Dennis Nilsen, Gay Porn, Two Bullets & a Book

My thoughts on The man who murdered my father, his possible release and the suppression of the publication of his autobiography.

During Dennis Nilsen’s 1983 trial it is said that my grandmother made the travel from Motherwell down to London with a loaded gun. Her intention was to shoot Nilsen dead in the witness box. So the story goes, she was refused admission to the court as it was packed out and she could not definitively prove her identity. Outside alone, with London biting into her neck, she walked along from the court, down Black Friars to Victoria Embankment and fired two shots into the Thames: one was for Nilsen and the other was for my mother. As she held Nilsen responsible for the murder of her son, so she held my mother guilty of leading him there. As my Grandmother later said in print: "She was [my mother] a southern girl, with southern morals.”

Whether there is any truth in that tale I sincerely doubt. My mother told it to me after a bottle or two of Russian Perrier. She also took enormous gratification in being the intended rest home of bullet No.2 and from the fact that my grandmother's dislike for her was finally out in public and equalled her loathing of Nilsen. The story was never verified by my grandmother, I’ve never met her, but even if it is fiction, it still shows some of the hatred that existed for Nilsen around the country and especially amongst the few family members of victims which were found.

It’s now 27 years since Nilsen was sentenced and had his crimes hammered down into the history books of crime and justice. It is 27 years that have seen my grandmother die, my mother live and me left straddled somewhere in between. But it is two years longer than the 25 year life term that the trial judge set for Nilsen, and in theory that means that at any moment Nilsen could be released from prison.... could be ringing up the receipt as my mother passes tomatoes down the conveyor belt in Sainsburys. Many people have asked me what I think of that? How do I feel about Nilsen, his possible release, his demands for “gay porn” and his autobiography (“The History of a Drowning Boy”) which has been denied permission to be published. In this post I will try and answer those questions.

Before I go any further, and for those of you not so well briefed in this affair, here is a concise and probably inexact history of Nilsen since his arrest in 1983:

February 9th 1983 : Dennis Andrew Nilsen is arrested after human remains are discovered in his North London Flat..

February 11th 1983 : Nilsen admits to killing at least 14 young men and rattles of a startling confession which lasts in excess of 30 hours.

Early 1983 : After an initial hearing he is remanded in custody to Brixton Prison awaiting
trial at London's Old Bailey.

October 24th 1983 :The trial begins. Nilsen pleads "Not Guilty" to each of the charges.

November 3rd 1983 : The jury retires to consider it’s verdict.

November 4th 1983 : With 2 dissenters on each of Nilsen’s charges, the judge announces that he will accept a majority count. At 4:25, the jury returns a verdict of guilty on all counts with a 10-2 majority. The judge sentences Nilsen to life imprisonment and specifies he should not be eligible for parole for 25 years. He is taken to Wormwood Scrubs prison in West London. Nilsen was 37 years old.

1984: Transferred to Wakefield prison in Yorkshire.

1993: Nilsen is moved to Whitemoor Top Security Prison. Gives a televised interview from jail.

2001: Refused permission to receive an art book and male pornography into his possession. His appeal to the court of human rights ends in failure.

2001: The manuscript draft of his autobiography ‘The History of a Drowning Boy’ is seized by prison authorities.

2003: Nilsen brings a judicial review over a decision not to allow him to publish his book. He is still awaiting an appeal on this decision at the European Court of Human Rights

Since his sentence Nilsen has served in eight different prisons and is currently held at HM Full Sutton maximum security prison in Yorkshire... his autobiography still hangs in limbo. He is now 65 years old.

*     *     *     *     *

When I’ve spoken about Nilsen in the past it was rarely ever from my own personal viewpoint. I have always done so with the consideration of my mother’s feelings and saying the things that would least upset her. I did and do not want her having to relive anything of that crime again:  I would not want her to hurt or suffer any more than she already has. But my mother is not online and so here I will give my views... my thinking on the man that strangled, drowned, dismembered and boiled my father. Many of you will not be able to understand these views, even less will share them. Some will think it’s all a front. It’s not, these are my honest feelings and I can only type what I feel -  nothing else is possible.

