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True Detective August 1994
Dr. Neill Cream has in retrospect been called a serial killer, going about his business in Victorian England when psychiatry was still in its infancy, and dark sexual secrets were hidden behind the veils of respectability. Cream, an ugly man with a fearsome squint, possessed that magical quality – sexual magnetism – which he took advantage of to further his ends. But what were his ends? Max Marquis takes a fresh look at Cream’s life and throws surprising new light on an exceptional and sophisticated villain.
Sexuality and death are less subtly linked in two of our modern American cases – California’s Bizarre Four-Way Lethal Sexcapade and Mother and Daughter Torch Murder. Were the women in some part to blame for their own murders, perhaps complicating the lives of simple men by their independence? Or is the answer more straightforward – that the killers had no respect for life, or for law and order – going along with their basest instincts even though they knew it was wrong? Sometimes it is the simplest answers that provide the key to the truth.
Hard though it is to feel sympathy with the murderers, is there perhaps not something more in our Parent-Killers article to be surmised? When children turn on those who gave them life…unnatural crimes? It’s the old question – environment or heredity…?