Winner of the CrimeCon Clue Award for True Crime Book of the Year
“When a doctor does go wrong, he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most puzzling murder investigations. Incredibly, at the time the words of the world’s most famous fictional detective appeared in print in the Strand Magazine, a real-life Canadian doctor was stalking and murdering women in London’s downtrodden Lambeth neighbourhood. Dr. Thomas Neill Cream had been a suspect in the deaths of two women in Canada, and had killed as many as four people in Chicago before he arrived in London in 1891 and began using pills laced with strychnine to kill prostitutes. The Lambeth Poisoner, as he was dubbed in the press, became one of the most prolific serial killers in history.
In this fascinating book, Dean Jobb reveals how bungled investigations, corrupt officials and failed prosecutions allowed Cream to evade detection or freed him to kill, again and again. The first complete account of Dr. Cream’s crimes and his many victims explores how the stifling morality and hypocrisy of the Victorian era allowed this monster to poison vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help. It offers an inside account of Scotland Yard’s desperate search for a killer as brazen and efficient as Jack the Ripper.