“Lambeth Poisoner” Thomas Neill Cream Pt. 1Medical Murders
- 880 views
- 24 Mar 2021
In the late 1800s, a dashing young doctor named Thomas Neill Cream used chloroform and strychnine to murder sex workers and women seeking abortions. His crimes spread across fifteen years and two continents.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Listener discretion is advised, this episode features discussions of abortion, murder and animal cruelty that may be upsetting. We advise extreme caution for listeners under 13. Medical killers will often take the stance that they're saving their victims from their suffering. But Dr. Thomas Snehal Cream deviated from this trend. He hoped to inflict the worst pain possible on his targets in their final hours, perhaps cream infuriated by the syphilis he's thought to have contracted while womanizing sex workers on the streets of London dedicated his life to exacting his revenge, claiming the lives of victims he deemed deserving of a dirty end was his way of correcting society's rot.
Indeed, his motive was singular to make women pay for their unvirtuous lives so long as he got to toy with them before they did. This is Medical Murders, a Spotify original from podcast, every year, thousands of medical students take the Hippocratic Oath. It boils down to do no harm. But a closer look reveals a phrase much more interesting. I must not play at God. However, some doctors break that oath. They choose to play God with their patients.
Deciding who lives and who dies each week on medical murders will investigate these doctors, nurses and medical professionals. We'll explore the specifics of how medical killers operate not just on their patients but within their own minds, examining the psychology and neurology behind heartless medical killers. I'm Alastair Madden and I'm joined by Dr David Kipa, M.D.. Hello, everyone. I'm Dr. Kipper, and I'm so happy to be here to assist Alastair with some medical insight into our first installment of the case of Dr.
Thomas Neil Cream. As we explore medical care and medical murders in the mid 19th century, you can find episodes of medical murders and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream medical matters for free on Spotify, just open the app and type medical murders in the search bar. This is our first episode on the Lambeth Poisoner, Thomas Neil Creme, a 19th century serial killer who claimed at least seven lives.
But because authorities failed to attribute multiple deaths to cream, his exact body count is likely even higher. His crimes spread across 15 years and two continents. Today, we'll explore Cremes animosity towards sex workers and how he used his medical expertise to evade the consequences of his actions. We'll also examine his miscreant life as an abortionist in Chicago, which led him straight to the penitentiary. Next time we will find cream as he escapes jail by bribe, bringing him to a life in Lambeth where he ruthlessly poisoned some of his most unfortunate victims.
Or this and more coming up. Stay with us. This episode is brought to you by Fan Sportsbook, don't just watch college basketball, get in the action and shoot your shot with the fan to a sports book. There's more ways to play the bracket all tournament long. New users get your first bat risk free up to 1000 dollars. Sign up with code upsets on the Faneuil's Sportsbook app and make your first deposit today. Twenty one plus and present in Virginia.
First online real money wager only for one thousand dollar risk free bet refund issue does non withdrawal site credit that expires in fourteen days. Restrictions apply. See full terms at Sportsbook Doug Faneuil Dotcom Gambling Problem Call one 800 gambler. This episode is brought to you by instead, instead is a lawn care that's natural, instead, create a great backyard without harsh chemicals, just natural ingredients that work.
It's that simple. Instead, the better way to lawn, instead go to choose instead dotcom to find your plan and get 10 percent off with promo code Spotify.
This episode is brought to you by the followers House of Prayer, a new True Crime podcast from UCP Audio. Each episode explores the House of Prayer, a 1980s religious community led by a young one. Young's daughter makes a call to the police. It triggers a year long investigation into a cult, a murder and the disappearance of a child. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Subscribe to the followers House of Prayer on Spotify.
During the 19th century, Chicago was a developing city of science and industry, studied with a promising future in the red light district. However, the golden gleam of tomorrow didn't shine so brightly.
For Hattie Mack, a black midwife who served and often dehumanized community of sex workers, life was simply the chore of dealing with it. This meant facilitating abortions and granting board to the downtrodden sex workers who crossed her path, her career necessitated a courage to be with others in their plight, and from the depths of her heart, sprang a wealth of feminine wisdom that helped save those in grim circumstances. But in mid-August, 1880, Hattie Mack was the one who needed rescuing.
After what had likely been a long day doling out abortifacients and sterilizing agents to women who worked the streets, Mack climbed the steps to her second floor apartment on Madison Street. When she got to the top, she exhaled a sigh of exasperation. Though nearly home, she now prepared for the work she'd contained to her private quarters. For several days, she'd been lodging Mary and Falkiner, a Canadian born prostitute. Faulkner had recently suffered a failed abortion at the hands of Dr.
