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The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

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“When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder t “When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help. Dean Jobb vividly re-creates this largely forgotten historical account against the backdrop of the birth of modern policing and newly adopted forensic methods, though most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then most police departments could hardly imagine that serial killers existed—the term was unknown at the time. As the Chicago Tribune wrote then, Cream’s crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer, one who operated without motive or remorse, who “murdered simply for the sake of murder.” 


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“When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder t “When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help. Dean Jobb vividly re-creates this largely forgotten historical account against the backdrop of the birth of modern policing and newly adopted forensic methods, though most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then most police departments could hardly imagine that serial killers existed—the term was unknown at the time. As the Chicago Tribune wrote then, Cream’s crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer, one who operated without motive or remorse, who “murdered simply for the sake of murder.” 

30 review for The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    4.5 frankly disturbed stars Amongst Jack the Ripper, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.H. Holmes, and the birth of the modern medical movement... there was another man murdering prostitutes and women of no means in London and Chicago. His story has somehow faded in the background of more sensationalized figures—and yet his reign of murders was no less terrifying. Research: ★★★★★ Ease of reading: ★★★★ Contextualization: ★★★★★ "Enjoyment": ★★★★★ "In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at 4.5 frankly disturbed stars Amongst Jack the Ripper, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.H. Holmes, and the birth of the modern medical movement... there was another man murdering prostitutes and women of no means in London and Chicago. His story has somehow faded in the background of more sensationalized figures—and yet his reign of murders was no less terrifying. Research: ★★★★★ Ease of reading: ★★★★ Contextualization: ★★★★★ "Enjoyment": ★★★★★ "In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help." I've pulled right from the book's blurb above because I think it's a near-perfect way to describe the contents of this piece of research. Are you aware of London's Jack the Ripper? Of course. But are you aware of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream? You should be, as he was worse. The only way I can describe my reading experience for this book is: baffling and horrifying. Here was a white man from a rich Canadian family hiding behind a doctor's degree in the late 1800s—who managed to evade justice for literal decades of murdering across three countries. He was suspected, questioned, arrested, and identified as a predator on multiple occasions throughout his reign of global terror... and yet money, corruption, sexism, racism, and more kept him on the streets. How did he do it? HOW did he get away with it, when his murders were nearly identical, he was tied to the scenes of the crime and the victims, and his mental state gave him away at nearly every turn with erratic behaviors and letters of confession sent to the police? Author Dean Jobb takes us on this chilling, ominous journey through immaculately researched chapters and photos detailing every leg of Dr. Cream's life. In a similar manner to The Devil and the White City, this work includes direct quotations in a narrative style—all sourced—and play-by-play journeys from each of Dr. Cream's murderous explorations. The writing style with dialogue and descriptions made for an easy, almost fictional/narrative read, but this is no work of fiction. I found it chilling to see Dr. Cream in photos, and even more disturbing to read the blackmail letters he sent to the police and the documents written down about him at the time. Seeing the plight of the Victorian single woman—often existing at society's fringes in prostitution, one of the few lucrative positions available to her—and her fatal encounters with a doctor whom she thought she could trust... chilling. Dean Jobb has done a fantastic job with this work. I put it right up there with Devil in the White City and The Butchering Art, both nonfiction works dealing with similar subject matter. The only elements of this work that I wish the author had provided more context for were the discussions on sexism and race that played out in Dr. Cream's ability to evade justice. He preyed on white female prostitutes, and in one particular court case his lawyer was easily able to discredit a witness because she was a Black woman. Jobb discusses the sexism at work during these times in an afterword at the end—most likely as a way to keep the editorialization minimal within the "narrative" timeline—but he does not go into detail on the levels of racism at play. Even though we as readers could reasonably take it as a given, due to the time period, it would have been appropriate to give that topic more airtime. Thank you to Algonquin Books for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

