A serial killer from the Victorian era
From Quebec to London, writer Dean Jobb set off on the trail of a Victorian serial killer. He recounts the journey of a doctor with very particular methods in The Case of Dr Cream, an astonishing and well-researched documentary whose translation French is now available. Following the trail of a notorious criminal, Dean Jobb discovers the many facets of this strange serial killer.
We all know Jack the Ripper, who captured the imagination of thousands of people. But do you know Dr Cream, the deadliest Canadian doctor of the Victorian era?
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1850, Thomas Neil Cream grew up in Quebec and studied at the University McGill. He is suspected of having killed two women, in Quebec and Ontario, and up to four people in Chicago, before arriving in London in 1891.
The frightening Dr Cream begins a second part of his “career” by killing prostitutes with pills containing poison. He preys on very poor, vulnerable and desperate women who come to him hoping to get medical assistance.
Built around the trial that took place in London in 1892, The case by Dr Cream sheds light on the blind faith placed in nursing staff in the Victorian era. The book also describes hasty police investigations of corrupt officials.
Dean Jobb leads his readers into the depths of a sordid investigation that will nevertheless revolutionize Scotland Yard's investigative methods.
An obvious suspect
Very well documented, the book is based on extensive documentary research. We learn that Dr. Cream even visited the Hotel Blanchard in Quebec, which was near the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church at the time.
“ I write a lot of true crimehistory and, consequently, I go to meet rather strange characters”, comments Dean Jobb, in a telephone interview from Halifax.
“I knew Dr Cream, but no book had been published about it for more than 30 years. It intrigued me. I often saw his name appear during my research for other files from the Victorian era.
“He was a serial killer, but what amazed me was how well he got away with it, once in a while , in so many different places,” he notes.
The testimonies describe his arrogant and misogynistic attitude, his way of presenting poisons without scruples. And despite everything, he often got away with it. “Many of his victims were actually his patients. He was an obvious suspect and despite that, he managed time and time again to get off the hook. He was able to use his status as a doctor, the son of a wealthy Quebec family, to erase the suspicions that weighed against him.
Dean Jobb uncovered amazing details during his research.
“I looking for the missing pieces. I knew that there were documents that had not been consulted,” he says.
“I went to Quebec, to Waterloo in the Eastern Townships, in Chicago, in London. I wanted to walk in the same cities as him, to visit the stelae of the cemeteries where his victims are buried. I wanted to go through the archives to really capture this guy and his time. »