Thomas Snehal Cream. Now her health was steadily declining, and all Mack could do was give the poor woman a modest cot as hope dwindled when Mack opened the door to her place. That evening, however, she quickly learned that she had a whole new mess on her hands. Mary and Falkiner was dead. Suddenly, Mack turned to the sound of a knock at her door, standing there in a suit and top hat was Thomas Neil Kreen. Noting the scene, he promptly suggested that she covered the dead woman in tar and set fire to the lodging as the tired black midwife looked from the body in her living room to the prominent white doctor whose failures had made it, a thought dawned on her.
Whatever choice she made next will define the rest of her life. Privileged in the eyes of the law.
Dr. Thomas Nehal Cream couldn't say the same. This wasn't his first rodeo. Years of blunders had armed him with a sense of moral superiority and freedom from culpability, sour seeds that had sprouted some two decades earlier.
Thomas Neal Cream was born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 27, 1850, while little is known about his formative years, one can presume his family lived meagerly as their city was still finding its way in the midst of the industrial revolution.
So when Thomas Cream moved with his family to Quebec, Canada, in 1854, it was in the name of a better life.
In the years that followed, Cremes Father William was finally able to achieve this.
He quickly rose up the ranks of a shipbuilding and lumber firm, becoming manager before starting his own wholesale lumber business. Meanwhile, the cream family grew, and by the time young Thomas Nehal Cream reached the end of his adolescence, he was the eldest of eight children.
But he wasn't much like his siblings, while most of them partook in their father's business, Crean was reluctant to pursue a profession in lumber. He certainly helped out, but his serious demeanor and bookish curiosity lends Crean to more intellectual pursuits, namely medicine. So in the fall of 1872, 22 year old Thomas Snehal Cream packed his things and headed to McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Today, the institution is prominent in the medical world and even then it had accrued an esteemed reputation among the country's elite scholars.
Of course, only the wealthy could afford attendance, but that was no problem for Cremes family. They now had far more money than they did when he was a young child with schooling financed by his father. Kreen decided to flaunt his wealth any way he could. He spent his own petty cash on flamboyant outfits and jewelry, which he wore to class lectures. He even got a carriage to transport him around the MacGill campus. Perhaps it was the sense of scarcity and inferiority that cream faced early on in life that motivated him to make showy displays of his opulence.
Whatever the case, Cremes eccentric behaviors didn't draw from his academic studies. He performed rather well in his classes, though possibly perceived as a nuisance to some of his classmates. Ultimately, Crean didn't involve himself with the opinions of others. He was far more invested in the science of anesthetic medications. During his final year of college, he wrote his thesis on the effects of chloroform, the chemical had only been used as an anesthetic since the late 1940s, but he was already known for its dangerous narcotic effects on patients.
To this day, the substance is considered unsafe if used improperly. The science of anesthesia wasn't as advanced in the 19th century the way it is today, but modern medicine recognizes the chloroform as a drug that must be administered delicately. Chloroform is a powerful sedative that affects cellular functioning in the body. Acute exposure is dangerous primarily because it can slow the central nervous system to a halt, which may lead to unconsciousness and death from respiratory failure. It also dangerously alters potassium levels in the bloodstream and creates unsafe shifts in the body's hydrochloric acid and carbon dioxide levels.
Regular and prolonged chloroform exposure can lead to problems like severe kidney and liver damage, cardiac arrhythmia and bone marrow disorders. By the mid eighteen hundreds, it had become clear the chloroform had potentially lethal implications. However, views on its medical usage remain mixed. While some maintain the chloroform tests were related solely to respiratory complications, many began to recognize that the drug also cause life threatening irregular heart rhythms, which contributed to its lethal effects. The latter was ultimately proven true, and chloroform was eventually replaced by nitrous oxide.
While these early medical professionals may not have fully understood the risks of chloroform. There's no doubt today that it's an extremely harmful substance. We can't be sure that Cream fully understood such dangers, given his use of the chemical later on, it's possible his senior thesis was Cremes foray into criminality. But as far as his professors could see, Cremes just an odd fellow with a passion for medicine.
He passed his coursework with flying colors in March 1876, at just 25 years old, Creme graduated with a doctor of medicine degree from McGill. His future was brighter than ever. However, his financial situation may have been bleak. Rather than celebrate with a toast among friends, Crean chose to hustle money to put towards the next phase of his life. In spring 1876, after buying an expensive insurance policy on his belongings, Cream allegedly set fire to them. In fact, some suspect he lit his entire lodging house ablaze.