  2. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    A brilliant piece of writing with extensive research to bring to life the true story of a Victorian era’s serial killer. Dr. Cream was able to murder several people across two continents for years: Canada, England and the USA. During a span of fifteen years he was captured, tried and acquitted. He was captured and tried again, found guilty went to prison for life and got his life sentence commuted. None of which prevented him from moving on, presenting himself as a doctor (he actually had a medic A brilliant piece of writing with extensive research to bring to life the true story of a Victorian era’s serial killer. Dr. Cream was able to murder several people across two continents for years: Canada, England and the USA. During a span of fifteen years he was captured, tried and acquitted. He was captured and tried again, found guilty went to prison for life and got his life sentence commuted. None of which prevented him from moving on, presenting himself as a doctor (he actually had a medical degree, but chose not to use it for good) and carrying out his heinous crimes elsewhere. Finally Scotland Yard detectives began to put the pieces together by travelling to Canada and the USA gathering evidence. Dr. Cream was likely a psychopath – a term that was unknown at that time – but my estimation is that he was a psychopath that was begging to be caught by his very reckless and abundantly stupid actions, because Cream was by no means a stupid man. Everybody on the planet has heard of ‘Jack the Ripper’ but I had never heard of Dr. Cream before and to be fair his murders were no less horrific even though he did not cut up the bodies of his victim. He was, however, even more insidious.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream spent the better part of a year hunting and eliminating prostitutes in and around London in the early 1890s. Once Scotland Yard narrowed in on who they believed to be their suspect, Inspector Frederick Smith Jarvis was sent to North America to dig into Cream’s past. What he would uncover would lead Scotland Yard to believe Cream was their man. Through interviews with key figures in Cream’s past as well as good, honest, boots-on-the-ground Also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream spent the better part of a year hunting and eliminating prostitutes in and around London in the early 1890s. Once Scotland Yard narrowed in on who they believed to be their suspect, Inspector Frederick Smith Jarvis was sent to North America to dig into Cream’s past. What he would uncover would lead Scotland Yard to believe Cream was their man. Through interviews with key figures in Cream’s past as well as good, honest, boots-on-the-ground investigative work, Jarvis was able to paint a clearer picture of the man Doctor Thomas Neill Cream had been before arriving in England. Uncovering blackmail schemes, multiple murder trials and a stint in an Illinois state prison, Inspector Jarvis had no doubt Cream was the man behind the recent poisonings in London. Author Dean Jobb actually stumbled upon Thomas Cream during research for another project and decided to see where it would take him. As Cream’s murders happened shortly after Jack the Ripper’s killing spree, Cream appeared to be largely forgotten. While his victims died in a less sensationalistic way than those who fell under Jack, Cream’s murders were no less cruel. Targeting his victims through strychnine – a deadly poison that went hand-in-hand with an agonizing death – Cream took advantage of his standing as a medical professional, allowing his victims to trust him when prescribing medication. Throughout the book, I never understood how Cream stayed on the lam for as long as he did. Even before being locked up in the 1880s, he had left several paper trails that could have easily led back to him, as he appears to have been completely disorganized at times. It certainly helped that the justice system in the Victorian Era was less than perfect, so it made it easy for someone to slip through the cracks. However, like all serial killers, Cream was arrogant, which led him to believe he likely wouldn’t be caught. It’s amazing that even after two murder trials (only one of which led to a conviction) in the United States, Cream was released and allowed to leave the country and start up again across the Pond. Jobb exposes the faults in the US criminal justice system that allowed this to happen through political pressure and alleged bribes after Cream had originally been sentenced to life behind bars. As much as this book is about the crimes of Dr. Cream, it is also about an era in time in which someone like this could move around so freely. As the justice system evolved (at one point, Jobb discusses the practice of measuring body parts of criminals as a means of identifying repeat offenders), it was only a matter of time before Cream’s past would catch up with him as he continued along this path. Dean Jobb’s exhaustive research paints a portrait of a career criminal who wrote a prescription for his own downfall.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book contains two of my favorite genres: history and true crime. I had never heard of Dr. Cream or his crimes (not sure if it’s more well-known in England), so I was interested in learning more about this Jack-the-Ripper-esque killer. Dr. Cream was an actual practicing doctor during the later half of the 19th century who poisoned (mostly) women in the guise of providing them with medical treatment. His crimes spanned several countries (the US, Canada, and the UK). It’s only because of his ow This book contains two of my favorite genres: history and true crime. I had never heard of Dr. Cream or his crimes (not sure if it’s more well-known in England), so I was interested in learning more about this Jack-the-Ripper-esque killer. Dr. Cream was an actual practicing doctor during the later half of the 19th century who poisoned (mostly) women in the guise of providing them with medical treatment. His crimes spanned several countries (the US, Canada, and the UK). It’s only because of his own hubris that he was eventually caught and put on trial. This book had all the makings of an intriguing story – especially the inclusion of a main character that is truly nuts. However, I felt that this book suffered from a structure that just didn’t work. The book jumps around from different time periods for no discernible reason. I think it would have benefitted from a more chronological telling. It would have made the book so much easier to follow along with. I found myself confused with which part of Dr. Cream’s story I was reading and how all of the events of his life connected together. The book starts with his crimes in the UK only to go back and forth between his past and previous crimes. There were also some parts of the story that felt rather dry even though the story is rife with dramatic moments (especially when one of the poisonings is described). Obviously, you can tell that the author spent a ton of time researching this case and this period in history. The book is well-supported by facts and insights into that time period. However, I most likely won’t be recommending this to anyone because I just couldn’t get past the hard-to-follow structure. Perhaps this was just a miss for me – maybe other readers won’t be bothered by this storytelling technique. *Free ARC provided by Algonquin Books in exchange for an honest review*

