• Emma

Dennis Nilsen auction: Serial killer's glasses and Bacardi Sunrise painting up for grabs


Dennis Nilsen bacardi sunrise painting glasses
Dark Crime Collectables are selling sixty of Dennis Nilsen's personal items, including shoes, books and THOSE specs

Dennis Nilsen's glasses are as famous as his crimes - and today, they could be YOURS.\


The iconic wire-framed specs are one of sixty lots going up for sale at a one-off murderabilia auction at 6pm hosted by Dark Crime Collectables.


They announced the sale earlier this week, and tbh, we have been counting down the days (and counting up the cash down the sofa and potential resale value of a cat [joke]) ever since.


DCC announced it on their Instagram, writing: "On Sunday 22nd August, we will be opening the sale of 60 items that belonged to British serial killer, Dennis Nilsen, subject of the new Netflix feature documentary, Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes.


"This is the first time that Dennis Nilsen’s archive of objects has ever been offered for sale and all the items have been selected because of their historical importance and because of their significance in the prison life of Dennis Nilsen.


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Dennis Nilsen and his dog Bleep when she was just a puppy
Dennis Nilsen and his dog Bleep when she was just a puppy

"Many of the items feature in Dennis Nilsen’s autobiography, History of a Drowning Boy, including in the ‘picture’ pages, so the provenance is absolutely watertight. In addition, all items that are sold, will be supplied with an authentication letter."


Dennis Nilsen died in prison on May 12 2018, leaving most of his belongings to his close friend and penpal Mark Hudson.


Mark did an interview with The Sun this weekend where he showcased some of the items he inherited from his troubled pal, and these are what seem to be up for grabs.


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He told the paper that he will give all proceeds from their sale to an IVF charity.


There are all sorts of items that could be winging their way to you with a letter of authenticity, but for me personally, I am most excited by the sale of Bacardi Sunrise, aka Nilsen's only ever oil painting.



It is a bizarre composition, painted in bright yellow, green and red, and also features a 'bloody' handprint and a naked man sat in a foetal position.


The meaning of Bacardi Sunrise? Bacardi was Des' favourite drink, and he would drink it before blacking out and killing someone, and later when it was time to cut up and dispose of their remains.


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Whoever buys this lot (sadly not us as CEX won't accept pets and apparently my Game Boy Advance is worth just £5) will also get "Nilsen’s original sketch for the painting as well as the page from the magazine from which the central figure was cut and collaged into the painting."

Another interesting lot is his "Casio MT-640 mini electronic keyboard upon which he composed and played all 76 of his musical suites."


I would like to know if the suites are included. In an article published in the Aberdeen Evening Express on Tuesday 23 April 1996, we find out from his mum that Dennis should be allowed to release the music he had composed in prison - and that he believes himself to be a musical genius.

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Some of the other unique, one-off items up for sale today include:


"Dennis Nilsen’s iconic, silver-rimmed glasses, as featured in numerous photos of him taken soon after his arrest. They also feature on the front cover of his autobiography."


"His first-edition, hard-back copy of Killing for Company, by Brian Masters, the award-winning biography upon which the recent UK drama, Des (starring David Tennant), was based. The book is also annotated by Nilsen himself on some of the early pages."


"His original typewriter, upon which he typed the early draft of his memoirs."