Today’s journey takes us to another infamous doctor, a bit lesser-known than Harold Shipman but just as deadly from the United Kingdom.
Not All Doctors Are Good
Thomas Neill Cream, or Dr. Cream, was a Scottish-Canadian medical doctor, graduate from the Montréal McGill University in Québec, Canada. It earned him the moniker of the Lamberth Poisoner as he used strychnine to poison his victims.
Thomas was born in May 1850 and dreamed of becoming a doctor. It was an era where people put their complete trust in doctors and medicine as there was no other way to inform oneself about anatomy and medical procedures. Also, doctors took an oath to save lives.
Prolific Killer In Practice
Dr. Cream was one of the few murderers who managed to kill in over three countries and slaughtered at least ten people. Like most killers back then, Thomas targeted lower-income women, prostitutes, and females needing back-alley abortions.
One of Dr. Cream’s first failed victims was his wife, Flora Brooks. After she got pregnant, Thomas performed an abortion that left her hanging on for dear life.
After the procedure went haywire, her husband fled the country leaving for Ontario, Canada. Flora’s family never heard from Thomas after the butchered operation.
Settled in Ontario, Dr. Cream found himself a new family and set up a medical practice in 1878. Here he was charged under the Ontario act for setting up a medical clinic and practicing without a license.
The Wind City Welcomed Dr. Cream
He pleaded guilty, but this didn’t deter clients from seeking his expertise. His first Canadian victim was Catharine Hutchinson Gardner, who had been looking for an abortion.
She was found murdered behind his office with chloroform in her system. Despite the growing evidence, charges were never laid against Thomas, so he skipped the country and headed to Chicago in the United States.
In the city of Chicago, Dr. Cream established a small clinic in the red-light district and offered illegal abortions to working-class girls. Several young women were killed during this time, including Mary Anne Faulkner, Miss Stack, Alice Montgomery, and Daniel Stott.
A woman named July was Daniel Scott’s wife and was having an affair with the good doctor. It was said that she had hired him to kill her husband. When it looked like the police were closing in, Julia decided to throw her lover under the bus and handed out evidence. It set Dr. Cream up to take the fall.
The Doctor Was Creamed
Thomas Cream was sentenced to prison for Daniel’s murder. In fact, the doctor was given life imprisonment. However, in July 1891, Thomas was released after spending five to six months in the penitentiary. This was due to a bribe from the governor. This shows how money speaks volumes even back in the nineteenth century.
Daniel’s family and friends bought a tombstone for his body and engraved it. “Here lies Daniel Stott – poisoned by his wife Julia and her lover Dr. Thomas Cream.Fun Fact
After his release from prison in the United States, Dr. Cream hightailed it back to London and set up shop. The doctor wasted no time. His first victim was a young nineteen-year-old girl named Ellen Donworth. She was a sex worker whom he poisoned with strychnine.
His second victim was a twenty-seven-year-old prostitute named Matilda Clover, whom he took to bed and gave her pills. Once mixed with the alcohol she consumed ended up killing her.
Strychnine Will Keep The Doctor Away
His last three victims were Louise Harvey, Alice Marsh, and Emma Shrivell, who were all prostitutes and killed by ingesting pills and strychnine poisoning.
For the first two murders, Dr. Cream, desperate for money, tried to blackmail two men who would later on become prominent in history.
The first was W.H Smith – founder of the book publishing company WH Smith and the second was Dr. William Broadbent, known for being a famous British Neurosurgeon.Fun Fact
Dr. Cream was finally arrested on the 3rd of June, 1892. His trial began on the 17th of October, 1892 and lasted till the 21st of October, 1892.
It only took the jury twelve minutes to come up with the deliberation of guilty on all counts. Thomas was sentenced to death by Judge Henry Hawkins. His body was cremated and buried in the London Municipal Cemetery in an unmarked grave in section 339.
When in 1892, Dr. Cream was found guilty of his crimes and set for hanging rumors started circling. Reminiscent of Jack the Ripper, a killer whose identity remains unknown to this day, had people talk.
Jack The Ripper Got Creamed?
During his last moment, rumors about Dr. Cream being the infamous Jack the Ripper. After all, the Ripper had medical skills and went after sex workers himself.
However, the lifespan of the murderers didn’t coincide as Dr. Cream seemed to have already moved to the United States when the Ripper was still active in England.
Dr. Cream’s last words were that he was Jack the Ripper. An English-Canadian author Chris Scott wrote a fictional crime novel called Jack based on the premise that Dr. Cream was Jack the Ripper.Fun Fact
I guess we will never know if Cream and the Ripper were the same.