  5. 4 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    "When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge." - Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," 1892 The Case: Dr. Thomas Neill Cream also known as the Lambeth Poisoner was a medical doctor and a serial killer, preying on women in Canada, Chicago and London since 1876 until his capture in 1892. In this book, the author gives a comprehensive account Dr. Cream's crimes and his personal life - from family backgrou "When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge." - Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," 1892 The Case: Dr. Thomas Neill Cream also known as the Lambeth Poisoner was a medical doctor and a serial killer, preying on women in Canada, Chicago and London since 1876 until his capture in 1892. In this book, the author gives a comprehensive account Dr. Cream's crimes and his personal life - from family background, and medical education, his victims, arrest, trial and finally his execution in November 1892. My thoughts: For a case that happened so long ago, I must say that this was a really well-researched book. It took me a few days to finish it as there were a lot of information in this book. I really liked that there were photos and illustrations included in this book. The writing held my interest although the second half of the book did slow down a bit. It was fascinating to know that Dr. Cream went to the same medical school - The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and may at some point met him too. There was speculation that Dr. Cream was Jack the Ripper! In a nutshell, this was an interesting read and if you enjoy old cases, you may want to read this! Pub. Date: June 1st, 2021 ***Thank you Harper Collins Canada, author Dean Jobb and NetGalley for gifted review copy to read & review. ***

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Dean Jobb's latest deeply researched, finely crafted book is compulsively readable. Highly recommended. Dean Jobb's latest deeply researched, finely crafted book is compulsively readable. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream By Dean Jobb I enjoyed this book and the writing - this was so engaging and so interesting I just really enjoyed it so much I couldn't put it down! Dr. Cream has been poisoning people all over the world for at least fifteen years. The story tells around the 1892 trial in London when Dr. Cream was finally being tried for his atrocious acts. As a doctor and member of the medical community, the trust and his position, along with poor investigation skills and blunde The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream By Dean Jobb I enjoyed this book and the writing - this was so engaging and so interesting I just really enjoyed it so much I couldn't put it down! Dr. Cream has been poisoning people all over the world for at least fifteen years. The story tells around the 1892 trial in London when Dr. Cream was finally being tried for his atrocious acts. As a doctor and member of the medical community, the trust and his position, along with poor investigation skills and blunders, is probably why Dr. Cream had been able to murder this many people so far. Jobb really unearthed the investigational efforts or lack of in this amazing account of a man's crime - a new breed of killer at the time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin Matson

    Dr. Thomas Neill Cream was a sadistic Victorian-era serial killer who poisoned his victims and wrote letters to draw attention to his crimes, assuming pseudonyms and sometimes trying to blackmail others. It is interesting to see what has always united serial killers: grandiosity, lies, cruelty, self-perceptions of infallibility, and most often emphatically, misogyny. As a work of historical scholarship, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream impresses. Dean Jobb went for it, exhaustively, perhaps t Dr. Thomas Neill Cream was a sadistic Victorian-era serial killer who poisoned his victims and wrote letters to draw attention to his crimes, assuming pseudonyms and sometimes trying to blackmail others. It is interesting to see what has always united serial killers: grandiosity, lies, cruelty, self-perceptions of infallibility, and most often emphatically, misogyny. As a work of historical scholarship, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream impresses. Dean Jobb went for it, exhaustively, perhaps too exhaustively. I respect the author’s decision not to say anything he couldn’t prove but found myself wanting more speculation regarding Cream’s motivations, which could have been accomplished by quoting additional contemporaries of Cream’s time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Phil Schuler

