Killing For Company: the true crime classic behind the ITV drama 'Des' by Brian Masters
Now the hit ITV true crime drama DES, starring David Tennant, and the follow-up documentary The Real 'Des'
***WINNER OF THE GOLD DAGGER AWARD FOR CRIME NON-FICTION***
Dennis Nilsen, who died in May 2018, murdered at least 15 people before his arrest in 1983. This groundbreaking criminal study of his killings was written with Nilsen's full cooperation, resulting in a fascinating - and horrifying - portrait of the man who worshipped death.
In February 1983, residents of Muswell Hill had been plagued by blocked drains. When a plumber was called to investigate, he discovered a large blockage of biological material. To his horror, it appeared to be formed of human flesh and bones.
The next day, local resident Dennis Nilsen was arrested.
'Are we talking about one body or two?' a detective asked. Nilsen replied 'Fifteen or sixteen, since 1978. I'll tell you everything.'
Within days he had confessed to fifteen gruesome murders over a period of four years. His victims, mostly young gay men at a time when society cared little for them, had never been missed. Brian Masters, with Nilsen's full cooperation, has produced a unique study of a murderer's mind, essential reading for true crime aficionados.
'You really have to read this extraordinary book to get a full flavour of the weirdness of Nilsen and his crimes' SUNDAY TIMES
'Brian Masters has given us a full, well-ordered, dispassionate account of Nilsen's life and crimes' THE TIMES
'Without any doubt one of the most remarkable, complete and most humanely informative accounts of a murderer's mind ever achieved... the book is far superior to any previous English book of its kind and deserves to serve as a model for all future attempts in this genre' NEW SOCIETY
'The book is a perceptive and at times coldly brutal assessment of Nilsen's psychology' MIRROR
'A compelling and remarkable book ... through Masters' fine writing the reader suspends his nausea for the crimes, and concentrates with Nilsen on his motives and himself' THE LISTENER
'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] 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' YORKSHIRE POST
'A meticulous study of the dark intricacies of the human mind' THE BOOKBAG
'A comprehensive and compelling account' FINANCIAL TIMES
'Brian Masters can rest assured that the job he undertook with such obvious doubts was one worth doing' SPECTATOR
'Masters has written an extraordinary book, and his achievement has been the ability to recount horrific details without descending to the lurid sensationalism of the instant books and Fleet Street reports' POLICE