The first thing I will say is that I do not hate Dennis Nilsen. More than that I hold no ill will towards him. I neither blame him nor the murder for my mother's alcoholism nor for the broken childhood I endured, and I certainly don’t hold him guilty for my ongoing addiction to heroin. Yes, these things are all interlinked, but in that sense the world is connected to the world... blame never really resolves anything. But although I do not hate the man, I certainly cannot say I like him. I do not know him. Yet in a bizarre way I admire Nilsen as I admire artists and poets.When you read what he has to say of the killings it is clear that they were certainly not acts stemming from hatred. He expresses a sadness (not regret) in the actions he had to take to fulfil his desires and needs. I understand that... to have a deep need of companionship yet unable to find it in a conventional way. It's not the murders I can sympathise with (I cannot), it is the emotions that led to them.

Over the years there has been much debate concerning the murders and the real motive/s behind them. After Brian Masters' book it is generally touted that Nilsen killed primarily “for company” but I do not completely agree. I think that is a very sympathetic and self-comforting idea to try to project. It certainly had a role to play, but I think above all else they were sexual killings, and I think Nilsen got a bigger sexual kick from them than he has ever admitted.

Sexual impulse is one of the few psychological states that really take us out of ourselves and make the perverse and grotesque exciting and realisable. And as with many sexual fetishes after they have been fulfilled one feels disgusted, horrified and saddened by them... That is until the next time,of course. Also, for many of us our deepest sexual fantasies are extremely intimate and often embarrassing. Sometimes so much so that we cannot disclose them to anyone. I very often think that sex is a kind of base therapy.We are very, very vulnerable within it, and to disclose and/or admit our innermost desires reveals all the things about ourselves that we wish to hide. It gives away our histories, our complexes and our traumas. Sex reveals the soul.

But I am not here to unravel Nilsen... it holds no interest for me what was the real agenda behind his crimes. All I know is that 16 young men were killed and the murderer now languishes in prison being denied pornography, book deals and occasionally being on the wrong end of a beating.

Languishes???... So you think Nilsen should be released???

I cannot answer that...I do not have the authority. If he is any kind of a danger to anyone anymore no, I don’t think he should. Does his crimes entitle him to die in prison, possibly, but I would not like to see that. So oneday hopefully he will be released and will be free to breathe fresh air and own another dog. That prospect does not frighten, anger nor sadden me. I’d probably even visit Sainsbury’s a little more often if I knew he’d be there. But I do not believe that will ever happen.... I think he will die wearing prison slacks. I do not see a home secretary or parole board with the balls big enough to release him.

NILSEN vs “GAY PORN”

In 1993 Nilsen was famously denied access to “Gay Pornongraphy”. He took his case to the European court of Human Rights and lost (contrary to what the British tabloids reported). I’ve often been asked what I think about that.

Well, I’m not going to babble on about human rights but I would like to clear something up. Gay Porn??? Nilsen was officially denied access to “an art book” and a “‘top shelf’ men's magazine”. An art book... if the Prison Service describe it as that then that’s what they concede it is. Of course he should be allowed access to it. As for the ‘Top Shelf’ men's magazine.... well, it’s the junk on the bottom shelf that we must be more concerned about.... those tabloids that are spread out like cards on milk crates in every Newsagents across Britain. Nilsen protested against this decision asking: “Why is ‘gay porn’ forbidden when heterosexual porn is freely admitted and available around prisons?” Of course, he’s correct... we’d all make the same challenge. In a country where gay sex and porn are legal then what possible justification can exist in prohibiting it in prison? No, the only thing that is damaging here is the sexual repression.The Prison Service must know that by the number of prison rapes that occur each year. So yes, of course Nilsen should be allowed pornography as long as it satisfies the law of the land.

THE HISTORY OF A DROWNING BOY

Whilst doing his 27 year tour of Her Majesty’s Prisons Dennis Nilsen has written the first draft of an autobiography entitled ‘The History of a Drowning Boy’. This book is the focus of much controversy and legal wranglings. In 2001, on it’s way back to Nilsen from his Lawyers, the then Governor of Whitemoor prison seized it, believing it breached certain prison regulations. It was returned to Nilsen's solicitors thus preventing him from preparing it for publication. Nilsen made a legal appeal against its seizure. The presiding judge had this to say:

"We do not believe that any penal system could readily contemplate a regime in which a rapist or murderer would be permitted to publish an article glorifying in the pleasure that his crime had caused him."