    A well done and through account of the case of Dr. Cream. Jobb painted an excellent picture of the world that Cream preyed upon. He has done, in my opinion, an excellent job of proving that Cream had, at the very least, nine victims. A nice array of photographs accompanied the interesting narrative. I am sure there will be one complaint, it is long. For me it could not have been too long. I will admit, however, that after he put the case to rest, that last chapter, I was ready to pack it in. Not A well done and through account of the case of Dr. Cream. Jobb painted an excellent picture of the world that Cream preyed upon. He has done, in my opinion, an excellent job of proving that Cream had, at the very least, nine victims. A nice array of photographs accompanied the interesting narrative. I am sure there will be one complaint, it is long. For me it could not have been too long. I will admit, however, that after he put the case to rest, that last chapter, I was ready to pack it in. Not due to any length. I just felt like that last chapter was rushed and not done with the same masterful stroke that was used with the rest of the book. Jobb took his time and presented the reader with a concise and accurate account of the deeds of the infamous Dr. Cream. At times he was like a prosecutor, at times a storyteller, at times a historian, but always a fan of true crime. He did flirt with the ghost of Jack the Ripper. How could he not? Cream was Jack the poisoner. I was sad and happy to see him address this at the end. Sad because I did not think it necessary and it was only pandering to those who are foolish enough to think that Cream could have escaped Joliet, committed the Ripper crimes, and then gone back to Joliet. The fact that Cream is on any list as a Ripper possible is simply ludicrous. I was happy, however, that he did address it again only to put it to rest forever - one would hope. This was, for me, a great true crime find. I was not aware of this case before and it was interesting to read of a man who tramped along the same grounds, around the same time as well, as H. H. Holmes and the great Ripper. It was also disturbing that there were plenty of other cases - some deadly and some not - that turned out not to be Cream. How many others were there. It also made me realize that it seemed to be somewhat of a fad - maybe a kink - for some men to give women pills that made them sick and at times killed them. Although for most I would assume the former was the motive. Maybe it was a white knight syndrome. They would make the lady sick and either save her or protect her. The proof of the latter would be in it not happening again - albeit because he was the one to do it to begin with. A good summer read that is guaranteed to leave one riveted.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    *I received a free ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* I have not read a lot of true crime, but have spent the past year watching more true crime shows than is probably good for me. I was immediately drawn into this story and had trouble putting it down. The author does a great job of giving context for the time in which these crimes were committed including other high profile crimes as well as popular culture. Everyone has heard of Jack the Ripper but not D *I received a free ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* I have not read a lot of true crime, but have spent the past year watching more true crime shows than is probably good for me. I was immediately drawn into this story and had trouble putting it down. The author does a great job of giving context for the time in which these crimes were committed including other high profile crimes as well as popular culture. Everyone has heard of Jack the Ripper but not Dr. Cream despite the fact that these serial killers were active so close together. The research that went into this book is clear and there is so much detail to Cream's history and early years. It was also really interesting to learn more about the early days of police investigations and evidence testing. There were so many times I wanted to reach into the past and shake the police for doing such a terrible job of taking the murders seriously or just communicating with different divisions within the same department!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie Frewin

    Loved every second of this beautifully written, wonderfully unique and incredibly in-depth account of Dr. Cream. Very glad I heard about it via my favourite podcast.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I haven’t taken part in a blog tour in years because I hate scheduling posts (and this tour is on Instagram!), but I made an exception for The Case of the Murderous Dr Cream because it’s historical true crime and I’ve never heard of Dr Cream before. Thomas Neill Cream was a Canadian born in Scotland who, like Jack the Ripper, targeted random prostitutes. Unlike Jack the Ripper (as far as we know), Cream had not one but two killing sprees. He started in Canada, as an abortionist with a suspiciousl I haven’t taken part in a blog tour in years because I hate scheduling posts (and this tour is on Instagram!), but I made an exception for The Case of the Murderous Dr Cream because it’s historical true crime and I’ve never heard of Dr Cream before. Thomas Neill Cream was a Canadian born in Scotland who, like Jack the Ripper, targeted random prostitutes. Unlike Jack the Ripper (as far as we know), Cream had not one but two killing sprees. He started in Canada, as an abortionist with a suspiciously high fatality rate, and after being released from prison, travelled to London and continued killing. The Case of the Murderous Dr Cream is the story of all these murders. The Case of the Murderous Dr Cream is a meticulously researched book that closely follows Cream through various historical records. It’s honestly horrifying how the London police managed to overlook all the poisonings even though Cream also engaged in blackmail, which raised his profile. I wonder whether, if they had been more alert, if more deaths could be prevented. In terms of the structure, the book starts with the release of Cream from the Canadian prisons and how he travels to London to immediately start killing again. We only get to hear about his criminal beginnings later on in the book, when the British police are looking into Cream’s past. I understand why this structure was taken, but I personally wasn’t a huge fan of it because that meant that Cream’s past was sandwiched between his London murders and his trial, and with the number of victims in this book, I needed a refresher when the trial started. For those of you who like illustrations, this book has many pictures and drawings that are relevant to the section (vs being in the middle of the book as a separate section of pictures) and I thought that it helped in adding context to the case. Overall, this was a fascinating look into a Victorian serial killer and I have to say that given the time period and number of victims, I’m surprised that Cream has not achieved the same notoriety as Jack the Ripper. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but all thoughts in this review are my own. This review was first posted at Eustea Reads

