Cream wearing the infamous pin.
Many years ago, having read dozens & dozens of books about 'Jack the Ripper', an obsession began. Neither at the start of my research, nor since, did I believe that Dr. Thomas Neill Cream could be connected to the Whitechapel murders, but nor was I prepared for the enormity of my findings.
It was widely claimed that during the 'Autumn of Terror' in 1888, Cream was serving a life-sentence in Joilet State Penitentiary for the murder of his lover's husband, but many theories of early release and bribery told another tale. As I set about requesting the opening of the doctor's prison files, I was shocked to find that everything was intact, having lain untouched for over a century and within a matter of a few months copies of the file landed on my doorstep, making heavy but exciting reading.
McGill University opened their records too, providing me with photographs and the Science Museum in London located a letter in their archives, which Cream sent to his fiancee whilst awaiting trial. They also hold Thomas Cream's spectacles, battered and blue with age but still incredibly fascinating. The Black Museum allowed me to reproduce an image of the doctor's medical bag, complete with vials just as it would have been during his poisoning spree.
It takes many years of hard work to fit the jigsaw puzzle together when tracking a criminal and hunting down Doctor Cream's paper trail was no easy task. Although sometimes, a stroke of luck happens and something very special falls into a researcher's lap. For me it has been the discovery of the only known photograph of Cream's beloved young lady, Laura Sabatini. She looks demure and innocent, just as I would expect, and now the two sit side by side on my desk, something that, in life,was not destined to happen.