Killing for Company: Case of Dennis Nilsen

Killing for Company: Case of Dennis Nilsen

Paperback

By (author) Brian Masters

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  • Publisher: ARROW BOOKS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 110mm x 178mm x 26mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 18 November 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099552612
  • ISBN 13: 9780099552611
  • Illustrations note: 1
  • Sales rank: 120,648

Product description

On February 9th 1983 Dennis Nilsen was arrested at his Muswell Hill home, after human remains had been identified as the cause of blocked drains. Within days he had confessed to fifteen gruesome murders over a period of four years. His victims, all young homosexual men, had never been reported missing. Brian Masters, with Nilsen's full cooperation, has produced a unique study of a serial killer's mind, revealing the disturbing psychology of a mass murderer.

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Author information

Brian Masters has written over twenty books on subjects as diverse as French literature, the dukedoms in Great Britain, E.F. Benson and Marie Corelli. He is best known for his true crime books, including biographies of Jeffrey Dahmer and Rosemary and Fred West. His groundbreaking study of mass murderer Dennis Nilsen in Killing for Company, won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction in 1985. He is also highly regarded for his journalism.

Review quote

"Killing For Company must stand as one of the most remarkable and accurate accounts ever written of the singular relationship between a mass murderer and a society. Brian Masters, in the writing, has achieved the impossible. Though dealing with sensational and horrific matters he has managed, God knows how, to treat his material with such objectivity and restraint that what we have is not a penny dreadful from the Hammer House of Horror, but a bloody masterpiece" -- Beryl Bainbridge Observer "A truly awesome tale, brilliantly told" Literary Review "Probably the best thing of its kind since In Cold Blood ... a classic study in criminal mentality" -- Colin Wilson Yorkshire Post

Editorial reviews

Calling his February 1983 arrest "the day help arrived," London civil-servant Dennis Nilsen, a former constable, readily confessed to the murder and dismemberment of 15 young men who'd visited his apartment. Here, Masters (The Life of E.F. Benson - 1992), with the full cooperation of Nilsen, tells the serial killer's story in shocking detail. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, Masters says, Nilsen has a penchant for "florid necrophilia." But unlike Dahmer, Nilsen has proven extroverted and loquacious, with his prison journals, poetry, and letters to Masters thoroughly describing his crimes (complete with sketches). Nilsen was arrested after a plumber found bits of flesh clogging the piping at the killer's home. He confessed almost immediately, informing detectives that he'd strangled three youths at the current address and "about thirteen" at his previous one. While Nilsen had buried some remains in a nearby garden after chopping and burning them, he directed police to a bathroom cupboard and tea chest, where they found boiled skulls, as well as hands, legs, and odd portions of flesh he'd yet to dispose of. Masters writes perceptively and revealingly about Nilsen's early years in Scotland, his military service, and his adulthood; he also relates Nilsen's grisly description of December 30, 1978, "the night things began to go terribly wrong" in his search for companionship through London's "soul-destroying pub scene" and "arid homosexual subculture." With disturbing matter-of-factness, Masters details the first killing - similar to all the rest - of an Irish youth: strangling the victim; bathing, dressing, and then undressing the body; attempting sex with the corpse; burying it; digging it up and dressing it again; and, finally, dismembering and disposing of the remains. Genuinely frightening - and not for weak stomachs. (Kirkus Reviews)