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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 2120 times)
Keira Kensington
Superhero Member
Posts: 4702

« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2015, 04:08:41 am »

It was finally John Haynes (after Cream took him on a guided tour of the murder sites) who went to detectives at Scotland Yard and told them of his suspicions about Cream being the killer. At that point, his attempts to blackmail Harper were also revealed and Cream was finally arrested. He went to trial in October 1892, proclaiming his innocence and capturing newspaper headlines across the nation. A number of people testified against him and only a sobbing Laura Sabbatini testified on his behalf. Cream’s tin box that contained vials of poison was placed on display in the courtroom and was later added to Scotland Yard’s infamous “Black Museum”.

There was a strange incident that jarred the proceedings of the trial. A letter was received and was read aloud in court by coroner Braxton Hicks. It read:

Dear Sir.... The man that you have in your power, Dr. Neill, is as innocent as you are. Knowing him by sight, I disguised myself like him, and made the acquaintance of the girls that have been poisoned. I gave them pills to cure them of all their earthly miseries, and they died.... If I were you, I would release Dr. T. Neill, or you might get into trouble. His innocence will be declared sooner or later, and when he is free he might sue you for damages. Beware all. I warn but once.

Yours Respectfully,
Juan Pollen,
alias Jack the Ripper

The mere utterance of the name attached to the letter caused the entire assemblage to gasp, except for Cream, who smiled widely. The letter later turned out to be the work of a crank, as Cream could not have sent it himself from his cell, but it stayed in Cream’s mind until the end of his life.

It only took the jury ten minutes to find Cream guilty and Judge Sir Henry Hawkins lived up to his reputation as the “hanging judge” by ordering Cream to be executed on the gallows on November 15, 1892.

While awaiting execution, Cream talked incessantly to his jailers, mostly insisting to them that he was a great man and that the world had refused to recognize it. He also claimed to have killed many more than he was found guilty of and that he had done them in to end their misery and to aid society, hinting at even darker things than those he had been found guilty of.

On the night before his execution, Cream could be heard moaning in his cell, no longer bragging of his crimes but now protesting his innocence. At dawn on the 15th though, he went calmly to the gallows. He was bound hand and foot and placed on the trap as the black hood was slipped over his head. Cream saved his most dramatic and strange proclamation for last. The lever was pushed to release and the trap, and moments before he plunged to his doom, Cream shouted out: “I am Jack the.....”

The rope cut him off before he could finish and in that split second, Cream created an enigma that has inspired many to believe that he was confessing to having been the killer Jack the Ripper. And in death, Cream became as mysterious as he was in life.

Cream’s last words have plagued both crime historians and “Ripperologists” for years. There have been a number of theorists who have concocted some convincing (and some not so convincing) cases that Cream may have been the Whitechapel killer. Sir Edward Marshall Hall, who had once defended Cream on a charge of bigamy, later wrote that he believed Cream sometimes employed a “double” who used his name and that both men “used each other’s terms of imprisonment as alibis for each other”. Cream had earlier told Hall that he refused to plead guilty to charges against him because he was in prison at the time of the offenses. A check with officials did reveal that a man matching Cream’s description had been in prison at the same time and Cream was released.

Ripper expert Donald Rumbelow has stated that this has led to the suggestion that even though Cream was serving time in Joliet Prison as the Whitechapel murders were taking place, he may have actually been in England. His double could have been imprisoned, or vice versa. As the double had given Cream an alibi for the bigamy charges, Cream then tried to repay the debt by shouting those last words from the scaffold. Others have suggested that the letter that was read at Cream’s trial could have been from Cream’s double, the real Jack the Ripper, attempting to save the doctor’s life.

Unfortunately for those who feel they have solved the Whitechapel murders by pinning them on Cream, the idea of the “doppelganger” is not very convincing and neither is the other theory as to how the good doctor could have committed the crimes from behind the walls of Joliet prison. In some accounts, Cream was able to bribe his way out of the corrupt prison in the middle 1880’s, journey to London, commit the murders and then return to his cell in order to be released in 1891. Author and crime historian Jay Robert Nash personally checked the records at Joliet prison in the late 1970’s and found that the ledger from the era was still intact, although Cream’s personal files had long ago been destroyed in a fire. The ledger states that Thomas Neill Cream, prisoner no. 4374, was imprisoned at Joliet on November 1, 1881 and not released until July 31, 1891. There are also records attached about the commuting of Cream’s sentence by the governor but nothing to indicate that he was ever released. The idea that he bribed his way out of the prison is merely a theory and no real evidence exists to support it.

And perhaps the biggest problem with the idea of Cream being the Ripper is his method of murder. Although he was a brutish and bloody abortionist, his method of dispatching young women was by poison, not the knife. It seems unlikely that he would poison his victims prior to 1888 and then suddenly go on a wild mutilating spree, only to go back to poisoning them again a few years later.

So it seems that we have to look beyond Dr. Cream when seeking the identity of Jack the Ripper. Admittedly the two killers did have some similarities in that both enjoyed killing prostitutes and then writing letters about their deeds to the authorities, but beyond that, the comparisons end -- continuing a mystery that will not be solved anytime soon!
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