Monday, 19 October 2015

Chapter 18: The Ghost of a Murderer

Last week the new British crime drama River staring Stellan Skarsgård started on BBC One. The main character, D.I. River, solves crimes while being haunted by ghosts (real or imagined) of his dead partner, victims of the crimes he is solving and a villain who died because of him. I enjoyed the first episode for the acting and the Scandinavian style mood but I wasn't as sold on the story as much. I'm still looking forward to the rest of the series though.]

Along with the modern ghosts that haunt him, River is also visited by the manifestation of Victorian murderer Dr Thomas Neill Cream, otherwise known the Lambeth Poisoner (Played by Eddie Marsan, recently seen in the Napoleonic set, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), whom he is reading a book about in the show. 

Marsen as Cream in the show (photo from The Guardian)
The real life Cream, a Canadian, is known to have killed five people  in both England and the United States. In 1881 he was imprisoned by the United States authorities for the murder of Daniel Stott in Chicago and released in 1891. He then moved to England where he killed four women before being captured and hanged for his crimes the following year. 

The Real Dr Cream (Photo from Wikipedia)
While I was not familiar with Cream's name initially, while looking over articles in preparation of this blog I did realize I had come across him before in this panel from From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell:

From Hell
Despite this confession Cream could have not possibly been the Ripper as he was a. not in the country when the Whitechapel killings took place and b. was in prison anyway. 

More information on Cream:
New York Daily News article

River continues on BBC One Tuesdays 9:00pm BST/GMT (First epsiode on iplayer for UK residents)

Buy From Hell

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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