In addition,  the Home Secretary decided Nilsen's work did not consist of serious comment about crime, justice or the penal system, but was "a platform for Mr Nilsen to seek to justify his conduct and denigrate people he dislikes"

To this day the manuscript is still unfinished and still unpublished.

Concerning the book there are 3 main arguments against it’s publication:

1) Is the book in the public interest?
2) Does it shed any relevant light on the crimes that nilsen committed?
3) Profit from any sales. In the UK convicted prisoners are not allowed to profit from their crimes. (Nilsen says all money will go to charity.)

I am not going to brilliantly argue for or against each point here, that would take us into realms very far from this site and post. I will give just a few brief words on each point.

1) Public Interest. Well what is that? With all the shit that clogs up our bookshops and libraries, I think it is more in the public interest than the majority of that pulp. I also think anything so controversial IS in the public interest. Maybe the real question is this:Is it in the public SECTOR interest?. Almost certainly not. From what I understand the book also serves as an indictment of the UK penal and prison system.

2) Does the book shed light on the crimes Nilsen has committed? That has been judged as “NO”, but it is only the first draft that has been read, and anyone who writes or knows anything at all of the writing process will understand that a draft very often has very little to do with the final work. It is in the redrafting where vague ideas are clarified and proper retrospection occurs. If writers sent their first drafts off to publishers it would incur the same result:“no”. So forgetting publication for a moment, I think Nilsen must first be allowed to finish the work before ANY judgement is made. My thoughts will not change though...no matter what he produces it should be allowed to be put into print. If consumers then want to boycott it, then let them do so.

3) Profits from sales. As the law is that convicted offenders CANNOT profit from sales, I don’t see what the argument is. If Nilsen cannot receive money from any sales of his work then he cannot. The revenue must be handled and controlled by a third party who decides what to do with it. Ultimately someone or some organisation will gain from Nilsen’s crimes... as already happens. Again, my view is I really couldn’t care less where the revenue goes or if Nilsen profits from it. If it allows him to buy an extra toothbrush or pouch of tobacco, so what. He’s still in prison... he’s still in a 12 x 12 cell... he’s still 65 and dying... and even if he buys a Rolex who’s he going to flash it off to? So I’m also passionately for the publication of his book.

There is one final and important point that is always considered in these cases and that is the sensibility of the family of the victims. Well you’ve heard my view, but I really doubt that will reflect the view of (m)any others.My mother would certainly be against the books publication. It would anger her tremendously. But I also know that if I bought and wrapped her a copy for Christmas she’d bloody well read it. That also says something about its worth. It’s also important to remember that because of the category of men that nilsen accosted and murdered, there are not very many close family members about . So at the most, we’d be letting 20 bitter (with good reason) people decide the fate of the nation. No, it’s not correct and even if it may hurt someone I dearly love,I cannot sacrifice my principles... not this time. PRINT IT.

So there you have it, MY thoughts on Nilsen, his crimes, possible release and book. I know some of you will leave this post bewildered, thinking how can I hold such views towards “Britains most twisted killer” and the man who done such barbarous things to my own father. Well I can answer that in many ways, but I will leave you with this: I do not believe in monsters and I do not believe in demonizing people... underneath all our savagery and behind all our perversity's there is always a human being. We all feel, hurt, love and bleed... Nilsen is no exception. When I look at him, like myself, I see just another lonely man.

My Best Wishes To All...

Shane. x

38 comments :

Wildernesschic said...

