According to the book Serial Killers, edited by Laura Foreman, Nilsen told police on the way to station the remains in his flat may have been belonged to “15 or 16” people dating back to 1978.

The same night, Detective Superintendent Chambers, DCI Jay and Professor Bowen returned to Cranley Gardens and removed plastic bags including human remains and internal organs which were taken to Hornsey mortuary.

On February 10, Nilsen confessed there were other human remains in his flat and even named some of his victims.

He also told police he had carried out other killings at his former address on Melrose Avenue and showed them three locations in the garden where he had burned his victims’ remains.

On February 11, 1983, he was formally charged with the murder of 20-year-old Stephen Sinclar, his final victim, and was transferred to Brixton prison where he was held before his trial.

Nilsen’s trial began on October 24, 1983, at the Old Bailey in London.

On November 4, 1983, Nilsen was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Nilsen was sentenced to life imprisonment on November 4, 1983, with a recommendation he served a minimum of 25 years.

In 1994, the minimum term of 25 years was replaced by a whole life sentence by Home Secretary Michael Howard.

Nilsen died in prison on May 12, 2018, from a pulmonary embolism and retroperitoneal haemorrhage. He was 72-years-old at the time of his death.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Tennant said he was “relieved” Nilsen was no longer alive today to see the drama air.

He said: “After he was arrested, Dennis Nilsen became obsessed with [what] was the legend of ‘Des’ – the reputation that he left behind.

“Whenever he slipped out public consciousness, there was almost a sense that he wanted to get back into it. That’s why I’m relieved he’s not alive.

“I would hate for this to go out and for him to be sitting in some cell somewhere imaging we were in any way glorifying him.

“I’m sure he would have complained about [what] we said and everything we did.
“At the same time, he would have been rather smugly pleased he was on television. I think it’s right and proper it’s transmitting after he’s gone.”

Des premieres Monday, September 14 at 9pm on ITV



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