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    “Crime and murder were obsessions in the nineteenth century,” Dean Jobb notes. Crime stories filled the newspapers, and novelists churned out horrid tales. The detective genre was basically invented by Edgar Allan Poe and was perfected by Arthur Conan Doyle in Sherlock Holmes. Charles Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins wrote novels centered around crime and Scotland Yard’s detectives. Holmes told Watson that “when a doctor goes wrong, he is the first of criminals.” And in Dr. Thomas Neill Crea “Crime and murder were obsessions in the nineteenth century,” Dean Jobb notes. Crime stories filled the newspapers, and novelists churned out horrid tales. The detective genre was basically invented by Edgar Allan Poe and was perfected by Arthur Conan Doyle in Sherlock Holmes. Charles Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins wrote novels centered around crime and Scotland Yard’s detectives. Holmes told Watson that “when a doctor goes wrong, he is the first of criminals.” And in Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, we discover the ‘first’ of criminals, a serial killer of unfortunate women, a man who faced the bar and walked out to kill again. And again, before a Scotland Yard detective crossed two continents to chase down Cream’s history and finally brought him to justice. Cream was a model youth and young man: a Sunday School teacher who had memorized the Gospel of Matthew; a wealthy man who dressed well; a graduate of the esteemed Royal College of Edinburgh University. While a student he picked up the vile habits of smoking, drink, drugs, and women. He was an abortionist, setting up practice in the poorer neighborhoods among women reduced to prostitution. His crimes precipitated from arson for insurance fraud and broken engagements to the abandonment of the wife he was forced to marry after he aborted their baby. He perfected his craft of murder with poison, obtaining the drugs by posing as a salesman to pharmacists. As scandal surrounded him, Cream relocated across Canada, the United States, and Britain, setting up his practice and grooming his next victim. Who knows how many more he would have poisoned had not Scotland Yard Inspector Frederick Smith Jarvis followed Cream’s trail across continents. Cream’s convoluted career raises questions: How did a privileged, educated, and religious man become so vicious? Did he believe he was ridding the world of fallen women? Was he a sociopath who hid under a conventional façade until free to act out his perverse desires? True Crime aficionados and mystery lovers will enjoy this book. Also, readers of Victorian Age history. I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ballard

    Who’s up for a chilling tale of a Victorian Era serial killer? I love how Sherlock Holmes and Watson could so expertly piece together the clues to solve crimes. But in reality, and especially in the 1800s, the field of forensics was in its genesis, so solving crimes was a tricky business. Between 1876 and 1892, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream used the guise of a trusted doctor to kill his victims. His victims being women in Canada, Chicago, and London. And He almost got away with it! Dean Jobb takes you on Who’s up for a chilling tale of a Victorian Era serial killer? I love how Sherlock Holmes and Watson could so expertly piece together the clues to solve crimes. But in reality, and especially in the 1800s, the field of forensics was in its genesis, so solving crimes was a tricky business. Between 1876 and 1892, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream used the guise of a trusted doctor to kill his victims. His victims being women in Canada, Chicago, and London. And He almost got away with it! Dean Jobb takes you on a well-researched journey of Dr. Cream’s murderous exploits. If you enjoy true crime, historical pieces, or solving mysteries, this one is for you! Thank you to @algonquinbooks for an invitation to this tour and an advanced digital copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Jennex

    I could not put it down- meticulously researched and presented in an engaging narrative. You may forget you are reading a historical factual book it is so well written. It is interesting how murderers are remembered- everyone knows the name of Jack the Ripper when the evil of Dr.Cream seems to have missed the same notoriety. Dean Jobb brings the story of Dr.Cream forward along with the crime solving culture of the time. Fascinating! Do yourself a favour and add this one to your reading list.