Hi Shane
I think your view is beyond mature. I have to say I admire you for being able to think this way, and for not blaming this man. Personally I don't know if I could. But I guess you have have pondered on this for many years. You were very young at the time. I barely remember the case as I had just moved to Marbella and was in full party mode. I do however remember seeing documentaries featuring him, and being horrified by him, and what he did. I think again you are right. These crimes are sexually motivated it can be the strongest overwhelming human emotion that can make someone deviate from "normal behaviour".
I would hate to imagine being in prison for the rest of my life as much as I would hate to take another mans life. In a case like this .. I think there can be no releasee. As in my opinion, he would do it again.
Maybe the death penalty would have been kinder .. But is it right to take a life at all ?
Book? Yes he should be able to release it and the profits should go to family members of his victims or something fitting. I would read it ... Sorry but I would. I of course would be repulsed, but I think a story should be told from all angles and peoples stories fascinate me.
We all love a good serial killer if we are honest .. Otherwise Lynda la Plante would not be so successful.
Shane as I said I think you are very brave and mature in your attitude .. I would be like your Grandmother with my gun .. I loved her expression "Southern girls , southern morals" My grandmother was Irish and its the kind of thing she would have said, must be their Celtic reasoning.
Happy New Year and thanks for another great post and sharing such personal issues.
love Ruth xx

dusty rose said...

completely, entirely, and somewhat fully different
i am drunk (as the new non-heroin addict often is) but today my mother contacted me for the first time in over a year, and she screamed and cried and cussed and hung up, and called and hung up and called and i hung up. and we can have feelings that relate to what people do, but its our clearer mind that prevails. even though the people that wronged me pale to the people that have wronged you.
but, love forever,
stay well.
--dusty rose.

Put The Lotion In The Basket said...

Shane
Very interesting post if for the only reason that you have gone beyond or refuse to go down that well trodden 'revenge route' which always seems to me to be bilical in its origin.
Currently the SKY TV channel is endlessly showing a documentary on Nilsen where through interviewing his lover and a couple of people he let go we come close to the man and his motivations and life, strange we are allowed to hear from them and not the man himself, strange that TV companies should benefit from the crimes but not society from the knowledge we would gain in hearing from him directly.
I agree with you from reading Masters book and seeing the documentary I don't think he just killed for company, within his personality, especially his relationships at work, I think you see a man who thought himself above other men, almost a Nietzscheian figure, distainful of all. a God, a superman and what act often gives an insight into Godlike well as you say Sex and the sometimes the dark things that dwell within us that give rise to our sexualities and it's behaviours.
I think Dusty is right when he says 'but its our clearer mind that prevails' but maybe we as a society will never get there collectivly when we are driven by out moded christian 'revenge' values and hide away our sexualities and what forms and informs them.
Take Care My Great Friend.
All My Love as Ever
Nick XX

Chic Mama said...

Dear Shane
I agree with Wildernesschic,your attitude is awe inspiring and very thought provoking. I found the post very interesting and I also agree that the book should be published but that the profits are used for something fitting.
Well done.
I don't think I could be so pragmatic and I admire you for it.
Take care. CM x

Longy said...

A really interesting post as usual Shane. As someone who is now 45 I do remember the nations horror over Nilsen's crimes and to say people were sickened would be an understatement. Nilson is right up there with Hindley & Brady and the Ian Huntley's of this world when it comes to a popularity contest and due to the amount of murders he commited,probably surpasses them. So your right - no-one will have the bollocks to let him walk free. My opinion on this to be honest is good! I also think he would kill again - just my gut feeling based on nothing but that. 25 years is less than 2 years a murder isn't it? Surely a human's life is worth more than that.

As for the Gay porn well in theory he should be allowed it. But would it re-ignite his twisted mind and enable him to hurt a fellow prisoner? I guess we'll never know but maybe thats why he isn't allowed it from the authorities perspective. But yes,he really should be allowed it legally.

The book. Yes I think it would be very much in the public interest. It would be certainly be in the interests in Psychologists and Behavioral Therapists I would think. It might even stop someone from committing such crimes too. Who knows? I can also understand that it probably would upset the relatives of the victims of his crimes too including your Mum.

I admire you mate and as always your posts give much food for thought. Hate is such a negative emotion and as I am not you I cannot know what it is like to be the son of one of Nilson's victims. So I cannot say how I would feel if I were you. But I admire you for not hating Nilson (and I admire you for every word you type on this blog)

Take care Shane.

SuperHumanC said...

Shane...
Wow. You have SUCH an amazing life story. First off, I'd like to extend my condolences, even though you were young I know it's not easy to grow up without a father. Especially in such as manner as you had.