Unfortunately for Creem, the inferno turned out to be rather mild when the insurance company investigated it, they detected something fishy and only gave him three hundred and fifty dollars of the money. He claimed, though his plan had not been a complete success, he'd carried out his first unsavory scheme, which gave way to darker ones. Shortly after finishing his studies at McGill, Krien began exploring his sexual desires, courting a young woman named Flora Eliza Brooks. By September 18, 76, 26 year old Cream had gotten her pregnant, but he didn't want to face the repercussions of that.
Instead, he operated on Flora and aborted the child. Unfortunately, his handiwork wasn't so good. Flora fell ill in the weeks that followed. When her father brought her to the doctor, the physician discovered that Flora had received a botched abortion in today's world. Abortions don't require sharp tools, so it would be hard to observe a woman's vaginal canal and declare that she'd had this procedure. Back then, however, the crude instruments that were used more than likely left some visible signs on Laura's body.
Flora's doctor would have identified the location of the pain she was experiencing, which could have been abdominal pelvic bagian or all of the above. She also probably felt an overall body weakness and had a fever caused by infection. After examining Flora with the speculum, her doctor could have been able to see scarring trauma on the vaginal walls, along with possible damage to the cervix to perform these dated abortions. Sharp tools like wires would have been pushed through the cervix and into the uterus in order to puncture the amniotic sac.
This operation was very traumatic on the cervical tissue and would absolutely create scratches and puncture wounds, depending on how bad her infection was at the time of her doctor's visit, Flora may have even presented with some vaginal discharge. All of these symptoms and visual indicators would lead a physician to conclude pretty quickly that she had an abortion.
The result was not ideal for cream.
Flora's father, Lyman Brooks, was a wealthy hotelier who cherished his esteemed reputation. When he learned that his daughter had an abortion, he was infuriated.
His own child, pregnant, out of wedlock, would put shame on the family name. But a horrifically completed abortion was both an utter devastation and an embarrassment. In turn, Brooks grabbed his moose hunting gun and hunted Krien down.
Cream, of course, had no idea he was even in trouble, so it wasn't hard for Brooks to find him. Upon identifying his culprit, Brooks held his firearm to Crean's head and demanded that the mischievous young man marry his daughter.
The reluctant cream had no choice but to concede, lest he'd be shot point blank, a wedding was promptly had, but Cream didn't even stay with his new wife a full night before skipping town.
In his mind, he'd given her what she'd wanted by marrying her.
And with the abortion, however poorly done, no child would be upending his life. He'd made sure of that.
He left Florida with only a brief mention of his plans, he would be pursuing further medical schooling in London, though his departure was callous towards Floras feelings. Cream wasn't a man completely corrupted by evil just yet. But as he crossed the Atlantic life geared up to give him a tough lesson that would permanently rewire his motivations and alter his fate forever. Coming up, Cremes sexual appetite brings him a consequence he can't abort. Hi, listeners, it's Venessa from podcast.
When you think of a criminal, do you picture a killer, a gangster, a thief? I bet you didn't think it could be the little old lady down the street who murdered her tenants. Every Wednesday on my series, female criminals meet the unlikeliest of felons, mothers, neighbors and unsuspecting lovers with a penchant for dangerous behavior. Discover the psychology and motives behind their disturbing crimes and find out where their story stands today. But that's not all. Airing right now on female criminals is our special five part look at the world's most infamous femme fatale women who were deceptive and deadly but not always the villain.
Catch these episodes and more by following the Spotify original from past female criminals. New episodes, premier weekly. Listen free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode is brought to you by Faneuil's sportsbook March Manea is here, you could choose to be a benchwarmer and watch from the sidelines or you could get in the game and try your hand at fan duel sportsbook, shoot your shot on money lines, point spreads, Parley's and more. It's up to you how you play all tournament long.
Fan Duel is giving everyone a free shot at one million dollars. Bet on the bracket and get a chance to win the million dollar bonus payout. Plus, when you sign up you can place your first bet risk free up to one thousand dollars. There's always more ways to win on fan duel sports sportsbook. Download the app and use promo code upset to claim all these offers. That's promo code upset to get started on Fanjul Sportsbook twenty one plus and presence in Virginia.