  16. 4 out of 5

    EllenZReads

    Dean Jobb has covered Thomas Neill Cream's life and treacherous deeds in exquisite detail, focusing on the specific crimes and (eventual) punishment more than the motivations of this creepy, cruel, doctor. He also describes detective and forensic methods of the era. Jobb's writing is reminiscent of Erik Larson's ability to write historical scenes in such vivid detail that it nearly pushes the reader into the scene of gruesome deaths and the filth and poverty juxtaposed with the great wealth and Dean Jobb has covered Thomas Neill Cream's life and treacherous deeds in exquisite detail, focusing on the specific crimes and (eventual) punishment more than the motivations of this creepy, cruel, doctor. He also describes detective and forensic methods of the era. Jobb's writing is reminiscent of Erik Larson's ability to write historical scenes in such vivid detail that it nearly pushes the reader into the scene of gruesome deaths and the filth and poverty juxtaposed with the great wealth and ostentation of the Victorian era elite. Highly readable and utterly fascinating.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    A few years after Jack the Ripper terrorized London, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream killed prostitutes, a lover's husband, and his own wife. Cream, a Canadian who emigrated to England after a stint in an Illinois prison for murder, was an arrogant, licentious and psychopathic man. He not only poisoned people with strychnine, he made attempts to blackmail others for these crimes. The author examines this repulsive, fascinating man in this well-researched book. Good read!! A few years after Jack the Ripper terrorized London, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream killed prostitutes, a lover's husband, and his own wife. Cream, a Canadian who emigrated to England after a stint in an Illinois prison for murder, was an arrogant, licentious and psychopathic man. He not only poisoned people with strychnine, he made attempts to blackmail others for these crimes. The author examines this repulsive, fascinating man in this well-researched book. Good read!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Very detailed and very well written! Extraordinary tale!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Harper

    If you read one book this summer, make it this one. Researched to perfection, Jobb transports you to the dark streets of Lambeth, in the shadows of Jack the Ripper's London. Jobb paints an expert picture of the era, social structure, and policing of the time period. The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is roller coaster of true crime that will certainly earn it's place on your bookshelf between In Cold Blood and The Devil in the White City. If you read one book this summer, make it this one. Researched to perfection, Jobb transports you to the dark streets of Lambeth, in the shadows of Jack the Ripper's London. Jobb paints an expert picture of the era, social structure, and policing of the time period. The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is roller coaster of true crime that will certainly earn it's place on your bookshelf between In Cold Blood and The Devil in the White City.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Highly readable. Incredibly well researched. 4.5/5.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Before reading this book, I had never heard of Dr. Cream - and frankly, after reading this, I am quite surprised! This serial poisoner has a surprisingly local connection to me - as my aunt and uncle used to live in Garden Prairie and my mom now lives in Belvidere - where Cream was first convicted of murder! I really wasn't expecting to see a map highlight such small towns in Illinois! Jobb's book brings Cream's life, crimes and victims to light here in this fascinating narrative nonfiction. It Before reading this book, I had never heard of Dr. Cream - and frankly, after reading this, I am quite surprised! This serial poisoner has a surprisingly local connection to me - as my aunt and uncle used to live in Garden Prairie and my mom now lives in Belvidere - where Cream was first convicted of murder! I really wasn't expecting to see a map highlight such small towns in Illinois! Jobb's book brings Cream's life, crimes and victims to light here in this fascinating narrative nonfiction. It reads like a fictional thriller, honestly, and I had a hard time putting this one down! Impeccably researched, Jobb also offers plenty of detail to set the scenes and really shows how investigations in the Victorian era worked - and how many advantages that killers really had. It's a genuinely fascinating read - and I always know when a nonfiction book is especially absorbing because I find myself chasing down my husband to read the interesting bits to him. I really enjoyed this one - though I wish that there had been a bit more insight into the motivations. And I feel awful that the Illinois penal system failed so terribly to retain him considering he wasted no time at all in picking back up with his murderous ways. I also appreciated Jobbs' focus on the victims as well. Plus, the Jack the Ripper connection only added to this one. I am really glad that Jobbs took the time to explore that as well. The additional supporting materials - like the photos, letters, drawings and maps really added a lot to this one, too! I really enjoyed this and am definitely curious to check out more from Jobbs in the future!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Glenn Norris

    Very interesting book - a mountain of research to track down and distill. Well done.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wrapped Up in Books

