Dennis Nilsen’s Birkenhead victim ‘youngest’ he’d ever seen

Notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen murdered a teenager from Birkenhead during his murderous spree.

A three-part drama detailing the grim events of Nilsen's crimes aired this week from Monday to Wednesday, gripping viewers, with David Tennant playing the killer.

Tonight also sees a documentary, The Real Des: The Dennis Nilsen story, voiced by David Tennant, air at 9pm.

Nilsen died in 2018 after spending 35 years in prison.

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The former soldier and police officer's notoriety began in 1983 when he was arrested after human remains were found in the drains at 23 Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill, north London, where he lived.

Nilsen was then arrested and immediately confessed to having committed 15 or 16 murders since 1978.

He was eventually convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Nilsen remains one of the UK's most notorious serial killers and during the height of his notoriety, the devastating and gruesome nature of his crimes was front page news, catapulting him into the public eye.

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His victims, who he often met at pubs, were chopped up and then burned, boiled or buried under his floorboards.

In 1993, he told an interviewer how he enjoyed caring for the bodies, dressing them and undressing them and then cutting them up.

More than 1,000 pieces of flesh and bone were found during a search of his two addresses.

However, it's reported that fewer than half of his victims were identified.

One of his victims was Martyn Duffey, a 16-year-old runaway from Birkenhead.

On May 17, 1980, it is believed Nilsen encountered the youth at a London railway station as the killer returned from a union conference in Southport.

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Duffey, a catering student, was sleeping rough at Euston railway station. He had hitchhiked to London without his parents' knowledge after reportedly being questioned by police for evading his train fare.

Nilsen offered the teenager a meal and a bed for the evening, which he accepted.

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After Duffey had fallen asleep, Nilsen strangled him and subsequently drowned him in the kitchen sink before bathing with the body, which he later described as "the youngest looking I had ever seen."

Two days later, Duffey's body was placed beneath the floorboards.

Now, two years after Nilsen's death, his story was told again on ITV from two different angles – that of Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, who was in charge of the case, and Brian Masters, who wrote the killer's biography.

Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins played Jay and Masters respectively.

*The Real Des: The Dennis Nilsen story airs at 9pm on ITV tonight

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