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The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream

The Hunt for a Victorian-Era Serial Killer

By Dean Jobb

Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
384
Publication Date
July 13, 2021
ISBN
9781616206895

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream

The Hunt for a Victorian-Era Serial Killer

By Dean Jobb

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Description

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream takes readers to the late nineteenth century as Scotland Yard follows the trail of a cold-blooded serial killer who was as brazen as the notorious Jack the Ripper and who would finally be brought to justice by detectives employing a new science called forensics.

“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 women in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder trial in 1891, 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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Review quotes

“A tour de force of storytelling. A wondrous example of creative nonfiction and one of the best books I’ve read this year. Dean Jobb has brought to life not just the Victorian era monster that was Thomas Neill Cream . . . Jobb breathes new life into Cream's victims—who they were, where and how they lived—all the while blending in thorny issues of policing, of the fictional detectives being created, of the other serial killers on the loose. This book is both chilling and, for fans like me of creative nonfiction, thrilling.”
Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache series

“A brilliant evocation of an age and a fascinating dissection of a serial killer's crimes. Dean Jobb is a first-rate storyteller and historical detective. A real page-turner.”
Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine

“Corruption, madness, murder: Dr. Cream has it all. This is a spectacular and absorbing tale, meticulously reported and vividly told. An enthralling page-turner.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of Get Capone: The Secret Plot that Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster

 “The definitive retelling of a story about a devious doctor, the dogged investigators who hunted him, and the murders that shocked the world. Dr. Cream’s story comes to life in Jobb’s spellbinding tale."
—Kate Winkler Dawson, author American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI

 “A tour de force of research, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream conjures an era when poisoners roamed the earth—and police seemed powerless to stop them.”
—Margalit Fox, author of Conan Doyle for the Defense

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Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
384
Publication Date
July 13, 2021
ISBN
9781616206895

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