Dennis Nilsen – killing for pleasure and power



Serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who killed at least 15, mainly homeless young gay men in the 1970s and 1980s, has died in prison. He was arrested when human remains were found in blocked drains at his London home. He was serving a life sentence after his conviction in 1983.

Born 23 November 1945 4am Fraserburgh, Scotland, with an alcoholic, largely absent Norwegian father and a strictly religious mother, who favoured his siblings, he gained most support from his grandfather who died when he was six. He was involved in a near fatal drowning when he was an older child. He spent 11 years in the army in catering, and latterly became a civil servant working in job centres.

He was a Sun Sagittarius trine Mars in Leo, sextiling onto a 12th house Neptune. He did drink heavily to cover his shyness and to hide his homosexuality, which fits with an escapist/addictive Neptune in the 12th. But what is most striking about his chart is a difficult combination of a Cancer Moon conjunct Saturn, with Saturn conjunct MC and Mars, and Mars conjunct Pluto, both in the 10th. It suggests a childhood with little love, a rigidly disciplinarian mother who was bossy and controlling. The Mars Saturn conjunction is cruel; Mars Pluto ruthless. He also had a passionate Venus in Scorpio square Pluto and widely square Mars, which would make him a) possessive and b) insensitive.

It’s thought his first victim met his death in late 1978 when tr Pluto was moving across Nilsen’s Ascendant, exacerbating his need for control; and his Solar Arc Pluto was moving to square his Uranus as he moved into a new phase of his life. His Solar Arc Neptune was also exactly square his Pluto, moving to conjunct his Venus, so amplifying megalomaniac and sexually perverse tendencies. He would enjoy the power. There was one theory that he was in part replaying the death of his grandfather whom he saw in an open coffin after his death, after which he became a more withdrawn child.

Ted Bundy was another Sun Sagittarius with Venus in Scorpio square Pluto.


One thought on “Dennis Nilsen – killing for pleasure and power

  1. One thing I read is that his brother argued over gay civil rights with Nilsen and than told his mother and siblings that Nilsen was homosexual. His mother at the time was asking Nilsen to find a girl marry and have children. He than refused to talk to his brother and slowly distanced himself from his family. He knew what he was doing was wrong, he could have sought help, he was an educated, employed man, he never did. How did the army affect him, one wonders. I believe he could have controlled this horrific need to kill. He enjoyed it and bragged about it all by talking about the details long after he was imprisoned. A canary you could not shut up. His youngest victim was 14.

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