    This is the true story of a Victorian serial killer (before the term was invented) named Dr Thomas Neill Cream. Cream poisoned his victims, mostly female prostitutes in London and some of them were pregnant. He allegedly began his killing spree before the famous murderer HH Holmes as well as within the same time frame as Jack the Ripper, and he went to medical school around the same time as Sherlock Holmes. The book is very thoroughly researched and the author used records, some completely origi This is the true story of a Victorian serial killer (before the term was invented) named Dr Thomas Neill Cream. Cream poisoned his victims, mostly female prostitutes in London and some of them were pregnant. He allegedly began his killing spree before the famous murderer HH Holmes as well as within the same time frame as Jack the Ripper, and he went to medical school around the same time as Sherlock Holmes. The book is very thoroughly researched and the author used records, some completely original, that were found across a couple provinces of Canada to the State or Illinois to the City of London. The level of detail is amazing and is a result partially of luck to be able to have all these records remaining intact and mostly due to the excellent detective work of the author that researched this book. After I received my advanced release ebook copy, I read all to the end before realizing there was a “Cast of Characters” list for this narrative nonfiction novel. I LOVE character lists and I wish I saw it sooner. I did my best to keep up with the names of characters. There were several minor characters named Joseph, and a fair number with similar “H” last names. G.F. Harvey is the medicinal company, and Haynes is the American acquaintance and Harper is the falsely accused medical student. There’s also inspector Harvey and of course, Louisa Harvey, a target of Cream’s, unrelated to the inspector or the medicinal company. Despite the heavy and gruesome subject matter, the book was also a look back into history and the way society lived, and the prevalent viewpoints of the majority. There was an interesting discussion of abortion practices; a topic that is taboo to this day. The story was set in different points of Cream’s life. I personally prefer a more linear story. The story starts at a particular point in Cream’s criminal history, moves forward, and then goes back. For me, it would have worked better if rather than putting months and years at the start of each chapter, if the author wrote “two years earlier” or “one month later”, etc. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC. This book gets released July 13th from Algonquin publishers. 4 stars and I would read more by the author. Releases on July 13th

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Antipodean Bookclub

    "When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge" ~ Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of the Speckled Band, 1892 . . . The moral of this tale is never accept a pill from a cross-eyed man, wearing a top hat even when he assures you that he Is a doctor I find it baffling that I’ve heard of Jack the Ripper, but not about Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, otherwise known as the Lambeth Poisoner. Cream murdered his way across two continents and three countries in the late "When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge" ~ Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of the Speckled Band, 1892 . . . The moral of this tale is never accept a pill from a cross-eyed man, wearing a top hat even when he assures you that he Is a doctor I find it baffling that I’ve heard of Jack the Ripper, but not about Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, otherwise known as the Lambeth Poisoner. Cream murdered his way across two continents and three countries in the late nineteenth century, with most of his victims being women and his preferred method of dispatch…..poison Born into a wealthy family, it seems to have been a curious mixture of blind faith in a medical professional, deference to Cream’s class and sex as well as police error that allowed his killing spree to continue unchecked until he finally came to justice in 1892 One for fan’s of true crime, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is meticulously researched and what I particularly liked, were the maps, newspaper articles and photographs that illustrated the story and gave it context. This was one I dipped in and out of over a couple weeks (there’s only so much psychopathy I can take in a day) and I’m so grateful to the publisher and netgallet for my eArc and including me on the blog tour

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I don't read a lot of nonfiction or true crime, and when I do, it's almost always about a serial killer. That's one of the main reasons I picked up The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream. The other reason is because I've never heard of him before. The author does a great job of bringing to life Dr. Cream and his murderous misdeeds; providing a thorough timeline of when he began committing his atrocious acts, the lives of his victims, how a patriarchal and sexist society and an disorganized and con I don't read a lot of nonfiction or true crime, and when I do, it's almost always about a serial killer. That's one of the main reasons I picked up The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream. The other reason is because I've never heard of him before. The author does a great job of bringing to life Dr. Cream and his murderous misdeeds; providing a thorough timeline of when he began committing his atrocious acts, the lives of his victims, how a patriarchal and sexist society and an disorganized and confused police contributed to the doctor being able to get away with murder, literally. This was well written and well researched, easy to read and the pacing and writing flowed. I also appreciated the visuals, the maps, the photos of the victims, newspaper ads; all of this added to the authenticity of the narrative and really set the tone of this uncertain, fraught time in history. This was a fascinating read, more so because Dr. Cream got away with murder for so long and such an evil man existed for so long to continue preying for as long as he did.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nann

    Dr. Thomas Neill Cream was a doctor, an abortionist, a blackmailer, and a serial killer. From 1880 to 1892 he fatally poisoned ten people and attempted to poison five others in Quebec, Ontario, Chicago, and London. (All were women except for one man, whose wife was the intended victim.) There might well have been many more had Cream not been imprisoned in the Illinois penitentiary at Joliet from 1881-1891. Following his release he went to London where intrepid Scotland Yard investigator Frederic Dr. Thomas Neill Cream was a doctor, an abortionist, a blackmailer, and a serial killer. From 1880 to 1892 he fatally poisoned ten people and attempted to poison five others in Quebec, Ontario, Chicago, and London. (All were women except for one man, whose wife was the intended victim.) There might well have been many more had Cream not been imprisoned in the Illinois penitentiary at Joliet from 1881-1891. Following his release he went to London where intrepid Scotland Yard investigator Frederick Smith Jarvis assembled enough evidence to bring Cream to trial, convict him, and execute him. The thoroughly loathsome Cream was as notorious as the mysterious Jack the Ripper. Dean Jobb's thoroughly-researched account is very readable. He interweaves Cream's upbringing and medical education (McGill and Edinburgh) with the social setting (young women in big cities), the investigations, the murders, and the trials.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Judy Shedden

