Letter written from police custody by Dr Neill Cream (1850-1892), the notorious "Lambeth Poisoner", one month before his trial, English, dated 16 August 1892
Known as the ‘Lambeth Poisoner’, Dr Neill Cream (1850-1892) was convicted and hung for the murders of four prostitutes on 15 November 1892. One of a small number of high profile Victorian killer doctors, strychnine was his weapon of choice. At the time, the drug was used in small doses as a stimulant and a laxative and was commonly found in physicians’ medicine chests. The letter shown in this photograph was written by him on 16 August 1892 while in police custody, a month before his trial. Sent to his fiancée, Laura Sabbatini, it protests his innocence.
Cream is famously said to have claimed to be the infamous Jack the Ripper when he was executed in Billingsgate, London, supposedly uttering the words “I am Jack…” as the rope went taut. This was unlikely to have been true as he was imprisoned in Chicago, Illinois, for another murder at the time of the Ripper murders.