I definitely agree with WildernessChic; I think you have a mature & interesting view on this entire situation. Yet, I have to give you an unlimited supply of kudos as I doubt I would be able to feel the way you do and NOT blame Nilsen. However, maybe over time, opinions would change.

My knee-jerk reaction is that he should NOT be allowed out of prison, ever. Yet, I feel like maybe let him out so he can see what a shitty life he will have on the outside since EVERYONE knows who he is. He can't possibly escape his past. Maybe that's hateful of me, I don't know.

As for his book, I agree with you. They SHOULD publish it. Why not? There's a lot to learn from it. Maybe an insight? Monetarily speaking, since the likelyhood of his release is low, who gives a shit if he has some money in prison? Maybe he could better protect himself against attacks? He won't be able to buy a fancy house to live in or nice clothes OR have a family to spend it on, so why should he be denied that? However, if it were up to me, I think ALL the profits should go back to the family's whose lives he shattered. It doesn't bring their loved one back, but it wouldn't hurt either.

I hope the new year is being kind to you Shane. I wish I could hug you :)

Thanks for another amazing read! Keep it up!

Take care,
Courtney

JoeM said...

I'm definitely on the He Should Never Be Released side. But I so don't want to be lumped into The Judgemental team. Especially since The Judgemental team currently includes the Irish Prime Minister's wife,Iris Robinson (Mrs Robinson!) who, when a gay man was beaten up, reacted with Christian compassion by lecturing that the only thing worse than child abusers were homosexuals, who were all vile and should be cured of their disgustingness. At the same time she, a 59 year old married woman, was having an affair with a 19 year old, who she'd known since he was 9.
Well The Bible, where she gets her morals from, clearly states that adulterers should be punished by being stoned to death. So what's her husband (who agrees with her anti homo views) waiting for?

I'm always torn by these questions. On one hand I'd love to read a Nielsen Why I did It book, but I think he'd lie and big himself up, and I hate the thought of him smirking in prison that he's still able to excerpt power over others. Because, while I agree that killing for company and, as you say,for sexual thrills were reasons for the murders, there's also the truth that so many of these serial killers are,as Lotion says, megalomaniacs, who think they are just the bees knees, intelligent and capable beyond human capability.

Look at Ted Bundy, smarming about a courtroom, thinking he was oh so clever (Well he escaped by jumping out of a window, which only proves he was cleverer than the police,which isn't saying much). How clever do you have to be to batter a young woman over the head when she has her back turned? Or drown the drunk and insensible in a bath.

Serial killer megalomania just annoys me. I don't understand those writers/film makers who see them as thrilling transgressive Outsiders, living beyond the boring rules we all live by. They're not. They're cowards,cruel,selfish,stupid - and boring. Ten a penny.

I know you're not in that category of writer Shane. I think it says a lot for your mental health that you can be so matter-of-fact about Nielsen (and your mother and all the other stuff). You are very wise and balanced. If you ever get off heroin (and I think you should), you would make a great counselor:

Professor Shane will see you now...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Ruth,

Thank's as ever for reading and giving your thoughts.

Yeah, we all love a good serial killer, I agree.When the story first broke of remains being found, my mother was as fascinated with the story as the entire country. She was watching allthe news on it and buying 3different papers a day so as not to miss anything. Little did she know that her own history and future was lso wrapped upin the the events she was watching. Little did she know that the bags she watched police remove fromthe house contained the body parts of her lover. I can't even imagine that... my lover ending uplike that and having to deal with it. But before being enlightened, sh was just as fascinated as the rest.

Happy New Year, hmmm. Well it was beore that bus hit me! (it's not a joke,lol). Yeah, got hit by a bus and knocked flying. Nothing serious though,sprained wrist,cut leg and elbow. That was the world welcoming me into 2010, cruel hey? ;)

Love & Wishes, Shane.x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Dusty,

Yeah it was a much different kind of post, but I needed it, I think the blog needed it.

It's strange isn't it that we don't touch a drop when using, but often turn into heavy drinkers when quittng. Are you on any opiate substitute?

Me, even when staying off heroin cannot drink. Any other feeling just makes me think of heroin. I get a little drunk, feel so fucking uncomfortable, and then have a fix to get me back to normal.

