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Dear… (NAME REDACTED)
This is a supplementary reply to your last letter. When I wrote to you there had been no official acknowledgement that your cheque had been received here. The usual procedure is that the prisoner concerned is called up to sign for it in the registration book and, the fact that money or a cheque had arrived, this is usually noted on the incoming envelope. None of these procedures were followed. I noted in today’s weekly Earning Statement there is an unexplained entry of £10 in the “private cash” section. I guess that this may be your cheque. The administration of prisoner’s monies was never up to much here… the latest example being that my meagre prison wage was £1 and 50 pence short last week. Their error which they have not, as of yet, got around to correcting. This is the routine here and management has still not engaged the remedy of addressing their ‘offending behaviour’. There is no mind set like the Prison Service mind set. Routines just bumble along to nowhere”. He goes on…
“I watched the Channel Five documentary on Myra Hindley last night. One suspects that any programme with “Monster” in its title is not to be taken seriously as offering any new insight into the subject. TV journalism remains too set in its populist formulas. It revealed no new analysis or enlightening information. It hinged itself on that famous ‘demonic’ photograph of her taken at the police station. That saved millions the bother of ever having to think deeply about her ever again”.
He ends his letter… “Scientists tell us that an asteroid might strike the earth on 21st April 2014. If I’m still around, I’ll look out for it as the end of the world is something not to be missed. Friendly greetings as always, Des. PS: What do you think of the new Bull Ring development?”
Why was that an insight? Entirely different to his style of writing; often regarded as pompous, opinionated and highfalutin, loved to show how superior he was, (ep12) Carl Stotter wrote to Dennis Nilsen to ask him why he’d attacked him, almost killed him and then brought him back to life; in his reply Nilsen cryptically wrote, 'What passed between us was a thin strand of love and humanity'. Still to this day, Carl Stotter states "I've turned over what he meant until I'm blue in the face, but I can't find an answer.". As an example, in his autobiography – Memoir of a Drowning Boy (never published, court of European Human Rights deemed he couldn’t profit from his crimes, although, now he’s dead, this could change – his book is very much a pompous self-analysis of himself.
Here’s an example: "I serve my time as an extreme example of human contradiction in the wide continuum of human nature and its actions. I am not contained, mute and immobile in a glass jar as some kind of eternal official specimen of popular 'evil'. As I am alive I must live as a man. I seek only to reach out to engage with the human dimension which is anathema to rigid officials of the retribution machine who are content with the official view of men like me as eternally and evilly sub-human and monstrous."
Did you understand that? Nope. I think that makes all of us. But if you want to hear how Dennis Nilsen actually spoke… (CLIP)… taken from his police interview after his arrest in Feb 1983 at Hornsey Police Station.
If you found this interesting? Check out the Mini Mile episodes of the Murder Mile UK True-Crime Podcast, or click on the link below to listen to an episode.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London”, nominated "one of the best true-crime podcasts at the British Podcast Awards 2018", and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 50 deaths, over just a one mile walk
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster of Murder Mile UK True Crime and creator of true-crime TV series.
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