The Golden Lion is a authentic English pub between Soho and Chinatown where any queer or straight person can pop in for a pint. I stopped by with my gay Chinese pal and his trans friend to grab a pitcher full of Pimm’s Cups (a refreshing British summertime drink made with liquor, lemonade, and cucumber). And while enjoying a glass, our lady friend commented on The Golden Lion’s quaint interior, the regulars that crowd the place on weekends, and how it is one of the spots where “the British Jeffrey Dahmer” used to pick up his victims… cheers!
Who knew that London’s gay district also had a bit of murderous history? Convicted serial killer Dennis Nilsen apparently killed fifteen guys between ages 14 and 26 from 1978 and 1983. Nilsen invited them back to his place, strangled and drowned his victims, then watched TV and had sex with their corpses. He’d later chop their bodies into bits — with the butchering skills he learned as a navy cook — boil the parts to do away with the skin, and then flush their bones and muscley bits down the toilet. Only when a British Roto Rooter stopped by to inspect his neighborhood plumbing did authorities discover human remains clogging the local pipes.
The investigators smelled a rotting stink coming from Nilsen’s home. When the police stopped by to tell Nilsen about the remains, he responded “Good grief, how awful!” Then the arresting officer said, “Don’t mess about, where’s the rest of the body?” Nilsen calmly directed him to the two plastic bags in his wardrobe.
“What a lovely story!” I told our trans friend.
“Oh, it was a huge deal when he got arrested. It was in all the tabloids,” she said. “Kinda like a gay Jack the Ripper.”
“I thought you said he was like Jeffrey Dahmer.”
“Y’know darling, like whatever.”
That’s not to slam The Golden Lion or anything, but just to add a grisly bit of gay horror history to one of the world’s most popular gay villages. So the next time you’re celebrating Pride and enjoying a drink at your gay-friendly local, toast to your health and choose your trick wisely… you never know when that next night out could be your last. Cheers!