Did Jack The Ripper Commit a Murder Near Belvidere?
It's one of the untold creepiest tales of mass murder that took place right in our own backyard, in Boone County.
It's the tale of Dr Thomas Neill Cream, serial killer. Cream was a doctor whose practice secretly specialized in abortions for illegal prostitutes. Originally from Scotland, he traveled to London for his education. Then opened up a practice in Canada and eventually in the red light district of Chicago in the late 1800's.
In August of 1880, he was investigated as a result of the death of Mary Anne Faulkner. Cream allegedly operated on Faulkner. But, due to lack of evidence, he was never convicted.
Over the next 15 months, other incidents occurred between Cream and his patients, which brings us to Boone County. In July of 1881, Daniel Stott, of Garden Prairie, who had epilepsy and was a patient of Cream's. Stott died suddenly at his home. The cause was strychnine poison allegedly given to him by Dr Cream. Cream was arrested along with Stott's wife, Julia, who was rumored to be Cream's mistress. Julia Stott allegedly wanted to do away with her husband. Cream was later convicted and imprisoned at Joliet Prison, and was eventuality released in 1891, when he then traveled to England.
Once in England, it was rumored that Cream continued to poison his victims. In 1891, he was tried in England and sentenced to hang, and according to the hangman, Cream allegedly uttered, as his last words, "I am Jack the ...."
So, did Jack the Ripper commit a murder in Boone County? We'll never know for sure.
It has never been proven that Dr Cream was indeed Jack The Ripper, but the possibility continues to intrigue Boone County residents after all these years.