I you get the chance drop me an email, I'd like to speak a little: myheroinhead@gmail.com

Dusty, no. The people that wronged you do not pale aginst mine. Hurt is hurt... there is an equality there. What happened tome my have been more bizarre, but it was no more traumatic. Look,we both ended up in the same place.

Take care as well, D... and go steady on the liquor.

Love and Wishes Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiy Nick,

Thanks so much for writing all that.

I can't bear revenge... i don't like it as an emotion. Of course I possess it, but at very surprising times and usually it is immediate.

It's not that I've ever consciously tried to be sympathetic of Nilsen... it's just there, it' how i feel. Maybe because my mother blamed all and sunder on him I began to qustion his responsibility. And when I looked I thought "No, it's not Nilsens fault you drink yourself into oblivion, threaten suicide and throw pans of boiling hot water at me!"

A superman, disdainful of all... I'mnot sure about that. I didn't leave with quite that idea, but I know what you mean.

The overriding feeling I left Masters book with was sadness (a deep reflective sadness) and compassion for a man who seemed a prisoner within himself. I don't think he did enjoy doing the things he did, certainly not the dismemberment. It was a means to an end.

You're right about the Christian values, and the sad thing is that they are so embedded in our culture that no matter how conscious you are of them,no mtter what great insght and criticism one holds of that,it still influences us... God even guides the Atheists. It needs to stop.

Anyway,thank you once again My Dear Friend... Hope the snow melts quickly and doesn't get you down too much...

My Caps Locked LOVE, Shane. XXX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Chic Mama,

I hope things are going a litle better for you.I was reading your posts over the Christmas & New Year and you wasn't 100%. So I hope you go a bit better?

Thanks for your comments on the post...

All My Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Oh Longy, what a wonderful comment and I don't really know what to say!;)

Yes, Nilsen is right up there, but I think there is probaly more outright hatred for Hindley & Co. because their victims were against children.

The nation seems more fascinated by Nilsen and a little more foirgiving because he is supposedly a killer of 'homosexuals'. That's sad... that some people would give him kudos for getting rid of 16 gays.


Something not everyone knows is that Nilsen was only charged with 6 of the 15murders he confessed to, and 2 of 8 attempted murders. He's never actually been oficially convicted of my fathers murder, or the eight others. The reason was because they wanted a quick, troublefree prosecution and it wouldhave taken years to ammass all the evidence against him. The rest were 'taken into consideration'.

I'm glad everyone so far agrees the book should be published.

For your last paragraph I can only blush and thank you and tell you you're crazy! lol But you've got good taste!;)

All My Very, Very Best

Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Courtney,

Wonderful to have you back and thanks somuch for the comment!!!

They way I feel is just there. I never tried to be forgiving, it isn't a conscious thing.Just how I feel. I'mglad I feel like that though... th last thing i need i a huge hang-up about a 65 year old serial killer! lol

Many agree with you, not to let him out. That i certainly his fate, I'm sure of it. He may, if lucky, spend his last days in a hospital, but thats as near as he'll ever get to freedom.

I'mglad you're anoter who agree's that the book should be published. If t was I'd be on of the first queuing up to buy it. Or if I'm feeling really naughty I'd nick a copy! ;) That can be my revenge!lol

Thanks for all you say... it'll have to be a virtual hug, so: xOxO

Enjoy? ;)

Love and Thoughts

Shane.x

Wildernesschic said...

Do you think it was the worlds weird way of saying Pinch punch first of the month ??
Seriously hope thats the worst of it for you, and you are ok.
I dropped my laptop in a still drunk from the night before haze and am lost without it. Have not had a drink for seven days so I am feeling very virtuous but a lot poorer as have had to buy a new laptop to return my sanity. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Joe,

First off, on saturday I ordered a copy of your book 'Obsessions' from Amazon, so should have that within 10 days or so. I'm looking forward to it.

Yeah, I think everyone agrees Nilsen should never be released. I think I expressed myself badly in saying "I'd LIKE him to be set free". No, it just wouldn't bother me, and that's much different.

Yeah I read about the Irish PM's wife! I don't catch much homeland news but whilst on the Guardian site yesterday I saw that. It's unbelievable, really!
Worse than child abusers!!! Well, that was just to have someone worse than herself then. I know many people still think in that jaded way, but it still shocks me everytime I hear it... it's more than shock. It's disbelief.

