REVIEW: Voice of a Serial Killer returns with a disturbing yet compelling tale of power
The fascinating Voice of a Serial Killer is back with a bang for season two with a shocking new story.
In 1993, civil servant Dennis Nilsen was taken into custody after police learnt that boiled human organs were clogging his drains. Nilsen confessed to a string of brutal murders, which numbered in the double digits. In the years to come, he took any opportunity to vocally re-live the murders that made him so notorious in loving detail. It makes him the perfect focus for Voice of a Serial Killer.
Voice of a Serial Killer never stops finding ways to surprise its audience. Serial killers like Nilsen follow patterns of behaviour and exhibit certain personality traits, yet hearing their cold-bloodedness is still disturbing. Like others before him, Nilsen’s lack of an emotional connection to his actions is compelling and terrifying to hear. The moment when his voice snaps and the charismatic charmer disappears – revealing the serial killer within – sends a chill down the spine.
The series excels in distinguishing its subjects as different people. Nilsen, we learn, was unique in many ways. In his relationships, he was unusually passive until the moment he committed murder. He marvelled in his own power and status only after his victim was dead. In his world outside his nightmare flat, he passed as a normal, even approachable person. There were few signs that this was a man capable of strangling multiple young men to death, performing perverse acts with their bodies before dismembering the remains.
There is nothing quite like hearing the casual, conversational tone of a murderer openly discussing his crimes. In series two, Voice of a Serial Killer continues to fascinate with this unconventional niche without becoming repetitive.