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Netflix has released the trailer for its creepy true-crime documentary Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes.

Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes
Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes — Photo courtesy of Netflix

Back in 2020, viewers on both sides of the pond were mesmerized by David Tennant’s chilling performance as Britain’s most notorious serial killer, Dennis Nilsen, in the true-crime drama Des.

In less than a month from now, Netflix will release the documentary Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes.

In 1983, Nilsen confessed to killing 15 people over a five-year period — acknowledging that he had picked up vulnerable young men, lured them back to his home and strangled them, before disposing of their bodies under the floorboards and elsewhere in and around his flat.

The truth about how and why Nilsen killed his victims has been the subject of much speculation in books and documentaries over the decades since his confession, arrest, and life sentence imprisonment. Now, with unique access to a wealth of personal archives left in his cell after his death in 2018, including more than 250 hours of never-before-published cassette tapes of his private recordings, Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes takes viewers into Nilsen’s world — from his days as a young boy growing up in a quiet Scottish fishing village, to those as a cold-blooded murderer prowling the streets of London.

Set against the backdrop of 1980s Britain, when mass unemployment drew young men to London in search of their fortunes, only to find themselves destitute and easy prey, the film weaves together interviews from police, journalists, survivors, and bereaved families — and, for the first time, the killer’s own voice — in its exploration of how Nilsen was able to get away with multiple murders and attacks, unchallenged, for five years.

Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes, a Netflix Documentary, premieres globally on Wednesday, August 18, exclusively on Netflix. (You can set a reminder for it now.)


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Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes: Netflix Drops Trailer for True-Crime Documentary