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Cream was taken as a boy to Canada, where he was well educated. He studied medicine, and qualified as a physician and surgeon both there and in this country.
From the start of his professional career in Canada and Chicago he adopted murder as a means of livelihood and seemingly of pleasure, the climax being the series of murders he committed in Lambeth in the year 1891. He was hanged for murdering a prostitute.
At the trial evidence was admitted that he had made a practice of buying poison such as had been administered to Matilda Clover, and that he was almost certainly guilty of other similar crimes.