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Escape from Dennis Nilsen: How the teenage drag artist Carl Stottor escaped the serial killer


A dozen young men died in the late 1970s and early 1980s from serial killer and necrophile Dennis Nilsen – but two managed to escape his clutches dramatically.

One of them, Carl David Stottor, a drag artist in his early sixties believed to live in Brighton, was only 21 when he agreed to return to Nilsen's apartment in north London in 1982 – but the horrific encounter, which resulted has dominated his adult life.

Des, a new ITV drama about the murders of Luke Neal, recounts his death during his two-day nightmare with Nilsen, who died in prison on May 12, 2018, aged 72.

Stottor is portrayed by actress Laurie Kynaston and appears on Wednesday in the third and final episode. The first aired at 9 p.m. on Monday and attracted 5.9 million viewers.

Another victim, Andrew Ho, also survived the serial killer's clutches but later decided not to bring charges against him.

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Carl David Stottor, pictured in 1989, seven years after serial killer Dennis Nilsen tried to strangle and drown him in his north London apartment with a letter Nilsen wrote to him from his prison cell. Stottor, who is now in his early 60s and believes he lives in Brighton, said: "What he did will stay with me forever."

In 2005, Stottor changed its name to escape what happened almost 40 years ago. In interviews since then, Stottor has said that Carl Stottor is in Nilsen's house

In 2005, Stottor changed its name to escape what happened almost 40 years ago. In interviews since then, Stottor has said that Carl Stottor "died" in Nilsen's house

Actress Laurie Kynaston plays Carl Stottor in Luke Neal's three-part series that reenacted Nilsen's trial in 1983

Actress Laurie Kynaston plays Carl Stottor in Luke Neal's three-part series that reenacted Nilsen's trial in 1983

Officer Nilsen (pictured) was convicted of six murders and two attempted murders in 1983 and was imprisoned for life. On recommendation, he was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. He died in prison on May 12, 2018, aged 72, and his crimes are the subject of the new ITV drama Des, starring David Tennant

Officer Nilsen (pictured) was convicted of six murders and two attempted murders in 1983 and was imprisoned for life. On recommendation, he was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. He died in prison on May 12, 2018, aged 72, and his crimes are the subject of the new ITV drama Des, starring David Tennant. Right: Carl Stottor as he appeared in the new ITV drama Des, which retells the story of Nilsen's horrific crimes

After meeting Nilsen at the Black Cap Pub in Camden, Stottor agreed to go home with him but woke up next to Nilsen and was strangled with the zipper on the sleeping bag he was in. After a fight, the serial killer tried to drown him in a cold bath, but the young man awoke hours later with serious injuries.

He only survived because Nilsen had an obvious change of heart after seeing a flicker of life within and decided to take it easy. Stottor fled the apartment and went to the hospital where he was treated.

In the final episode of Des, Stottor (Kynaston) is verbally abused and spat on by members of the public as he leaves the court after testifying against Dennis Nilsen.

In 1983 Nilsen was convicted of six murders and two attempted murders and was imprisoned for life, with a recommendation to serve at least 25 years.

The crime – and Nilsen's subsequent imprisonment – clearly had a dramatic impact on Stottor's life – he now lives under a pseudonym and told Bizarre in 2009, "I don't feel happy that what he did will stay with me forever."

The letter Nilsen wrote to Stottor - after his victim had written to him several times in his prison cell - in January 1988; it said, "I am sorry you mistakenly believe that I did not bother to answer your letters ..."

The letter Nilsen wrote to Stottor – after his victim had written to him several times in his prison cell – in January 1988; it said, "I am sorry you mistakenly believe that I did not bother to answer your letters …"

In another interview, Stottor said he lost a friend to suicide because it was so difficult for him to deal with. I've moved everywhere trying to find a place that makes me feel better.

He added, "If I were able to have a gun and kill a single person, I would shoot Nilsen and then shoot myself."

During an interview with the now defunct magazine "Carl Stottor died that night at Dennis Nilsen's" he explained why he was forced to change his name.