I understand what you say about being torn,but if you're bigger than the book you read then any smugness would be between Nilsen and himself. Of course he would lie, I think the truth is lost forever now... I'm not even sure he knows it anymore. He's dwelt on them crimes too much and in a way has tried to intellectualize his motives. But I'd still be very interested to read what it is he's written. I think it would be fascinating even if it's not te truth. Because of course, by the things he says, they also help to build a picture of him... the lies also tell us a great deal about him.

Serial killer megalomania just annoys me. I don't understand those writers/film makers who see them as thrilling transgressive Outsiders, living beyond the boring rules we all live by. They're not. They're cowards,cruel,selfish,stupid - and boring. Ten a penny.

Yes, I agree with that... especially about not bing transgressive outsiders. When I say I dmire himin a way (as i admire artists) it' not for anything groundbraking he has done. It is for the expression that he put into his crimes... his absolute belief in them. He is passionate about them and I can feel that when reading him.

I thinkI can be so matter-of-fact because I have lived with this for a long time... it has become normal. It's like a soldier after 3 months in a war zone. Death becomes€ just something you drag off, take the boots from, photograph, labeland zip up. Young men sitting dead against walls no longer shocks them. Imaging that being your reality for 30 years.. you become numb to it... you have to or life would be torturous.

Professor Shane... I love that one!!!

Take care & All My Thoughts

Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Ruth,

Yeah I saw you had mistaken you laptop for a greek plate! When mine went down (when my phone got disconnected!lol) I was lost. If it weren't for that France Telecom would never have got their money back!;)

x

JoeM said...

Thanks so much for ordering the book - I'll be first in line when yours comes out. (On that favourite subject of mine: I think if you just keep putting out these amazing posts you'll soon have a book - if you don't already. There's also of course print on demand,Lulu etc,which I'm thinking of using for my unpublished books).

I know what you mean by 'admire' - I mean I watch every serial killer documentary on TV, because there is something fascinating about these strange intense people and the way they carry out these crimes under the noses of neighbours and even family.

It's when Nielsen makes excuses for himself by saying self-deluding crap like "I was an alcoholic, drunk when I murdered, so it's no different to a drunk truck driver skidding off a bridge with 16 people on board" that it gets annoying. Or you see the wife of the truck driver who killed all those prostitutes still controlling her life from prison via the phone.

There's also a video of Nielsen drunkenly ranting, and you can see the megalomania and anger.

But I too would love to read any book he wrote. He would never get paid so I don't see the problem.

I see what you mean about becoming numb. It's not saying that everything that happened is OK. It's saying I value my mental health more than holding a grudge or getting revenge or making a point.

All the best for the New year/decade.

Paul Curran said...

Hey Shane. Saw you linked this on DCs. Fascinating and very powerful writing. Thanks for posting it.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Shane,
I think you have a very mature view. No arguments with you at all.

I didn't totally buy the killing for company thing myself. I figured it was primarily to evoke sympathy.

As to sexual impulse, I feel differently than you. The older I get, the less definitive I think it is, and frankly, one of the least interesting or important things about a person. I think that our sexual identity is largely unchangeable and something we are just born with.

I am very impressed with the way you see the world, but if you don't mind, I'll still hate Nilsen for killing my friend's father. I'm not as evolved as you.

Love, SB.

Syd said...

Shane, your acceptance and ability to view the situation without resentment is a great thing. I had not heard about the horrors this man committed. I do believe that there are evil people and perhaps he is one. Take care of yourself.

Kissa said...

Wow Shane. Echoing the sentiment. Very mature.

It's Kat Skratch. If you're still interested in following my blog will you follow it here?

I hope you're well. You got your apartment situated. Your life and such back a little!

Love and brilliance mate. Miss your words when you're not writing!

Kat

Heather said...

Hi Shane,
First I want to start off saying I feel like a cheater bc I have it read this blog yet ( which I will ) life has been upside down for me and I have it read anyone's blogs. But I wanted to write you about a great book that I just read cALLED The original Of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov and You should read it. I could send it to you bc that's what I like to do with great books. Bc books are meant to be shared...

hope all is well shane

XOXO
Heather

Barbara aka Layla said...

