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Wednesday's Korner
Surreal Killing

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"Am I mad? I don't feel mad. Maybe I'm mad." - Dennis Nilsen

Killing for Company by Brian Masters (Dell Publishing)
or read Katherine Ramsland's piece from the Crime Library A Dangerous Stranger

Evidence that the human race comes to terms with the cycle of life and death became surprisingly apparent through immersing myself with this true crime novel about serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Early on in the book Masters theorizes on one of Nilsen's intimate brushes with nature while in the Shetlands of Norway and questions, "Was this worship of the soil a manifestation of his latent idea that death was a going home, a returning to nature and transcendent reality to which mortal life was but an illusory interruption?" Fascinatingly graphic and disturbing, Nilsen's story is rooted with meticulous macabre facts about the events in his life that deeply affected his emotions along with the detailed accounts of how he suppressed his feelings instead of purging his troubled mind.

While living in London, working as a civil servant, he killed 15 men whom he befriended at the local pubs, and in each case the book depicts his acts of disposing the bodies over a period of five years. As the title indicates, Nilsen was, for several reasons, a victim of loneliness while at the same time his diary documents his guilt over the accumulation of victims. Masters includes Nilsen's "sad sketches" where one in particular quotes Lord Alfred Tennyson: "Faultily, faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection, no more." And the chapter entitled "Answers" expounds on Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment; comparisons to other serial killers, extensive psychiatric evaluation, exploring sexual abherration, the philosophy of murder plus don't forget the religious view. One part about sexual aberration echos the recent movie Kissed where Nilsen relates, "It was as if the spirit of the man still dwelt within and the decay of death was a consummation of life itself." I highly recommend it to all those who enjoy psychoanalyzing such humans who are the casualties of society.

Peering further inwards, you may also find intriguing that Swans recorded "Killing for Company," a song which can be found on the album The Great Annihilator(Invisible Records). Singer Michael Gira, fascinated with this necrophile in particular, reveals that it was Nilsen's way of dealing with loneliness that inspired him. Read the Musik Magazine interview for a full explanation. The lyrics justify Nilsen's need to kill to satisfy his loneliness. Gira sings as if he's the voice of Nilsen, "I couldn't stop myself/I knew I'd do it again," sadly admitting to his crime with a sense of despair.

Killing For Company

I couldn't stop myself
I knew I'd do it again
But I could heal myself,
If I could feel your skin
And if I comprehend this moment
I know we'll live again
And if I heal your wound
We will make love again
And now we're slipping through this millenium
We should feel sorry for the people
Can I kiss your skin?
And there's hunger in the desert.
And missiles in the sky
And every soul is interwoven
Before the wrong or right
I know we'll live again
Though it's just a feeling
I know we'll never end
I'll keep you company

If you are still morbidly curious, then check out Morbid Curiosity,a 'zine of fiction and essays on autoerotic strangulation, cremation, electrocution, necrophilia, parochial schools, and thunderstorms.

The Scratchin' Post Serial Killers Archive

The A-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Harold Schechter, David Everitt

APB: Serial Killer Bureau

APB: Fugitives from Justice

Statewide Wanted & Missing Resources List and remember never to take action yourself or you could end up a victim.

"Inside the Mind of a Killer" and other articles by John Douglas

Serial Killer Hit List

Joyce Carol Oates,the prolific novelist, playwright, poet and critic, has never been afraid to explore the darker side of the human psyche. An interview with the woman who wrote Zombie.

 Brush up with this
list of movies where scars are used to depict evil.

 Do you think Bert from Sesame Street is evil?

Burke: To murder by placing something over the mouth of the person attacked to prevent his giving alarm. So called from Burke, an Irishman, who used to suffocate his victims and murder them for the sole purpose of selling the dead bodies to surgeons for dissection. Hanged at Edinburgh, 1829."

Burkers: Body-snatchers; those who kill by burking." ©1996 Data Text Publishing Ltd

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