No purchase necessary for one million dollar promotion. First online real money wager only for one thousand dollars free bet refund issue. Does non withdrawal set credit that expires in fourteen days terms apply to Sportsbook Doug Faneuil dot com four terms and restrictions. Gambling problem call one 800 gambler. Now back to the story. In September 1876, 26 year old Thomas Snehal Cream stood at a promising point in his life with four years of schooling at the esteemed McGill University behind him.
He headed off to London with plans to further his medical education. A month after he arrived in the U.K., Cream enrolled in a course of lectures at St Thomas's Hospital in London. There, he received practical instruction that taught him the ins and outs of surgery. Soon he'd be able to pursue a certification at the Royal College of Surgeons. But the bustle of London provided some difficult distractions for cream.
While his upbringing and well-mannered Quebec had allowed Cream to survey his prospects with the opposite sex.
London lets him indulge them.
As the population had recently surged in the blooming city, growing wealth gaps forced many women into prostitution, putting sex in high supply.
Despite the fact that crime was technically married to Flora Brooks, who remained ill in Quebec, he wanted his lot of the land overseas.
Unfortunately, Green wasn't thinking much of his own risks when he slept around. He was an attractive, well appointed bachelor, which seemed to imbue a sense of unconquerable daring. Somehow, though, he deemed sex workers the scum of society, he had no problem buying their labor for frequent evening rendezvous.
It's believed by some that cream contracted syphilis around this time. Though the initial symptoms may have been minor, this infection did not have a cure in the hundreds and would have permanently affected Cremes life. The surplus Cipla remedy in the Victorian era, it can now be cured with penicillin or other antibiotics if caught during early stages. Nevertheless, the symptoms are potentially plague when initially infected people normally develop a chancre or saw where the bacteria first came into contact with their skin, usually on their sex organs.
After the sore has been healed for a few weeks, the next stage of syphilis is usually a torso rash that progressively spreads to cover the entire body. These symptoms commonly lasts for weeks, but can repeatedly emerge and recede for up to a year. After this, the infection typically enters a latent stage where symptoms may stay in hiding for years or never come back at all. If there's no medical intervention that can invade the blood vessels, the heart bone's eyes and the liver, syphilis may reach the brain as well, which is known as neurosyphilis.
This can ultimately cause neurological conditions like meningitis, stroke, a loss of hearing, visual impairment, dementia and a decreased sensitivity to physical pain and temperature. Cream symptoms could have progressed over time and likely did to some extent, given the lack of available treatment. So he might not have had the worst possible symptoms. His syphilis was likely noticeable, if not altogether bothersome.
But perhaps what bothered him more than being infected was the fact that a sex worker had likely given it to him. Though Cream was entirely at fault for his own promiscuity, he cast all blame for his new health condition on the lonely women he'd taken to bed.
This critical moment seems to have solidified his disdain for sex workers. They became a frequent scapegoat for his shortcomings, and his study habits faltered.
The result was a disappointing turn in his academic life. Unable to meet entrance requirements for the Royal College of Surgeons, Crane was rejected.
Also, during this time, he received word that his wife, Flora, was severely ill. While the abortion had initially left her sick, she had subsequently contracted bronchitis as well. Cream jumped at the chance to send the woman medicine. He instructed her to take his pills as her only treatment method, insisting that he knew what was best. Flora honoured his word, and by September 1877, she had died. The loss was sudden for Flores family members who didn't expect her to pass so soon, though consumption, also known as tuberculosis, was offered as her cause of death.
Police later speculated that Cremes pill regimen had done her in.
In fact, the pills he'd given her may have been laced with strychnine, a poison that cream was growing quite familiar with in his medical studies.
And 27 year old creme wasted no time mourning his dead wife. Instead, he returned to his studies at St. Thomas Hospital in preparation for his second attempt at the qualifying examinations. This time, Cream shifted his focus away from surgery and onto obstetrics.
It was an odd choice as Cream had given a botched abortion to his wife and seemed to resent women more with each passing day.
But perhaps working in a field where he could invoke his personal brand of revenge on women appealed to him. Whatever the case creams, renewed determination in the months that followed proved fruitful.
He was quickly accepted into the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons at Edinburgh in Scotland in 1878 at just 28 years old. Cream was now equipped with the expertise he needed to make something of himself. So he returned to Canada and started a practice in London, Ontario, on Dundas Street above Bennett's clothing store. While Cremes motive for returning to North America is unclear, his desire for revenge against promiscuous women remained endemic in his life.
He began an illegal side hustle performing abortions and may have injured countless women in the process. But his next major blunder didn't come until a year later.
