Monstrous gay serial killer Dennis Nilsen once came on to a criminologist – with the same words he used to lure his first victim

Lily Wakefield September 15, 2020
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Dennis Nilsen and David Tennant side by side, wearing identical blue shirts and glasses

Dennis Nilsen is played by David Tennant (R) in Des. (ITV)

A criminologist has claimed that Dennis Nilsen, the gay serial killer and necrophile played by David Tennant in Des, once came on to him during an interview.

Nilsen, whose story is told in the three-part ITV drama Des, was jailed for life in 1983 after a horrific six-year spree which saw him kill at least 12 men and boys and attempt to kill seven others, most of whom were gay or homeless.

David Wilson is a criminology professor specialising in serial killers and former prison governor who met the killer on multiple occasions. The first was in 1983, shortly after Nilsen was sentenced to life in prison on six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

Detailing one of their meetings, Wilson told Good Morning Britain on Monday (September 14) how he thought Nilsen “fancied” him.

“When he was being held in HMP Whitemoore in Cambridgeshire, I interviewed Nilsen about another matter and as I finished the interview, he leaned over the desk and touched my hand and he said, ‘Do you have to go?’

“He knew that I knew that those were the words he had first used prior to killing his first victim because he killed for company.

“I feel that was something to do with what he was playing with me, he was toying with me.

“It was a long time ago, but I think he fancied me.”

Dennis Nilsen
Dennis Nilsen once came on to a criminologist, it has been claimed. (ITV)

Dennis Nilsen is played by David Tennant in Des.

David Tennant plays Dennis Nilsen in Des, the new three-part ITV drama which will explore the gay serial killer’s life and the investigation which led to his capture.

The actor bears an eerie resemblance to Nilsen, and previously told The Sun that he spent “a lot of time studying him, listening to his voice, trying to think myself into that space” for the role.

Nilsen died in prison in 2018, at the age of 72, from cancer, and Tennant admitted he was “relieved” that the killer is not alive to see its release.

“I would hate for this to go out and for him to be in his cell imagining that we were in any way glorifying him,” he said.

“I’m sure he would have complained about everything we said and everything we did, but at the same time would have been rather smugly pleased that he was on television.”

Des continues on ITV on Tuesday (September 15) and Wednesday (September 16) at 9pm.

More: criminologist, david wilson, dennis nilsen, gay serial killer

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