had nothing interesting to say, to be honest. I'm just ordinary. But I can draw. So I used it. I drew a picture of his dog Bleep and enclosed it to the letter."
She didn't stop there, though, and after Nilsen replied, Andrea wrote back, explaining that she found it impolite not to.
"Especially for someone who is alone, it would feel wrong to just have his signature and that's that...We just started exchanging letters. I opened up, he opened up, as much as he legally could," she said.
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The pair went on to form what Andrea calls a friendship. Having met him in person, she described him as "ordinary", "friendly", "nice" and "a normal old man".
Andrea was even passed on some of his belongings when he died, including his glasses and part of his ashes.
When asked about whether she thinks about his victims and their families, she responded: "Course I do. I did watch the documentary yesterday. It was heart-breaking seeing all of those people speaking about their loved ones. It was difficult."
"You have to think about it as a normal friendship, forget about all those killings, forget about the profanity of those crimes," she went on to say. "To me he was just a friend. Is it not normal to have a memory of a friend who passed away?"
People haven't been quite so understanding on Twitter, and it's clear to see why.
Nilsen murdered up to 16 boys and men in his North London flat between 1978 and 1983, with his victims often homeless or living off grid, susceptible to the generosity of strangers.
Once back at Nilsen's, he would strangle them - sometimes combined with drowning - before observing a ritual in which he would bathe and dress the victim's bodies, which he would keep for long periods of time.
Not exactly a friendly face, if you ask us.
Featured Image Credit: ITV