In May 1879, 29 year old Cream learned that Kate Gardner, a local chambermaid he'd had sexual relations with, was pregnant. While it's unclear what transpired when she came to him likely seeking an abortion, the aftermath was gruesome. Kate Gardner's rotting corpse was found in an outhouse behind Cremes office beside her on the ground sat a used bottle of chloroform.
The young pregnant woman had been poisoned with it. Though her end was tragic, Kate Gardner likely felt little pain in her final moments. Newspapers once called the onset of this anesthetic the dizzy dive into sleep. When administered, the substance can render its subject's unconscious relatively quickly. However, holding a chloroform so cracked in someone's face doesn't put them to sleep is instantaneously as it's depicted in movies and television. It usually takes a matter of minutes inhaling or ingesting chloroform to press the central nervous system or the brain and ultimately slows respiratory function, depriving the body's vital organs of oxygen.
This will eventually lead to unconsciousness and death. Apart from dizziness and drowsiness, Kate's final moments of consciousness were probably filled with fear. However, she probably didn't suffer significant pain when she died after she passed out. Her death may have been hastened by Cremes, suffocating her, holding a rag over her face. It's also possible the chloroform itself completely stopped her respiratory function over a period of time or caused a deadly arrhythmia. It's hard to say for certain because of the unpredictable nature of the drug, which is one of the reasons it was discontinued as an anesthetic.
The scratch marks on her face, however, did reveal signs of struggle. This clued authorities in Kate's death had been no accident and it likely hadn't been self-inflicted either. So they look to the man who owned the business in front of the shed where Kate's body was found, Thomas Neil Cream. For being a doctor, one might think that cream would have had better foresight than to leave the murder weapon with the dead body and so close to his own office, his lack of concern for the consequences he might face if caught red handed reveal just how untouchable cream must have felt.
A cream was not so slick as the town poured over the shocking discovery of Kate's death, folks demanded a trial to determine whether cream was culpable at the stand.
Kate's roommate, Sarah Long, testified that Kate had become pregnant by a Mr. Johnson. Afterwards, she went to talk to Cream to procure an abortion. Cream admitted that he had met with Kate, but denied that he'd ever given her abortifacient pills or agreed to conduct a surgical abortion. In the end, Kreen claimed Kate's death was likely a suicide. The court wasn't so quick to accept this theory, medical experts at the coroner's inquest argued that if Kate had held chloroform to her face, she would have passed out before it killed her and the poisonous weapon would have fallen away.
Still, ultimately, the court was unable to prove Cremes fault in the matter. And Kate's death was ruled a homicide by chloroform, administered by some person unknown. The outcome satisfied Crean, but with his reputation tarnished across town, he figured it was best if he moved his practice somewhere new. So in late 1879, Crean packed up his things and headed for Chicago.
In the latter half of the 19th century, the city had transformed into a booming metropolis, its sprawling urban infrastructure resurrected by some of the world's most brilliant architectural masterminds, redefined urban living. But the evening was when things really came to life. Townies brawled in boisterous bars, attended classic plays in ornate theaters, and sometimes even ventured into dark alleyways where destitute women made lives for themselves. This was a plus for crime because it promised demand for abortions. In his mind, an obstetric clinic specializing in the illegal procedure would be most lucrative.
To further establish his business, he employed a few self-taught midwives who brought in whole networks of sex workers seeking birth control of those women, Cremes soon developed a strong working relationship with Hattie Mack, a black woman who lived less than 10 blocks from Cremes Chicago office. In addition to bringing cream clients, Mac also assisted him with his procedures. While this may have been better for the women who likely appreciated the safety of Mack's company, it made Mac complicit in organized crime.
She may have collected a meager check at the end of each month, but Cream was a dangerous liaison to have in such a crime riddled world and went up to cream inevitably made a mistake.
Hattie Mac would be the one he threw under the bus. Coming up, crime gets tangled in a threatening slew of court cases he can't save with smooth talk.
If you're looking for a credit card that fits your lifestyle, look no further. U.S. bank has credit cards that make everyday rewarding. No matter what you're into feeling hungry. Check out the U.S. bank altitude go Visa's signature card, earn four times points on takeout food delivery and dining and get two times points at gas stations, grocery stores and on streaming. That will keep your wallet and your mouthful big spender.
The U.S. bank Visa platinum card has a low intro API for large purchases or balance transfers and you call the shots with the US bank cash plus Visa signature card choose two categories.
Each quarter earned five percent back on your first two thousand dollars of eligible purchases from those categories.
