Netflix’s next true crime doc will be about infamous serial killer Dennis Nilsen

Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes is coming next month


Netflix has created a documentary feature all about serial killer Dennis Nilsen, with a focus on hours of previously unheard tapes and the autobiography which was published after his death – in which he confessed to three more attacks.

Dennis Nilsen, who was known as the Muswell Hill murderer, is Britain’s most notorious serial killer, having killed at least 12 young men and boys between 1978 and 1983. Over the five-year period, he picked up vulnerable young men, lured them back to his home and strangled them, before disposing of their bodies under the floorboards. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1983, but died there in 2018 when he was aged 72. His brutal murders were often of homeless people or men he had met in pubs.

Nilsen had previously bid to get his autobiography published in the 1990s, but this was blocked by the government. But now the book, History of a Drowning Boy, has been put together from thousands of pages of notes he made in jail. It is a friend of Nilsen who has now published the memoir – which is said to be filled with disturbing pictures and descriptions of his crimes. In a letter sent from prison, Nilsen wrote that it would “make no attempt to ‘pretty-up’ my history. It was what it was”.

The Netflix documentary is called Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes, and will be released in August.

via Netflix

The book and the crimes which lead to him being jailed, will be explored in the new feature by Netflix and put together by the creators of other true crime series, Don’t F**k With Cats, according to Deadline. It will be directed by Michael Harte, who worked as an editor on documentary Three Identical Strangers as well as Don’t F**k With Cats.

The truth about how and why he killed has been the subject of much speculation in books and documentaries over the decades since. Now, with unique access to a wealth of personal archive left in his cell after his death, including over 250 hours of never-before-published cassette tapes of his private recordings, this film will take us into Nilsen’s world. From a young boy growing up in a quiet Scottish fishing village to a cold-blooded murderer prowling the streets of London.

Set against the backdrop of 1980s Britain, when mass unemployment drew young men to London in search of their fortunes, only to find themselves destitute and easy prey, and weaving together interviews from police, journalists, survivors, bereaved families, and – for the first time – the killer’s own voice, this feature length documentary explores how Nilsen was able to get away with multiple murders and attacks, unchallenged, for five years.

Watch the trailer for Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes on Netflix here

Nilsen’s story was also covered earlier this year with a dramatised, three-part series on ITV – with David Tennant playing the killer.

Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes will be available on Netflix from August 18th. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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