Dr Thomas Cream
|27 May 1850
|9 + ?
|Canada, USA & London
|1877 - 1892
|See Here >>
Cream's case is a complex one with him going back and forwards across the Atlantic, There are many unsubstantiated rumours about him. We try to unravel the facts.
Born in Glasgow, he spent his early years in Canada.
1876 He came to London to study medicine at St Thomas's Hospital, he had already studied medicine in Canada.
Before leaving Canada, he had been forced to marry at gunpoint the girl he had got pregnant. He attempted an abortion on Flora Brooks, but she later died, allegedly of consumption, but Cream was always the main suspect, but, he was now across the Atlantic in England.
1878, Qualified to to be a surgeon in Edinburgh
August 1879, Creams mistress, Kate Gardener was found dead in an alleyway behind his office. She was heavily pregnant, and had been poisoned by chloroform.. Cream was accused of the murder of Kate and that of the baby, he fled to the United States.
1880, Cream opened up a practice in Chicago, close to a red light district, he offered cheap abortions to prostitutes. One of whom, Mary Faulkner, died, but there was not enough evidence to charge Cream.
December 1880, Another death, Ms Stack died, Cream attempted to blackmail a chemist who had made up the prescription.
12th June 1881, Mr Daniel Slott died of strychnine poisoning, after Cream had supplied him with epilepsy medicine. Slott was the husband of Cream's mistress.
Stott's gravestone inscription reads, "Daniel Stott Died June 12, 1881 Aged 61 Years Poisoned By His Wife & Cream"
14th July 1881, Cream was arrested, and charged with murder, after again attempting to blackmail a chemist. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Chicago's Joliet Prison.
1891, He was released after it is alleged, his family blackmailed the authorities.
October 1891, Cream set sail for London. Setting up a practice in poverty stricken Lambeth.
13th October 1891, Cream met 19 year old prostitute, Ellen Donworth for a drink, the next day she was very ill, then on :-
16th October 1891, Ms Donworth died of strychnine poisoning.
During the inquest Cream wrote to the coroner offering to name the murderer in return for a £300,000 reward.
20th October 1891, Cream again met a prostitute for a drink, this time it was with 27 year old Matilda Clover, she died the next morning.
11th April 1882, Cream met 2 prostitutes, 21 year old Alice Marsh, and 18 year old Emma Shrivell. He talked his way into their flat and offered them bottles of Guinness. He had left by the time the poison he had put in the bottles took effect, both women died in agony from strychnine poisoning.
Creams big mistake and ultimate downfall was his greed, he tried to blackmail just about everyone he came across.
In the end he came unstuck when he wrote to police accusing two respectable London doctors of murdering several women, including the case of Matilda Clover. Police investigated and quickly cleared the 2 doctors, but their attention was now on Cream.
Police quickly realised that the letter writer was who the press were calling "The Lambeth Poisoner".
Cream met a New York policeman who was on holiday in London, Cream gave him a tour of the "Lambeth Poisoners" victims houses, when the man repeated the story to a London policeman, Cream had virtually sealed his own fate.
The London police put Cream under surveillance, where they learnt about his habit of visiting prostitutes. they also contacted the Chicago police, they learnt of his conviction for murder by poison.
13th July 1892, Cream was charged with the murder of Matilda Clover, he protested his innocence, saying he was Thomas Neil Cream not the convicted Neil Cream.
When police searched his home they found seven bottles of strychnine and equipment for making pills.
17th October 1892, The trial starts and lasts 4 days, The jury took 12 minutes to find Cream guilty of murder and he was sentenced to death.
15th November 1892, Cream was hanged at Newgate Prison by James Billington.
Cream is probably most famous for having allegedly confessed to being Jack The Ripper . With the noose around his neck on the scaffold at Newgate on 15th November 1892 cream yelled out " I Am Jack " as the hangman, James Billington threw the bolt.
This is not possible, Cream's detention in the state prison in Illinois USA for the murder of Daniel Stott by poisoning, proves beyond doubt that he could not have been in the east end of London at the time of the Ripper murders.
Jack the Ripper may have had Some medical training, but, Cream was quite a proficient surgeon, having studied medicine in Canada, Scotland and at St. Thomas's Hospital in London.