So don't just get a credit card, get the right card to make every day more rewarding.
Cashback, merchandise, travel rewards and low intro apps are waiting to learn more at US bank dotcom credit card, the creditor and issuer of these cards as U.S. Bank National Association pursuant to a license from Visa USA Inc. and the cards are available to United States residents only some restrictions may apply. Remember FDIC.
This episode is brought to you by instead, instead is a new alternative in lawncare that's natural. Instead, it isn't a flashy marketing ploy. Instead is a choice for a world filled with new choices, no harsh chemicals, just natural ingredients that work. It's not some trendy new natural lawncare. It's natural lawncare for how we live now. It's safer. Every member of the family when used as directed, it's delivered when you need it. And really tough to mess up.
No gimmicks, no compromises, just results. Instead, a better way to land. Instead, go to choose instead dotcom to find your plan and get 10 percent off with promo code Spotify. Now back to the story in early 1880, 29 year old Doctor Thomas Neal Cream had established an abortion clinic that served many of Chicago's sex workers with the help of his midwife and frequent assistant, Hattie Mac.
Cream enjoyed a decent living. So when he allegedly performed an abortion on Maryann Falkiner in August 1880, he was unprepared for her fate to dictate his future. Shortly after the procedure, Cream apparently realized it hadn't gone the way it should have and rushed to cover his tracks.
According to Mack, he requested that she bring Falkiner to her apartment to recover. But as it happened, there was no recovery in sight. Falkiner had quickly become septic.
Sepsis is a complication of infection that can be very dangerous and life threatening. It occurs when the body's immune system releases infection fighting chemicals called cytokines into the bloodstream. These cytokines then essentially turn on the body in an attempt to neutralize the infection, which creates widespread inflammation and tissue damage. Exactly the reaction we have seen in severe covid infections. This immune reaction can lead to shortness of breath, fever, delirium, an abnormally fast heart rate and a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
If there's no treatment, the body can go into septic shock, which can result in organ failure, stroke and eventual death. Sepsis isn't always lethal, however, and catching it early is the best medicine intervening before the infection reaches the vital organs. Despite her healthy age allaster, it's likely that sepsis would have killed Marianne Faulkner.
It wasn't until the 20th century that we really had a clear understanding of how to deal with infection and sepsis. So unfortunately, the science just wasn't there yet. Even today, up to twenty five percent of patients hospitalized with sepsis will die. This just goes to show how Slim Falkiner survival chances back then actually were.
Falconer's tragic fate came shortly after her botched abortion, but Hatti Mac didn't know what to do with the corpse at the behest of cream, she considered setting her own logic ablaze to be rid of the evidence.
Ultimately, she couldn't bring herself to do this the day Falkiner died. Mac fled from her apartment and left the corpse behind for her downstairs neighbor, George Green. This became blatantly clear when an ungodly stench began wafting down from Mack's second floor room. Concerned, George dialed the police who broke into Mack's apartment. The odor knock them back, desperate to open the door and get a gasp of fresh air. There they found what was left of Faulkner's corpse. An autopsy revealed that Falkiner had endured a botched abortion.
It was becoming a finding that could regularly be traced back to cream. Unfortunately, Cremes wasn't the head police hunted since Falkiner was found in Max apartment officials scoured town to find her. It didn't take long before Mack could even defend herself. They arrested her and charged her with murder in custody. Mack offered her version of events. She explained that Cream had injured Falkiner and insisted that Mack keep the suffering young woman at her place. This story was further corroborated by Mack's neighbor, George, who recalled that cream had stopped by the apartment multiple times in the preceding weeks.
But this alone wouldn't be enough to deliver Hattie back to freedom as a black woman in the 19th century. Her fate was contingent on Cremes perceived guilt. He would have to be tried for the murder first before she was cleared.
On November 16th, 1880, Cremes trial began and Hatti was granted freedom from jail on the promise that she would help the prosecution. When she took the stand, Hattie claimed Cream had thrust Falkiner upon her, saying she was a pregnant woman deserted by her husband. Since Mac owed Creem money, she couldn't turn down his request. Mack also explained that she wasn't present at the time of the botched abortion, rather, she returned to her apartment to find Falkiner suffering from sepsis.
Though Kareem attempted to revive the young woman, he was unable. And when she died, Mack testified that Cream asked her to destroy the evidence. Her story rang true, but the defense came in swinging with slander. According to Cremes version of events, Max sought him after midnight on August 12th to assist Falkiner after she'd incompetently aborted the pregnancy. In response, Cream tried to assist the young woman by tending to her at Max apartment, but was ultimately unable to do so.
