Some people have a sort of sixth-sense for danger: and I’m not just talking about Spider-man. There’s some that can judge a situation, or a person, and know that if they don’t separate themselves from that moment, it may well be their last.
Then again, for every one of these keenly aware people, there are many who are too besieged by their own personal issues to be able to tell when danger is about. Carl was in the midst of a deep depression, so when a friendly face offered him a drink and a shoulder to cry on, he took it without knowing what it really meant…
He didn’t know how long ago it had been, but Carl distinctly remembered having been drinking at the Black Cap pub in Camden. At this particular moment, however, he was waking up to find himself being strangled inside a sleeping bag with some calm, male voice whispering “Stay still.” A moment later, he was waking up submerged in water.
Carl could hear the sound of running water. He was immersed in water and the man he believed was his host was holding him down, attempting to drown him. Weak, drunk, and gasping for air, Carl got to the surface and managed to eke out a plea for mercy. “No more, please! No more!” he shouted, before finding his head submerged once again…
Earlier that Night
Carl was a 21-year-old homosexual who often drank at Black Cap pub. That day, he had gone down there to drink away the depression he was feeling after his latest failed relationships. Well into his cups, Carl was approached by a tall, mild mannered-looking fellow who offered to buy him a drink. After a few drinks, the man invited Carl to sleep it off back at his flat nearby.
The man believed that his impromptu “bath” had managed to kill Carl, just as he had planned. He sat Carl in his armchair, as he did with all of his victims, and readied himself to clean and wash him. Suddenly, the man noticed his dog, Bleep, jump up and begin licking Carl’s face. The man had lived, things had not gone according to plan…
Brought to Life
The man, seeing that he had only two options left to him, decided to try and bring Carl back to life. He rubbed his limbs and his chest to increase circulation, then he covered the young man’s body in blankets, before laying him on his bed. Soon enough, Carl regained consciousness and the man explained that he’d almost strangled himself on the zipper of the sleeping bag.
The strange man had apparently “saved” Carl’s life and he was grateful, but he was still too weak from his ordeal to leave. Over the next two days, the man continued to care for him as Carl Stottor lapsed in and out of consciousness. He struggled to remember what had happened, but decided his best option now was to trust the man…
Just a Nightmare
The man, who told him his name was Dennis, explained that the scenes Carl remembered of being held underwater must have been a nightmare he’d had while almost being strangled to death. When he was well, Dennis dropped Carl off at the nearest railway station and bid him a fond farewell. Carl Stotter hadn’t yet realized how close he’d come to meeting his end: but he would.
Whom he Escaped
Carl had just escaped from Dennis Nilsen, one of the most well-known and disturbed serial killers to ever emerge from the United Kingdom. Over the course of the late 70’s and early 80’s, the Muswell Hill Murderer amassed over a dozen kills. Many of his victims were homeless young men and prostitutes, people who would be easily influenced by this kind and charismatic stranger…
Close to Grandpa
Dennis Nilsen was born in Fraserburgh, Scotland, in 1942. He and his siblings were the progeny of a very unhappy marriage and his parents divorced at a young age, which saw them all being cared for by his maternal grandparents. Nilson and his grandpa were very close and would often take long walks on the beach together. His grandfather was, as he later described it, his “great hero and protector.”
It came as quite a shock therefore that one day, after going out on a fishing trip, Nilsen’s grandfather turned up dead. It was particularly shocking for the young boy because his family told him they were going to see his grandfather, but didn’t inform him that the man was deceased. Viewing his grandfather’s corpse in that way may have been the root of what would become Nilsen’s obsession with the dead…
After that, Nilsen’s mother remarried and had a few more children, but Nilsen was never the same. He was isolated, distant, and eventually he left Scotland to join the army. It didn’t last long. When he settled in northern London in the late 70’s, he had decided that he had needs no earthly partner could fulfill. His murder spree resulted in the death and dismemberment of at least 15 young men.
Nilsen’s particular predilection was for necrophilia. He enjoyed making love to and palling around with, the corpses of his victims. But unlike contemporary killer Jeffrey Dahmer, Nilsen wasn’t trying to create slaves or sex dolls, just companions. The killing of his victims, police would later learn, was only incidental to what he really wanted…
Dennis Nilsen was the type of nice guy who could easily prey on the vulnerable. People like Carl Stotter, who were drunk, depressed, and in need of a friend for the night. Nilsen liked to pick up young, destitute men, those who were down on their luck, or plainly homeless. He’d offer food, booze, shelter, and companionship: all the things they needed.
After successfully luring the hapless men back to his flat, Nilsen would try to get them to stay as long as he could. If they tried to leave, his abandonment issues would overcome him and he would resort to his base urges, killing them so they would stay forever. His preferred method of killing was strangulation, which he usually achieved with things like electrical cables or neckties. But he didn’t kill every one of them…
Trying to Work
20-year-old Steven Sinclair was Nilsen’s final victim. The killer claimed that he was trying to help the young man with his drug addiction so that they could be together in a more romantic, sexual capacity. As much as he wanted it to work with a living person however, it was not to be. Nilsen couldn’t control his urges and a few hours after bringing Steven home, killed him.
A Kindly Killer
They called him the Kindly Killer, and for good reason. Over the course of his murderous career, Nilsen revived at least three of his potential victims. When they recovered, he would let them go, feeling a great satisfaction in the fact that he had saved a life. The young men would go to the police soon afterwards, but their claims were dismissed. Nilsen continued his gruesome work for some time after, until his corpse friends finally spelled his undoing…
Wash and Dress
Once murdered, Nilsen would begin the gruesome act of tending to his victims’ remains. He would bathe them, dress them in pajamas, and speak to them as if they were still alive. They would even sleep in the same bed as him. He would photograph them, then engage in sexual activity with them. It was a disturbing scene to even contemplate.
Down the Drain
Eventually though, after weeks of cohabiting with his new “friends”, decomposition would set in and he would have to lose his new friends all over again. Unable to burn the corpses of his victims, Nilsen had to get creative. He began to dismember and boil the body parts of his victims and would flush much of what remained down the drain. Obviously, this method only worked for so long before someone in the complex began to notice some backup on the drains…
In February 1983, one of Nilsen’s neighbors called a plumber to check on their backed-up system. The plumber arrived, went down a manhole cover, and discovered that a good number of the clogging material looked an awful lot like human remains. The cops arrived to investigate and were treated to the pungent smell of rotting flesh upon entering Nilsen’s apartment.
Caught at Last
Nilsen finally confessed and after 30 hours of questioning, revealed everything he had done. Carl Stotter was brought in to testify against him at his trial and after only a few hours of deliberation, Nilsen was convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole for a period of 25 years. Carl Stotter meanwhile, has lived his life knowing that he was one breath away from becoming another victim of the Kindly Killer.