All we know about where the real Dennis Nilsen lived #Des

DES is coming to ITV soon and the series tells the story of serial murderer Dennis Nilsen. Where did Nilsen live and are the houses still there?

PUBLISHED: 07:32, Mon, Sep 14, 2020 | UPDATED: 07:33, Mon, Sep 14, 2020

Des is due to air on ITV tonight (September 14) and viewers will get insight into the life of serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Nilsen was known to have targeted homeless victims in London, and he would invite them back to his home before killing them. Fans are keen to know where Nilsen lived and whether his house is still there. 

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Where did Dennis Nilsen live and are the houses still there?

The series is set in London in the 1980s, during a period of economic crisis, which saw a rise in homelessness in the city.

Nilsen, a former civil servant originally from Scotland, lived in two different homes during the time of the murders, which spanned from 1978 until 1983.

Nilsen had decided to join the Metropolitan Police in the early 70s and moved to London to begin his training. He was posted a Wilsden Green.

He later worked at a Jobcentre in Kentish Town - a place of work he visited until his arrest in 1983.

The murders were carried out firstly at 195 Melrose Avenue, then at 23 Cranley Gardens - in the Muswell Hill area of London. This is how Nilsen came to get his nickname - The Muswell Hill Murderer.

READ MORE: Des on ITV filming location: Where was Des filmed? Where is it set?

Des on ITV: Dennis Nilsen's homeDes on ITV: David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen and Nilsen's home in Cranley Gardens (Image: ITV/Getty)

Des on ITV: Melrose AvenueDes on ITV: Nilsen's home in Melrose Avenue in the 80s (Image: Getty)

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In 1981 Nilsen's landlord at Melrose Avenue asked him to leave the home so he could renovate it. Nilsen was resistant at first but accepted a £1,000 offer from his landlord.

After leaving his home he moved into a flat at 23D Cranley Gardens, having burned the bodies of the last five victims at Melrose Avenue on a bonfire.

At Cranley Gardens Nilsen had no access to an outside area, and he was not able to store bodies under the floorboards in the attic flat.

Instead the bodies were either stored in cupboards, or body parts were flushed down the toilet. In February 1983, Nilsen himself wrote a letter to estate agents complaining the drains were blocked.

Once the drains had been cleared, human remains were found and this led to Nilsen's arrest.

Des on ITV: David Tennant as Dennis NilsenDes on ITV: David

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