Nine years ago, Stottor took out his anger over Nilsen's £ 55,000 win to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights for permission to write a comprehensive book on his crimes.

Stottor said, “Why should he have his human rights when his victims don't? It's not justice. That was 29 years ago and I have never forgotten it. & # 39;

Trauma: Stottor struggled with life after the attack and once said in an interview: "If it were possible for me to have a gun and kill a single person, I would shoot Nilsen and then myself."

Trauma: Stottor struggled with life after the attack and once said in an interview: "If it were possible for me to have a gun and kill a single person, I would shoot Nilsen and then myself."

Des is based on material from Killing For Company that included conversations with Nilsen, nicknamed Des. The murders all took place at the two North London addresses where former officer Nilsen resided between 1978 and 1983.

Described as a loner, he came to be known as the Muswell Hill Murderer when he committed his later murders in the Muswell Hill District of north London.

Most of Nilsen's victims were homosexual or homeless men whom he picked up in bars across London or on the streets.

After Nilsen invited her to his home, he provided his victims with food and alcohol before killing them. His preferred method was strangulation.

Once dead, he dismembered their bodies by dissecting them in his home. At his first address, Melrose Avenue, he buried her remains in the garden. However, at Cranley Gardens he was forced to take other measures.

After his arrest, he told the police how he boiled his victims' heads in a large saucepan to dispose of their brains. He would cut up the rest of their bodies and put them in plastic garbage bags on the property.

Stottor pictured in the Old Bailey Trial of Dennis Nilsen in 1983; In 2011, Stottor was furious when it was revealed that Nilsen had received £ 55,000 to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights for permission to write a comprehensive book about his crimes

Stottor pictured in the Old Bailey Trial of Dennis Nilsen in 1983; In 2011, Stottor was furious when it was revealed that Nilsen had received £ 55,000 to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights for permission to write a comprehensive book about his crimes

As the stench of their rotting corpses got stronger, he tried to flush their limbs down the toilet and sewer.

This caused a great deal of clogging in the pipes. Nilsen seemed unaware of the risk and boldly complained to a waste company about the blockade, demanding that it be resolved because he and other residents were suffering from it.

When a dyno rod worker arrived at the property in 1983 to release them, he discovered flesh and bone fragments when he opened a drain cover outside the property.

Describing how he liked to dress the bodies in Y-fronts and waistcoat and then take them off, he said he enjoyed the feeling of power wearing their limp bodies.

He said he was physically ill after cutting off the innards of some of his victims to address the "odor problem".

"In the end, when there were two or three bodies under the floorboards in the summer, it got hot and I knew there was going to be an odor problem," he said.

Cold murderer: When he is stuck with Dennis at a police station, he watches apathetically as a detective tells him to show the police other gravesites

Cold murderer: When he is stuck with Dennis at a police station, he watches apathetically as a detective tells him to show the police other gravesites

Unemotional: The actor was horrifying with his expressionless performance and indifference to be seen by the press after being charged with the murder of Steven Sinclair

Unemotional: The actor was terrifying with his expressionless performance and indifference to be seen by the press after being charged with the murder of Steven Sinclair

The EXCLUSIVE: David Tennant was relaxed when he turned into serial killer Dennis Nilsen and faced the press in a tense clip

The EXCLUSIVE: David Tennant was relaxed when he turned into serial killer Dennis Nilsen and faced the press in a tense clip

“I knew I had to deal with the odor problem. I thought, "What would be causing the smell more than anything?"

I came to the conclusion that it was the innards, the softer parts of the body, the organs, things like that. One weekend I pulled up the floorboards. I found it totally uncomfortable. I got blind drunk so I could face this.

I started dissecting on the kitchen floor. I would then get sick outside in the garden. & # 39;

He was convicted of six murders and two of attempted murder and was imprisoned for life in 1983 with a recommendation to serve at least 25 years.

It will air tonight and tomorrow evening at 9 p.m. on ITV.

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