Thomas Cream

The Lambeth Poisoner

Geoff Shumway

Period 2 Terrell Forensics

Biography

Dr. Thomas Neill Cream was a mid nineteenth-century serial killer who's method of killing was poisoning by means of chloroform and strychnine. Due to the similarity of his killings to those of Jack the Ripper and an alleged confession before his execution, many believe that he and Jack were one in the same as they both murdered prostitutes.

Location

He committed a series of murders made possible by his profession as a doctor, he was able to acquire deadly substances and travel between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Early Life

Cream was raised in Quebec and graduated from medical school in 1878. He was forced to marry his girlfriend at gunpoint by her family after impregnating her, but aborted the baby himself in what would be the first of many dangerous and illegal abortions preformed by Cream. Ironically, his medical school thesis paper was on the topic of chloroform, which was one of his preferred murder weapons. Otherwise, not much is recorded regarding his childhood and therefor it is unknown whether he displayed the early characteristics of a serial killer. (Artist's rendition of what Cream may have looked like as a young child.)

Motive

Although the motive of Cream's crimes was never settled upon, it is generally believed that he was simply a sadist who enjoying viewing his victim's agony as they were slowly poisoned. Alternatively, they may have just been elements of his blackmailing of many other doctors in an attempt to gain wealth.

Capture and Sentencing

The first string of blackmails he attempted were against wealthy public figures whom he tried to frame for his murders. However, he wasn't caught until he tried to frame 2 innocent, respectable doctors and was caught due to suspicion by Scotland Yard on his extensive knowledge of the murders. He was found guilty and hung in November of 1892.

In Media

Right before his hanging, Cream uttered "I am Jack.." allegedly claiming to be the infamous Jack the Ripper. Although many today contest that it couldn't have been him as although the murders were similar, Cream was in prison at time of the murders and could not have committed them. Many theories surround Cream and his possible second identity, but most generally believe that he was merely lying.