Auction site puts killer Dennis Nilsen's prison diary up for sale

Murder memorabilia website puts serial killer Dennis Nilsen’s 104-page prison diary up for sale for £750 – including details of how he cut up his victims and flushed body parts down drain

  • ‘Murder auction’ website offers the ‘ultra rare’ diary allegedly penned by Nilsen 
  • The item’s seller claims the diary was written while he awaited trial for murder
  • Lot has guide price of £750 and also includes poetry reportedly about victims
  • Serial killer Dennis Nilsen was jailed for life in 1983 after he was convicted of murdering six men he befriended and invited back to his North London home

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen’s prison diary is being flogged on a ‘murder auction’ website – revealing gory details of how he dissected his victims and flushed their flesh down the drain.

The ‘ultra rare’ handwritten diary is said to have been penned by Nilsen while he awaited trial for the murder of six men and is being touted as the ‘best Dennis Nilsen item in the world’.

The seller brags the diary offers a ‘rare glimpse’ into Nilsen’s mind after he was arrested in February 1983 and includes pictures and poems from before his trial in November.

A murder auction website is offering the handwritten prison diary of Dennis Nilsen for sale with a guide price of £750. The ‘ultra rare’ item includes some drawings, stories and poetry. The photos are marked with the seller’s ID handle Red Rum which spells murder backwards

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen, pictured during a 1993 TV interview, was jailed for life in 1983 after being convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder. He died in 2018 aged 72

Two poems taken from the Dennis Nilsen prison diary on sale 


I try to smile

Despite the vengeance looking at me.

Covered in your tomato paste

A man of many parts

I try to forget

Even the perfume of your passing

Lingers on.

More problems now

With all your bits and pieces

I try to run

And pinioned to this spot

In acres full of you,

Of dust and bones

I try to remember

All our going on

To tie up the systems

Neat finale.

I try to ween

With you looming large in my cell

Of problems to the grave

I try, I try

To unravel enigmas

And each way I turn

I’m still holding you.

I try to breach

The broken dreams that spring

On chivered ends.

I try to smile but your not smiling now

In April death is dead

And the new life lives

Upon our garbled inquest

Silver Boy

I see my life,

In the eyes and the sights

Of the silver boy in November

They file past his bed as if he were dead

And refuse to even, remember.

It’s as if the person

Held him dead,

Unrisen. In deep space-black November

Nilsen, originally from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, was jailed at the Old Bailey in 1983 after being convicted of six charges of murder and two of attempted murder.

He is thought to have killed 15 men and boys after befriending them in pubs and luring them back to his homes in north London where he would mutilate their corpses.

Most of Nilsen’s victims were homosexual or homeless men who he would pick up in bars across London or on the street.

After inviting them to his home, Nilsen would ply his victims with food and alcohol before killing then. His preferred method was strangulation.

Interest in the killer, who died in 2018 aged 72, has risen since the ITV drama Des, starring David Tennant, was screened earlier this year.

The lot has a guide price of £750 and a typed letter by Nilsen is also being sold for less than £200 on the site.

A description of the 104-page diary said: ‘Here collectors we have what we can call without mistaking the best Dennis Nilsen related item available for sale on the internet in the world as you read this right now.

‘This book shows different shift in Nilsen’s writing and mood since being arrested in February 1983.

‘A one of kind 104 diary including great poems written by Dennis Nilsen is the middle of this book.

‘If you find these two examples titled Trying and Silver Boy, where he clearly talks about two different victims he killed and dissected in the month of April and November and that are haunting him.

‘He scattered the bones after curing then part boiling them and flushing parts of their flesh down the drain.

‘It is powerful and it gives you a rare glimpse into Dennis Nilsen’s mind.’

The seller, who uses the name Red Rum, claims there are full signatures and ‘DN’ initials in the manuscript.

One passage reads: ‘I remember especially no interest in my room.

‘You had none and I had less.

‘Unapproachable behind piles of dirty pants, codeine bottles and cheap candles.

‘I had no home to live in, nothing to give you. Except pain that is.’ 

The seller described the diary as full of ‘great drawings and different accounts and stories’.

They added: ‘I would say it’s signed and I’ve seen at least five signatures from Dennis Andrew Nilsen to Dennis Nilsen with also DN initials.

‘Recent letters from 2000-2015 typed with a Dennis’ signature are commanding 400-500$ as we speak.

‘Anything handwritten is very rarely seen and pre trial letters are even more difficult to come by.

‘A pre-trial and post-trial diary journal with all the information like this one just never came up for sale.

‘I haven’t seen one before.’

The seller also includes the transcript of two poems said to have been written by the serial killer.

Photos of the diary are watermarked with the words Red Rum – the seller’s ID which also spells murder backwards.

The photos show a wide range in handwriting and some pages include bizarre drawings including one which appears to show a factory in Bradford. 

Dennis Nilsen: The civil servant who boiled heads of his victims in a cooking pot to dispose of their brains 

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen butchered 15 men in the 1970s and 1980s before being caught when body parts were found clogging his drain after he cooked his victims.

The former civil servant executed and dismembered many of the men at his home in Muswell Hill, north London.

He was convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder and jailed for life in 1983, with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 25 years.

Most of Nilsen’s victims were homosexual or homeless men who he would pick up in bars across London or on the street.

After inviting them to his home, Nilsen would ply his victims with food and alcohol before killing them. His preferred method was strangulation.

Once dead, he dismembered their bodies by dissecting them in his house.

In his first address, Melrose Avenue, he buried their remains in the garden. In Cranley Gardens however he was forced to take other measures.

Once arrested he told police how he boiled the heads of his victims in a large cooking pot to dispose of their brains.

He would cut up the rest of their bodies and store them in plastic bin bags at the property.

When the stench of their rotting corpses became stronger, he tried to flush their limbs down the toilet and drains.

This caused a large blockage in the pipes. Seemingly oblivious to risk, Nilsen audaciously complained to a waste company about the blockage and asked for it to be resolved because he and other residents were suffering as a result.

When a worker from Dyno-Rod arrived at the property in 1983 to unblock them, he discovered what appeared to be flesh and fragments of bone when he opened a drain cover outside the property.

Nilsen (right), with a prison warden, after he was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years when he was convicted of six murders and two attempted murders at the Old Bailey

The following day, after inspecting another section of pipe, he and his supervisor discovered what they thought were bones of a human hand.

They alerted police who arrested Nilsen as he returned home from work. While in custody he admitted to killing at least 15 people.

A controversial Central TV documentary Murder in Mind featured extracts from an interview Nilsen gave in Albany Prison, Isle of Wight, in 1993.

Describing how he liked to dress the bodies in Y-Fronts and vest, then undress them, he said he enjoyed the feeling of power when he carried their limp bodies.

He said he was physically sick after cutting the innards from some of his victims to tackle ‘the smell problem’.

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