8 Heinous Scottish Criminals - And Their Crimes

Which lawbreakers, villains and rogues hail from Caledonia - and what did they do?

Des David Tennant
ITV

Unofficially dubbed “The Best Wee Country in the World”, Scotland is well known for its rugged natural beauty, the world-famous whisky it produces, and having weather and a national football side that always seem to let you down whenever you start to believe that something good might be happening.

It has a long and storied past of culture, music and traditions that are very much its own. It has also had its fair share of those who have been on the wrong side of the law. Its history is filled with men and women that rebelled against the system and broke the law to further the ends of their countrymen and nation. People who are writ large across the tapestry of Scottish history - William Wallace, Rob Roy and Katy Barlass.

They are not the subject of this article. Instead, these are people from the modern era who committed crimes with no grander moral agenda or to try and overthrow an oppressive regime. Instead, these are people who broke the law, some of them in appalling ways, who just so happen to be Scottish.

Bear in mind that the following are not ranked in any way.

8. Dennis Nilsen

Des David Tennant
ITV

Subject of an as-yet unreleased drama starring David Tennant, Dennis Nilsen was a number of things throughout his life. He was an army cook, a member of the police force and a security guard. He was also a chronic abuser of alcohol and a serial killer.

His childhood was one of loneliness and isolation, compounded when he realised he was a homosexual and attempted to keep this hidden from all around him. Joining the army, he served as a chef over a number of postings around the world before moving down to London and joining the Metropolitan Police.

While in London, Dennis' mental state deteriorated further and a slew of failed romances with other men led him to believe he was not fit to live. From 1978 he is believed to have killed at least twelve young men. His usual method was to drink heavily with them and then end their life via drowning or asphyxiation.

Known as "The Kindly Killer" due to the way that he "cared" for the remains of his victims by washing and cleaning them, there are far more unsavoury details of his crimes available to anyone with a strong enough stomach to research further.

Sentenced to life imprisonment, he died in 2018 at the age of 72.

Contributor
Contributor

Matthew is a Marine Engineer to trade who writes sub-standard Scottish crime fiction in his spare time that can be found here:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01MRT69RL Originally brought up in the Western Isles of Scotland, he lived in Edinburgh for 15 years but now stay in Dunbar with his partner, son and dog.