In this telling, all blame was thrust upon Mac and unfortunately to the all male, all white jury, Mac was further painted as a frowzy, illiterate black woman with everything to gain in blaming the white doctor. Sadly, on this premise, the jury took Cremes word against Max. The jury reached a verdict of not guilty based on the lack of evidence that Cream had contributed to Faulkner's death, the deceased woman was never granted justice. Hattie Mac's fate in the matter remains unclear, but hers wouldn't be the only livelihood cream bombarded in his attempts to further his own agenda.
The next victim of Cremes derision towards working women of low social standing was a raven haired young woman by the name of Ellen Stack. Unfortunately, FESTAC, she made the decision to consult with Crane about his abortion pills, which Crane got from a local chemist. But when Cream handed the medicine to her, he didn't tell her that he tampered with it. Indeed, it seems that Cream had added a lethal dose of strychnine to the abortifacients. Within an hour of taking her recommended dosage, Stack suffered violent convulsions and died of asphyxia.
Strychnine prevents the proper functioning of the inhibitory neurotransmitter glycine, which triggers nerve signals to the muscles to relax. Essentially, strychnine can cause a person's muscles to be in a prolonged state of excitement, causing severe muscular spasms and stiffness because of the effect it has on the body's musculature. Micro doses of this substance were once used medicinally to stimulate motor neurons in people with forms of paralysis and other muscular disorders. However, even in small amounts, strychnine can cause a horrifically painful death by interrupting the nerve signals that control normal muscle function.
This chemical compound can be detrimental to muscular systems that are responsible for keeping us alive.
Strychnine basically prevents the signal that tells our muscles to relax, putting them in a state of constant strain and contraction. This creates painful convulsing, involuntary contortion and locks the muscles rigidly in place. When this happens to the smooth muscles that regulate our respiratory system, we lose the ability to breathe and our oxygen supply gets cut off. This is why deaths from asphyxia was listed as Stack's official cause of death. A high dose of strychnine would have severely affected her internal processes, very rapid inducing apparent seizures as her body lost its ability to regulate itself.
Ultimately, once she's taken the laced pills, Stack didn't stand a chance yet it was in the aftermath that creams work truly began. Whether Cream killed Stack with this plan in mind or simply killed for pleasure and tried to make a quick buck after the fact remains unknown. Either way, his lack of empathy for the egregious outcomes of his actions reveals that for cream, life was something of a game. Shortly after STAC died, Cremes sent a blackmail letter to his chemist, Frank Pietje, who had compounded the pills before Cream had laced them.
Cream claimed that Pietje had made a bad prescription and consequently killed STAC. But Pietje knew he wasn't guilty. Concerned about the letter, Pietje sought the help of authorities showing Cremes message to them. After a brief investigation, the case was dropped. Stack's body was not exhumed because they had no evidence motivating them to do so. According to police, the pills could not be linked to Pietje or cream. But the more palpable pattern is that so long as sex workers were the victims of evils inflicted, those in positions of power did little to bring them justice.
Meanwhile, those in upstanding positions, like doctors, were given the benefit of the doubt. Cream was off the hook, if anything, authorities believed his letter to Pietje was evidence the cream looked out for his patients, but getting away with murder unscathed wasn't enough for cream. It seemed he was hard up for cash as rumors swirled about the women who died from his botched abortions and faulty pills. He was a man intent on blackmail. So when his scheme with Pietje failed, he moved onto a local FIRREA, Joseph Martin.
Crean seemed to believe that Joseph owed him money for medical care he had given to the man's wife, Martin, on the other hand, remembered no such debt.
So Crean resorted to a vile postcard campaign in which he accused Martin of being a vulgar cheat and outrageous liar and a cesspool of general disease. Crean's persistence infuriated Martin. So he went to the police, demanding a warrant for Cremes arrest on the grounds that he'd spread lies and threats. As a result, Cremes spent several days in custody to get out. Crean phoned an interesting contact an English widow who'd paid Cremes bail. As it happened, Cream had seduced the widow's daughter and purported that the two were engaged, Kreenholm, of course, had no plans of marrying the girl.
Nevertheless, the money put up to free him from jail was a convenient use of what Kreen deemed a petty affair. By the time Cream had been taken into custody, he'd already been carrying on an illicit romance with a different woman entirely. Their affair began soon after she purchased medicine from him. In February 1881, 33 year old Julia Stot sought Cremes renowned epilepsy elixir for her 61 year old epileptic husband, Daniel Stott. The moment she laid eyes on cream, she fell for the dashing doctor in turn, Cream saw a business opportunity in the woman's sick husband.
