Home » Events » Forest City Murder: Dr. Cream, the Donnellys, and Other True Stories of Homicide in 19th-Century Ontario

Forest City Murder: Dr. Cream, the Donnellys, and Other True Stories of Homicide in 19th-Century Ontario

November 12, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Words, London's Literary and Creative Arts Festival

Join Words to explore two notorious cases of homicide in 19th-century Ontario.

Featuring Keith Ross Leckie, Dean Jobb, and John Little
Hosted by Vanessa Brown
12 November 2021, 7PM

Zoom Registration: https://westernuniversity.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b0-czODtQ-ePiVKmV1pe3w 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/918336352423829 

The story of the Black Donnellys has become a fabled piece of Ontario history. The Donnelly family emigrated from Ireland to the township of Lucan Biddulph in the Ontario countryside. They found themselves, after a few years, in conflict with the local people. In February of 1880, an organized mob murder four Donnelly family members and burn their house to the ground. Another sibling is shot to death in a house a short distance away. William Donnelly and a teenage boy are the only witnesses to the murders. The surviving family members seek justice through the local courts but quickly learn that their enemies control the jury and the press. Two sensational trials follow that make national and international headlines as the Donnellys continue to pursue justice for their murdered parents, siblings and cousin.

We will visit with John Little who has published a two-volume historical account of the Donnellys. We will also visit with Keith Ross Leckie whose new novel, Cursed! Blood of the Donnellys, is a fictional account of the notorious family and that time in Canadian history.

Around the same time, Thomas Neill Cream is suspected of killing a female patient in London, Ontario. He flies to Chicago where he would kill as many as four people. After serving ten years in an Illinois prison, Cream was set free in 1891 – and headed for England to unleash his wrath on the prostitutes of London. In his new book, Dean Jobb explores the story of how Dr. Cream killed as many as ten people in three countries, a rampage that eclipsed the crimes of the notorious Jack the Ripper. The Lambeth Poisoner became one of the most prolific serial killers in history.