carl-stotter

The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story: what happened to Carl Stotter?

Dennis Nilsen let Carl go after trying to strangle then drown him

Emmy Griffiths

Following the hugely popular David Tennant drama Des, a crime documentary based on the investigation into Dennis Nilsen, The Real Des: The Dennis Nilsen Story, will air on Thursday night and will look at the serial killer's trial - and his victims.

READ: Viewers in tears over Carl's heartbreaking story in Des finale

The only victim thought to survive from Dennis, who murdered up to 15 people, was Carl Stotter, a drag artist who Dennis invited over for a drink back in May 1982. 

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WATCH: Have you caught up with ITV's Des yet?

While Carl was asleep, Dennis tried to strangle him using a zip from a sleeping bag, then attempted to drown him. However, the serial killer - for whatever reason - changed his mind, resuscitated Carl and warmed him up again, eventually letting him leave his flat. 

Back in 2010, Carl told The Sun: "Nilsen was behind me, kneeing me in the back and telling me to keep still. No air was going into my lungs and all I could feel was the teeth of the zip digging into my neck as he pulled it tighter. I briefly felt blood from the wound trickling over my skin and then I passed out." 

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Carl was allowed to leave after Dennis spared him

He last spoke to the press back in 2011, when it was reported that Dennis was receiving financial aid during his prison sentence. 

He told The Angus: "Why should he have his human rights when his victims haven't any? It's not justice. This happened to be 29 years ago and I never forgot it. I feel really angry, but this is not just about me. It is about all the people he killed too.

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He was recently portrayed in the ITV drama Des

"This is not right. There is less help for victims than killers. I have not received a penny of help from anyone. I was the only one of his victims left to be able to seek compensation and I got nothing."

Chris Healey previously opened up to the Mirror about Carl, saying: "He was a bit of a troubled soul, Carl Stotter, I'm afraid. He made a statement, but he didn't want to come to court to give evidence. He was really, really reluctant. Because there was no CPS, you were responsible for getting your witness to court. He phoned up and said, 'I can't get to court, I haven't got any money'.

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"In the end, I said, 'Get a taxi, I'll meet you and I'll pay for it,' and he turned up at The Old Bailey. I had to go and pay for the taxi and then get him into court. He was absolutely shaking the whole way."

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