“Jobb’s excellent storytelling makes the book a pleasure to read.”—New York Times Book Review
“When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most puzzling murder investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” Incredibly, as the words of the world’s most famous fictional detective appeared in The Strand Magazine in the early 1890s, a real-life Canadian doctor was stalking and murdering women in London’s downtrodden Lambeth neighborhood. 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, was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, a cold-blooded murderer who evaded detection in three countries in a killing spree to rival that of Jack the Ripper, his infamous contemporary.
Victorian Monster is the gripping true story of a murderous madman and reveals how bungled investigations, corrupt police and justice officials, failed prosecutions, and missed opportunities allowed him to evade detection or freed him to kill, again and again. It is the first complete account of Cream’s crimes and his many victims, and explores how the stifling morality and hypocrisy of the times allowed him 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 the Ripper. And it brings to life a story of murder and suspense, when evil lurked on the gas-lit streets of Chicago and London.
Dean Jobb: I specialize in true crime and I'm drawn to stories that have been overlooked or forgotten – hidden gems tucked away in the attics of history. My latest book, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream, recreates Scotland Yard's manhunt for a Victorian Era serial killer who murdered as many as 10 people in Britain, the U.S. and Canada. I discovered the subject of my previous book, Empire of Deception – Leo Koretz and his amazing oil swindle in 1920s Chicago – by chance, while doing other research. I spotted a reference to his arrest in Nova Scotia and I knew instantly it was a great story.
My previous books include The Cajuns: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph , which chronicles the expulsion of French-speaking Acadians from Eastern Canada more than two centuries ago and the founding of Louisiana’s Cajun culture. Calculated Risk is an investigation into a 1992 explosion that killed twenty-six Nova Scotia coal miners and led to sweeping reforms to workplace safety laws. I was a reporter, editor and columnist with Halifax’s leading newspaper, the Chronicle Herald, for 20 years and I write for major newspapers and magazines in Canada and the U.S. I have been a professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax since 2004, where I'm on the faculty of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program.