11 January 1902
The London papers are commenting on the extraordinary numbers of applicants for the place made vacant by the death of James Billington, for nine years public hangman. Although the place carries no regular salary over 300 men have asked for it. In this connection it is stated that Billington believed that he had executed the notorious Jack the Ripper. He declared that Dr. Neill Cream, the notorious poisoner, said on the scaffold: "I am Jack ......."
Before he could get any further Billington pulled the bolt, and Cream was no more. Billington, however, was convinced that had he waited a second longer the words "... the Ripper" would have been uttered.
The mutilation of the Whitechapel victims was apparently done by a hand skilled, to some extent, in surgery, and certainly after Dr. Cream's death the crimes ceased.