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Jack The Ripper In America. Did Jack The Ripper Visit The United States?

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Author Topic: Jack The Ripper In America. Did Jack The Ripper Visit The United States?  (Read 973 times)
Keira Kensington
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« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2015, 04:07:53 am »

    Those who do not believe that Tumblety could have been the Ripper give a different accounting of the days after Mary Kelly was killed. According to them, Tumblety was not released on bail until November 16. As Inspector Littlechild writes, he was then believed to jump bail and escape to Boulogne with the police pursuing him. From there, he booked passage to New York, where police staked out his lodgings. He escaped them however and vanished. He was not, as far as recorded, further pursued for his part in the killings. With that said, it would have been impossible for Tumblety to be the Ripper. If he were the killer, then someone would have had to copy and exceed his previous work on Mary Kelly while the doctor was still in jail. Most would agree that this seems highly unlikely.

    But our story is not quite over. Regardless of what is written about the last days of Tumblety in London, all will agree that after his escape he did end up in St. Louis. He also traveled for a time, avoiding Washington but frequently visiting Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis. He continued to live in hotels and established no permanent residence in any of the cities. In April 1903 though, Tumblety checked himself into St. John’s Hospital and Dispensary at 23rd and Locust Streets in St. Louis. The hospital, which was then located in the old Catlin-Beach-Barney Mansion, provided care for indigents, which is how Tumblety was presenting himself at this time. The hospital is still in operation today as St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, located at Interstate 64 and Ballas Road.

    According to accounts, Tumblety was suffering from a long and painful illness, although what it may have been has never been specifically identified. Some have suggested that it may have been a debilitating case of syphilis, the contraction of which might have been cause for his hatred of women and especially prostitutes. Whatever it was though, Tumblety remained at St. John’s until his death on May 28, 1903. However, he was far from indigent when he died. Court records showed that Tumblety left an estate of more than $135,000 when he died, some of which St. John’s managed to recover. The hospital asked for about $450 to cover the room expenses and medical tests for a man who was clearly not poor. The rest of the estate, except for costs to a St. Louis undertaker, went to Tumblety’s niece, Mary Fitzsimmons of Rochester, New York.

    Aside from the hospital, there was one other claim to Tumblety’s estate. While the hospital’s costs can be seen as clearly legitimate, the additional claim was quite strange, especially in light of Tumblety’s clear prejudices on the subject. The challenge to a will that Tumblety had written on May 16 came from an attorney in Baltimore named Joseph Kemp. He claimed that Tumblety had written an earlier will in October 1901 that left $1,000 from his estate to the Baltimore Home for Fallen Women... in other words, a halfway house for prostitutes! The claim was thrown out of court but it does provide an interesting final note to the life of a man who has been suspected of being the most famous killer of prostitutes in history!

Tumblety was unquestionably odd and quite possibly deranged, but his insanity and deviousness never reached the bounds of another American Jack the Ripper suspect, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream. He thought of himself as a master criminal and his ego knew no bounds. He seemed to love to do evil and he was said to have revolutionized the concept of murder in the late 1800’s. His motives would later give much in the way of study to crime psychologists and just what he may have done (and when) continues to baffle crime historians to this day. He specialized in the murder of women and perhaps for this reason, and the fact that he was so adept at covering his trail, Cream emerged in John Cashman’s 1973 book The Gentleman from Chicago as a Ripper suspect. And while many have disputed these charges, Cream is worthy of mention as an American connection to the most heinous murders of the Victorian era.
   


Thomas Neill Cream

    Cream was born in Scotland in 1850 and immigrated with his parents to Canada four years later. Though little is known about his early life, his parents were hardworking and decent folks and Cream lacked for nothing when it came to education and comfort. Somewhere along the way though, some twist in his makeup caused him to develop an overwhelming hatred of women. Perhaps it developed in childhood or perhaps later, when he attended McGill University in Montreal to study to be a doctor. He qualified as a physician but years later, the college would remove his name from the graduate rolls to avoid being connected to his crimes.

    During his senior year of college, Cream met and seduced a young woman named Flora Eliza Brooks. When it was discovered that the girl was pregnant, Cream performed a crude abortion on her and left Flora permanently scarred and weak for the rest of her life. Her parents, when they discovered what had occurred, forced Cream to marry the girl but he vanished soon after the nuptials and sailed for England in 1876.

    In London, Cream enrolled in a post-graduate course at St. Thomas’ Hospital, which was located in the Waterloo-Lambeth section of the city, an area teeming with diseased prostitutes. It is believed that it is here where Cream first came into contact with the whores of London and where he also contracted syphilis. The effects of the disease on his brain have been blamed for his constant thoughts of murder and his psychopathic rages. It’s more likely though that he was simply mad.

    Cream returned to Canada a few years later and set up practice in Ontario. He learned that his wife had passed away and while she is listed as having died of consumption, the horrific abortion at Cream’s hands undoubtedly contributed to her early demise. His medical practice was anything but savory and he soon earned a reputation for insurance fraud and performing illegal operations on women, especially abortions. He began a prosperous practice among local prostitutes and young women in trouble until the body of a young hotel chambermaid was discovered in his apartment one night with a bottle of chloroform beside her body. Cream had performed a savage abortion on her and it had failed, claiming her life. He was arrested and despite the evidence against him, the girl’s death was ruled a suicide and Cream was freed.

    This would be the first of a series of miraculous escapes for Cream but it would not be the last. He now took his operation to the teeming red-light districts of Chicago. His career as an abortionist found him plenty of new patients among the dirty and sickly prostitutes of Chicago’s Levee districts. He seemed to enjoy inflicting pain on these women but his deviant desires were truly inflamed by the opportunity that sometimes arose to work on proper young ladies who had been compromised. One such woman was Julia Faulkner, who died on Cream’s operating table in August 1880. He was charged with murder but the Chicago authorities lacked proof and Cream was released once again. Detectives suspected that Cream had given Miss Faulkner a poison called strychnine in the guise of a painkiller.

    In 1881, Cream struck again. After another abortion on a Miss Stack, she also perished after taking medicine that Cream prescribed and which was also laced with strychnine. Cream attempted to blackmail the chemist that he got the medicine from (some medicines contained a small amount of the poison in those days), stating that if he was paid off, he would keep silent about the bad mixture. The chemist, knowing that he was not at fault, turned the blackmail letter over to the police and Cream was arrested. Again he was tried and again he was turned loose for lack of evidence.
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