AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now features the Exclusive North American Premiere of the new blood-chilling true-crime drama DES on Thursday, October 15, 2020, with a new episode available every following Thursday. Starring the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, as one of the most infamous serial killers in UK history. This 3-part series was ITV’s biggest drama launch of 2020 and delves into the mind of one of the most emotionally elusive serial killers the world has ever seen. Can we really ever understand the mind of a psychopathic killer? And, if we try, what price do we pay?
Known as the ‘kindly killer’, Dennis Nilsen was a local civil servant who spent five years murdering boys and young men he met on the streets of London’s Soho from 1978 to 1983. He would meet and befriend these men before offering them food or lodgings for the evening back at his North London flat. His victims were often homeless or living off-grid, having slipped through the cracks of 1980s British society and were, therefore, welcoming of this stranger’s apparent generosity. When he was finally caught on February 9, 1983, Nilsen had murdered a total of fifteen men over a period of five years, making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer of all time.
After his arrest, Nilsen was astonishing in his honesty: admitting outright to all fifteen murders in the police car outside his flat. But infuriatingly for the investigating detectives, he couldn’t remember any of his victims’ names. With no apparent motive, inconclusive forensic evidence, and most of Nilsen’s victims living off-grid, the police started the most significant manhunt investigation in UK history. This time not for the murderer, but for the murdered.