Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer

Everything Netflix’s Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer doc doesn’t tell you about the case

There’s much more to Dirk P’s story

Netflix’s newest true crime documentary, Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer, follows the serial killer Dirk P’s movements after his murder of Nicky, a gay man, at a bar in Friedrichshain, a fashionable district in Berlin. Dirk went on to kill three other men, and for every murder he drugged them with a lethal dose of GHB, also called liquid ecstasy.

The documentary only has three episodes, each lasting around 30 minutes, much shorter than most other true crime series, and thus leaves a good few questions unanswered. So, in case you’ve still got niggling queries over what Netflix has left out from the case, here’s everything you need to know:

How the German police dealt with the Nightlife Killer murders

Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer

Credit: Netflix

The first murder committed in the bar Grosse Freiheit 114 had a lack of evidence; no sign of a struggle, no fingerprints, and no witnesses. German police could easily have just assumed this was an accidental overdose; a mix of drugs and alcohol, as these are a common and lethal combination. Instead, this was investigated more deeply and, after having found that the murderer had taken the victim’s credit card, it was viewed as suspicious.

Berlin police have been praised for handling the death suspiciously as, in contrast, when a gay man called Stephen Port was found dead in similar circumstances in London two years later, the Met police incorrectly assumed it was a self-administered drug overdose.

Dirk P’s actual motive

Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer

Credit: Netflix

Dirk P’s testimony in the documentary refers to the reasoning behind his crimes and how it was not financial. In fact, after having killed his victims, he would steal their wallets, phones, and other belongings, only to throw them away afterwards. However, he admitted to attempting to use one of his victim’s credit cards despite not knowing what the PIN was.

He admitted it was all “for the thrill of doing something forbidden”. Despite having not even received a parking ticket in the past, after having realised he was capable of taking someone’s life, he got such an adrenaline rush that this became an addiction.

What caused Dirk to commit his crimes in the first place 

Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer

Credit: Netflix

In the last episode of the docuseries, we meet Dirk’s aunt, Birgit, who discusses his childhood, and how he was sexually abused by her mother (his grandmother). She believes he played a key role in her death as, when her body was exhumed, the concentration of drugs in her bloodstream was very high. His traumatic childhood evidently impacted his life and contributed to the mental illness he suffered.

Dirk had no issues with the men he murdered, he just wanted to feel in control. Narration in the show’s final episode says, “For a human being, there is no greater knowledge than the knowledge that someone is going to die, and that person, that victim, doesn’t have any idea that they’re about to die.” This god complex of sorts clearly affected Dirk P’s mind, and could have played a part in his reasoning to murder.

Another aspect of his character that could have given rise to his mental illness was the fact that he suppressed his sexuality for most of his life, not sharing with anyone that he was gay, due to the feeling that this would cause him to become an outsider.

When questioned by the police, Dirk claimed he had a “concrete moral compass” up until he experienced a childhood trauma, which he “couldn’t comprehend”.

What happened to Dirk ‘the darkroom killer’ after he was caught 

Crime Scene Berlin: Nightlife Killer

Credit: Netflix

Dirk P. was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 23 and the 39-year-old was meant to spend at least 25 years in prison. However, Dirk took his own life in jail just nine months after he was sentenced to life behind bars.

State prosecutor Katrin Faust admits in Netflix’s documentary she’s still haunted by the crimes: “I’ve worked thousands of cases in my career, and only a few have impacted me this much,” she says. “I am still afraid of this man.”

Can I Tell You a Secret? is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image credit via Netflix