You amaze me, Shane.

Sasha (Malchik Gai) said...

Jesus Shane, I think my life is a drama.... But you always school me otherwise. I'm a better person having known you, even in this limited capacity.
Many thanks,
Sasha

bizzy said...

sorry I'm real slack on getting back to people, you'd said before about wanting to follow my blog- you can do this when you're on my blogs main page and click on "follow this blog" which is in the toolbar at the top!x

Dio said...

not for nothin your pretty cute fora a junkie

Gledwood said...

I used to live in Crouch End... very local indeed to that Nilsen bastard.
One evening, as I may well have told you before, we were bored ~ and I had a book about him out of the library. So we walked to Cranley Gardens (is that the place?)... the house was raised up high from the road and you could tell which one it was ~ it was empty. Like a house from an American horror film. You could almost imagine a ghost watching from an upstairs window. The only sound was a constant creaking from a rotting FOR SALE sign. I, who had been all gung ho about sneaking into the back garden to get a close look at the place was the first to lose it and run down the street in utter terror! I have never been so scared of a house or a place, before or since. Never again!!

Gledwood said...

Re sentencing/prisons/etc ~ I always thought Myra Hindley should have been released. Not because I liked her in any way, but because she had served out her full sentence, including the judge's 30-year recommendation.
As it was, she was the most famous prisoner in British jails and I've met loads of women who claim to have met her...
I have to say I was quite pleased when she died of cancer, evil bitch!

Mac said...

You mention "An art book... if the Prison Service describe it as that then that’s what they concede it is. Of course he should be allowed access to it."
Why ? The whole point of prison is that it is punishment. It is punishment because it is full of restrictions on freedom. Restrictions on where they can go. What they can do. What they can read.

Why should someone in prison be permitted the freedom to read what they want?

Sure, the restriction is silly and arbitrary. But the restriction is punishment - and that's what he's in prison to get.

It isn't even cruel punishment, so what is the problem ?

Brit Kingsbury said...

Hey dear,
It's been awhile but I just don't understand the judicial system Nilsen is essentially a serial killer and if he gets released what makes anyone think he won't do it again? What makes people think that he doesn't want the attention? He wants to publish a book glorifying his work for Christ's sake. I just, I really commend you for being so together and being so strong. I know you might not agree, but you really are someone I look up to, you have persevered through so much and you are an amazing human being. I don't even know you, well I know you through everything you write and it's been awhile since I've commented but I just hope you know that people care about you. And after seeing that line where your mother left you somewhere in between I just can't tell you how much that line has been ringing through my mind.

Khris K. said...

Hello Shane,

I am a new reader of your wonderful blog. I became aware of it through JunkE Life. It was only yesterday I started and have gone back about a year so far. I cant get enough. You are a fantastic writer and have lived an incredible life. We share a good number of characteristics and similar stories in some ways. I can not imagine however some of the incredible hardships you have endured while continuing on with such fortitude. You are an inspiration to me. As a fellow long time heroinhead who is still above water I find an instant kinship with you and will be reading and wishing you all the best for some time to come.

PS I love your paintings! especially "brown"

With friendship from Canada,
Khris.

Anonymous said...

我新來的~大家可交個朋友嗎(・ˍ・)........................................

Kissa said...

I fucking miss you! Come back!

Shivi said...

Hey Shane! how have you been. Dropping by after a long time. And yes there is nothing wrong in what you said or the way you felt about Nilsen. We all are human beings is the bare fact. Rest all is the way you perceive things. I'm glad there are people who feel this way. I feel so greatly connected to you after reading this post, we share same views on different levels. Continue writing Shane, I must tell you, you are a wise man ;) . Take care and Stay well. - Shivi.

Khris K. said...

Been a while since you have posted. Hope all is alright.

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Gledwood said...

Hi what happened? Where are you? Did ya go back to London? Is it horrible here? BC I'm here. But have v little point of comparison to France. France just seemed effortlessly more sophisticated when I was there. And better designed & laid out... At least Paris was...

sanjeet said...

we can have feelings that relate to what people do, but its our clearer mind that prevails. even though the people that wronged me pale to the people that have wronged you.
but, love forever,
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