Strangled, chopped up and burnt: The Sheffield man slayed by evil serial killer Dennis Nilsen

The death of notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen has put the spotlight back on many of his horrific crimes - including the brutal murder of a Sheffield man at his hands back in 1981.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14th May 2018, 1:35 pm
Updated Monday, 14th May 2018, 1:41 pm
Dennis Nilsen (left) murdered many young men - Sheffield born Malcolm Barlow among them.
Dennis Nilsen (left) murdered many young men - Sheffield born Malcolm Barlow among them.

Evil Nilsen, who murdered at least 15 young men and who died in prison at the weekend aged 72, chopped up and even cooked some of his victims during his twisted five-year killing spree in London in the late 70s and early 80s.

And among his victims was 24-year-old Sheffield man Malcolm Barlow, an orphan with mental problems who had become a drifter in London when he encountered Nilsen in September 1981.

Born in the city in 1957, Barlow, who suffered from mental problems and was a pathological liar, was killed on September 18 of that year after Nilsen found him loitering outside his home at 195 Melrose Avenue in London.

When his mother died at the age of 11, Barlow was looked after by his sister - but she found him unmanageable and he would steal and occasionally sleep with men then try to blackmail them.

Nilsen had already killed a number of other young men at the house and after commiting sex acts with the corpses, stuffed the bodies under his floorboards before digging them up, dissecting them and disposing of the remains in a series of bonfires in his garden.

After finding Barlow complaining of feeling unwell from epilepsy, Nilsen took him home and called him an ambulance which took him to hospital.

When Barlow was released, he came back and sat on Nilsen’s doorstep to await his return from work.

Nilsen invited him in and the pair drank rum together before Barlow fell into a deep sleep.

But Nilsen found his presence a nuisance - and so strangled him.

The next day, he stuffed Barlow in the cabinet under the kitchen sink - along with a number of other bodies which also littered the house.

Barlow was the last victim to die in Melrose Avenue - but Nilsen continued his killing spree at his new address, an attic flat in Cranley Gardens.

But before his move, Nilsen had the gruesome task of disposing of the bodies - and after digging up his victims from beneath his flooboards, he chopped them up on the kitchen floor before burning them in a huge blaze - using old tyres to cover the smell of burning flesh.

Born in Scotland in 1945, Nilsen's killing spree finally came to an end in February 1983 when a Dyno Rod employee discovered human flesh in a drain at the house after being called in to investigate a blockage.

Police were called in and Nilsen was eventually convicted on six counts of murder and two of attempted murder at the Old Bailey - although he killed at least 15 young men.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 November 1983, with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years. In his later years, he was incarcerated at Full Sutton maximum security prison after receiving a whole life tariff.