He withered away any moral compass Julia Start might have had. The two attempted to buy an insurance policy on Daniel Starts Life, but this plan failed due to Daniel's chronic illness. Perhaps it looks suspicious to the insurance company that a woman 30 years her husband's junior, suddenly wanted a hefty payout in the case of his death. Yet while this scheme failed, poor Daniel still learned of the affair between his wife and cream and threatened to expose the to this infuriated cream.
According to Julia Start, on June 11th, 1881, 31 year old Karim added a white powder to her husband's medicine during a visit to his office on June 14th, 20 minutes after taking Cremes epileptic Alexa. Daniel suffered massive convulsions. Due to the fact that he publicly struggled with epilepsy, the coroner had no problem attributing Daniel's death to an epileptic seizure. For a moment, Crean thought he'd escaped the law yet again, but his greed drove him to make a grave error.
Wanting to make a quick buck on Daniel's death, Kreen contacted the man's coroner and claimed that the true cause of death was strychnine, poison that had been in Daniel's elixir for this. He blamed his drug druggist, hoping to gain punitive damages from the pharmacist. Little did Cream know the pharmacist was a friend of the coroner and claimed that he'd not put any poison into the elixir if the substance was contaminated, it was the fault of the only man who'd handled the medicine before Daniel ingested it.
And that man was Dr. Cream.
Unwittingly, Cream had incriminated himself by leading the coroner to the real cause of Daniel's death, the result was a case cracked wide open, not wanting to be implicated with cream. As the rumor mill spun, Julià Start consulted her own attorney, who tested some of Daniel's elixir by feeding it to a dog. Within 15 minutes, the creature shook wildly and died. Unnerved by this information, police ordered a post-mortem exam of Daniel Stot and found enough strychnine in his body to kill him three times over.
A warrant for the arrests of the doctor and Julia was issued immediately. Cream had just been released on bail for the Joseph Martin fiasco. So when he heard about the new warrant, he quickly fled to Canada. He couldn't run forever. Weeks later, on July 27th, Cremes found in Ontario and extradited back to Chicago to be tried for murder. By this point, his fugitive behavior only further corroborated his guilt. So on September 20th, 1881, as Cream stepped into the courtroom, there was little hope for him for her own clemency.
Julia testified against Crean, claiming he seduced her and convinced her to enter in on his plan to murder her own husband for money. Cremes defense simply cast blame right back onto his former lover. Julia Stot was a bad woman. He said it was a moot argument. The jury was unconvinced of Cremes innocence. And three days later, on September 23, 1881, they found Dr. Thomas Neil Creme guilty. His sentence was life in prison with one day a year spent in solitary confinement for a man with multiple murders behind him.
The conviction fits the crime. Approximately one month later, on November 1st, Cream entered the heavy metal doors of Illinois State Prison at Joliet. The enterprising Thomas Snehal Cream was now prisoner number four three seven four, but he didn't intend to stay there for long.
Indeed, the day cream and to jail, he was already plotting his way out. Next time on medical murders, Thomas Neal Cream walks free and heads to London to commit his most infamous series of murders. And while some go uninvestigated, those that do direct authorities to one man who would soon be termed the Lambeth poisoner. Thanks for listening to medical matters and thanks again to Dr. Kipa for joining me today. Thank you, Allaster. For more information on Thomas Nehal Cream, among the many sources we used, we found the books, Monsters of Medicine, The Lives of Five Serial Killer Physicians.
Is there a common thread by Dr. William W. Cauliflower and a prescription for murder? The Victorian serial killings of Dr. Thomas Neal Cream by Angus McLaren. Extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of medical murders and all of the Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify, not only to Spotify already have all of your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like medical murders for free from your phone, desktop or smart speaker to stream medical matters on Spotify.
Just open the app and type medical murders in the search bar. We'll see you next time. Medical Murders is a Spotify original from podcast. It is executive produced by Max Cutler, Sound Design by Trent Williamson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden, Kristen Acevedo, Jonathan Cohen, Alexandra Chick for Dougherty and Joshua Kern. This episode of Medical Murders was written by Lauren Dalil with Writing Assistants by Maggie Admi, Fact Checking by Bennett Logan and research by Chelsea Wood.
Medical murder stars Dr. David Kipa and Alistair Murden.