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Everything We Know About Netflix's New Dennis Nilsen Doc

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Everything We Know About Netflix's New Dennis Nilsen Doc

Warning: graphic and distressing content below

You might be familiar with the story of Dennis Nilsen whether you're a true crime fanatic or watched the 2020 series Des starring David Tennant.

Well, Netflix is taking a deep dive into the case in a new Dennis Nilsen documentary called Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest true crime doc that everyone will be obsessed with.

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You can watch the trailer for the documentary below.

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Who was Dennis Nilsen?

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Dennis Nilsen was one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers. Over the space of five years, he targeted vulnerable young men and boys and brought them back to his home before strangling them. He sometimes would wash the bodies and clothe them, keeping them until he eventually dissected and disposed of the body parts.

In 1983, he confessed to killing 15 people. He committed his murders across two London addresses, including in the Muswell Hill district leading to the nickname “The Muswell Hill Murderer”.

Dennis Nilsen confessed to killing 15 people in 1983 (Credit: PA)
Dennis Nilsen confessed to killing 15 people in 1983 (Credit: PA)

What will the Netflix project focus on?

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There has been a huge amount of speculation as to why Nilsen killed.

This Netflix project aims to address that, however, this time they have unique access to a personal archive left in his cell following his death in 2018.

Dennis Nilsen committed his murders between 1978-83 across two London addresses (Credit: PA)
Dennis Nilsen committed his murders between 1978-83 across two London addresses (Credit: PA)

This archive includes over 250 hours of never-before-published cassette tapes of Nilsen’s private recordings. Allowing the feature-length film to look at Nilsen’s childhood in a quiet Scottish fishing village to the 1978-83 London killings.

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The film will also look at 1980s Britain in the context of mass unemployment that led to a rise of young men going to London only to find themselves in desperate need for money and a prime target for someone like Nilsen.

The film draws from over 250 hours of personal tapes left in Nilsen's cell after his death (Credit: Netflix)
The film draws from over 250 hours of personal tapes left in Nilsen's cell after his death (Credit: Netflix)

Over the hour and a half, the documentary combines interviews from the police, journalists, survivors and bereaved families as well as hearing the killer’s own voice on his cassette tapes. The aim is to find out why Nilsen got away with multiple murders and attacks, unchallenged, for half a decade.

The film interviews the police, survivors, bereaved families and journalists like Douglas Bence from the Daily Mirror (Credit: Netflix)
The film interviews the police, survivors, bereaved families and journalists like Douglas Bence from the Daily Mirror (Credit: Netflix)
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When will it air?

Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes will be available to watch globally on Netflix on 18th August 2021.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: TV And Film, Netflix, True Crime

Charlotte Forrester
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