What a chilling and emotional short series about a killer that I think many may not have heard about.
Des is about the serial killer Dennis Nilsen who murdered at least 12 young men in his homes, out of these 12 only 8 have ever been identified.
Dennis seemed a normal man from how he was described, but was also a lonely man. He bought men home to his flat, himself homosexual, and the night often ended with him murdering them by strangelation or drowning and then keeping their bodies for some time. Once the body had decayed too much for Dennis’ liking he would burn their bodies with a tyre to mask the smell then flush the remains down the toilet, this was what led to his arrest…
In this three part series the tales are quite hard to listen to and comprehend, especially as it seems at the start Dennis puts up no fight in trying to show his innocence. The second the police arrive he tells them exactly where the bodies are and seems quite happy to detail what he had done, how many there were, and why he did it. But from David Tennant’s incredible performance you van also tell he’s a calculated man, a man who seems to think he’s smarter than most in the room and made sure to cause controversy around him and keep his name in the papers talking about who he was and what he did.
Because, despite telling the police everything he could remember, he still pled not guilty to the crimes and had the whole thing go to court for a jury to decide his outcome. This was a very interesting look into how defendants would almost bully the ones giving evidence, even trying to claim a young lad who was a cross dresser could have easily had his encounter with Dennis be called a ‘sex game gone wrong’ which as an audience member seriously annoyed me.
I feel this three part series did an amazing job at looking into Dennis as a man and a killer without making it too long or drawn out. Many documentaries like this can easily draw out the story line (like The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann on Netflix) but this kept my attention from the second it started to the second of the last episode. It was fascinating to watch such a cool and calm man and know what horrific things he did, and for what? Well it seems that we will never know.
If you enjoy true crime then this is a show I would definitely recommend, it’s short and snappy and keeps your attention and really lets you see how Dennis was and who he was too. It’s a fascinating look at a man who should not have got away with being able to do so many disturbing crimes for so long.
What do you think?
Until next time.