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Killing For Company: Case of Dennis Nilsen Paperback – 1 Jun 1995
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"'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)
"'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)
"A meticulous study of the dark intricacies of the human mind" (The Bookbag)
"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 groundbreaking criminal study of the serial killer and necrophiliac Dennis Nilsen. Known to himself as 'The Kindly Killer' and to a shocked society as 'The Muswell Hill Murderer', Nilsen was a psychologically disturbed mass murderer. This thrilling investigative book won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award for a non-fiction crime book.See all Product description
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This book takes a holistic approach and covers the whole, attempting to piece togeher Nilsen's early childhood, teens and adult life, pointing to important events that could hopfully shed some light into the possible reasons he had to commit such evil acts in his later years. The authour developed a very close relationship with Nilsen that provided far more information into his motives and reasoning than any other serial killer has ever shed light upon, and all the information you will need is right here. Yes, granted, it is disturbing in the extreme and not for the casual reader as a book at bed time so consider this a technical examination of a sick man and not a dramatic version of events from a pulp fiction novel.
Don't be put off by the fact this book was written in 1985, and may be out of date by todays standards, it only benefits from this fact. The facts are all fresh in the mind of the killer and also the authour, time had not chance to dull recollections of the major points of this case, all provided by Nilsen himself in his need to unburden himself of his acts.
This is a very compelling book and is a must read for people who are studying serial killers and criminal cases in general. A fantastic exploration into the mind of a very sick human being who maintained a facade of normailty whilst committing the most unspeakable acts in the privacy of his own fantasy world.
‘Killing for Company’ is a biography of the life of the serial-killer, Dennis Nilsen who murdered several young men in the late seventies and early eighties. It tells the entire story of his life from childhood in the far reaches of northern Scotland, a place rife with incest apparently, to his life in the army and civil-service. Obviously, the central part of the book is focussed on his murders of several young men in the late seventies and early eighties before examining in some detail the possible reasons for these despicable crimes.
I have long been (perversely, no doubt some will say) fascinated with murder, torture and pain and the minds of those that commit such atrocities, but it is only in the last twelve months, since I have been reading some fabulous fictional works about the subject, that have started to give it some real thought. Such works include those by Joe Conlan, Graham Masterton and Chris Carter. I am enthralled with what must go on in the minds of these perpetrators and as such, I am fascinated by those novels that go into great depth about the thoughts and actions of the killer. However, they seem few and far between of late and most of the police procedurals that I have been reading have come up short by concentrating exclusively on the work of the police and detectives and barely mentioning anything done by the killer at all.
To further my curiosity and interest in this subject, I began looking up online (Wikipedia etc.) the lives and deeds of real-life serial-killers such as Peter Sutcliffe, Charles Manson and now, Dennis Nilsen. However, this never provided enough information that I could trust, so I started looking for more. I caught the end of a television documentary about Nilsen recently and after finding that it was not being repeated any time soon, I downloaded this book.
Of course, it is the tale of his murders and thoughts behind them that really attracted me to this book. As a bi-sexual man, he often took young men home to drink and share meals and interestingly, it seems that very few, if not all, of the murders had no real planning or pre-meditation. He probably took dozens of men home to his flats but he only, if only is the right word, killed sixteen of them. Several of these murders, he claims to have no memory of. He seemed to slip between two personalities and once he came round to being Dennis Nilsen, the civil-servant again, he would often be surprised to find a strangled, dead body in his room. He even ‘rescued’ at least one of his victims who did not die outright.
What I find most fascinating though about this man is that he interacted with the corpses in his flats. He washed them, shaved them, dressed them and would sit and watch television with them. He would converse with them and keep them for several months. He would store them under the floorboards and bring them out when he wanted their ‘company’. I found it particularly striking when he talked about going to work in the morning and would leave a body in the bath, waiting for his return. I find it fascinating that he would be at work all day, doing his job, interacting with his colleagues, eating his lunch, answering phones and generally going through his daily duties while all the time being fully aware that in his locked flat, a corpse was lying in his bath.
This is not a book for the squeamish but it is nevertheless, a fascinating look into the mind of a seriously disturbed man and should provide something for anyone interested in the crime genre of literature and indeed life.
My copy was a little worn as described, but in general good condition with no damage which affected the reading of the book.
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