    The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is an amazing book of intrigue and cunning. Jobb's exhaustive research provides so much detail on the characters as well as the locations, that the reader can actually visualize the passages of this book as though watching a movie. The fact that I know all the quotes and specifics of this book were found within the pages of 135 year old documents, is quite remarkable. Not only has Jobb found and recorded all those details, he has provided all this to his reade The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is an amazing book of intrigue and cunning. Jobb's exhaustive research provides so much detail on the characters as well as the locations, that the reader can actually visualize the passages of this book as though watching a movie. The fact that I know all the quotes and specifics of this book were found within the pages of 135 year old documents, is quite remarkable. Not only has Jobb found and recorded all those details, he has provided all this to his readers in the form of an exceptional and riveting book that keeps us engrossed to learn how the investigators conducted their study of a cold serial killer without the aid of modern forensics. I highly recommend this book and truly expect this will be another award wining accomplishment for Dean Jobb.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judy Beetem

    The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is a true crime story that reads like a novel. Dean Jobb, a master of true crime writing, centers the story around the doctor's murder trial in 1892. Dr. Cream poisoned 10 or more people in the U.S., Canada and London in his role as a medical doctor. He used the trust that people give to their doctors to prey on women who were forced to turn to Dr. Cream for help with their medical issues. His murder spree went unchecked until he was finally apprehended in Lon The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is a true crime story that reads like a novel. Dean Jobb, a master of true crime writing, centers the story around the doctor's murder trial in 1892. Dr. Cream poisoned 10 or more people in the U.S., Canada and London in his role as a medical doctor. He used the trust that people give to their doctors to prey on women who were forced to turn to Dr. Cream for help with their medical issues. His murder spree went unchecked until he was finally apprehended in London during the time when forensics were just being discovered. Jobb tells an amazing story especially of how a medical professional was able to get away with murdering women for so long. Fans of the Devil in the White City, fiction works like the Alienist and anything Sherlock Holmes will love this book. I'm not a big fan of true crime, but this was excellent, and very, very creepy. Many thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read the ARC.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Francis M. Torres

    Being a true crime fanatic, and I am saying it lightly, because I LIVE FOR TRUE CRIME, this book was actually awesome. I love reading true crime books, but this one reads like a documentary, which makes it even better. Being that I know about Jack the Ripper and his crimes, the cross reference between Jack and Cream was amazing. The mystery still lingers, why did Cream do it? Why did he kill why did he kill women?? Prostitutes at that?? There are a lot of other speculations, but not anything fro Being a true crime fanatic, and I am saying it lightly, because I LIVE FOR TRUE CRIME, this book was actually awesome. I love reading true crime books, but this one reads like a documentary, which makes it even better. Being that I know about Jack the Ripper and his crimes, the cross reference between Jack and Cream was amazing. The mystery still lingers, why did Cream do it? Why did he kill why did he kill women?? Prostitutes at that?? There are a lot of other speculations, but not anything from Cream himself. This is what I love about true crime, this book is worth the read. I love that this book has references in the back so you can look up everything if you wanted to, loved that. Thanks Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book, cant wait until its out in stores. True Crime lovers will love this.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Macaela

    As a lover of true crime, this was right up my alley. I got all wrapped up in the time of the late 19th century. We start the book with Dr. Cream getting released from prison in Illinois after being convicted of murder. But that isn't the end of his story. After that we travel back to the start of this murderous man's life. We follow his trail from the start of his life in Canada, through medical school in Canada and Great Britain. To Illinois and prison and what follows his release. I hope you As a lover of true crime, this was right up my alley. I got all wrapped up in the time of the late 19th century. We start the book with Dr. Cream getting released from prison in Illinois after being convicted of murder. But that isn't the end of his story. After that we travel back to the start of this murderous man's life. We follow his trail from the start of his life in Canada, through medical school in Canada and Great Britain. To Illinois and prison and what follows his release. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Thank you to Algonquin books and NetGalley for the chance to read this.

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