The Gentleman Doctor is an infamous serial killer. It is widely believed to be a role played by a series of several successors, each taking the mantle of the one before him.
The main reason of this is because the Gentleman Doctor began his murder spree in 1845, and continues through to the modern day.
Some people believe the Gentleman Doctor to be one person, kept alive impossibly through his acts of cruelty, but this is regarded as a 'bogeyman tale' among serious researchers.
Although no one has ever apprehended him, or any of his incarnations, his prolific career has enabled lots of data to be compiled on him. Police organizations across the world have their own extensive files detailing information they have uncovered, detailed histories of his murderous activity, and many attempted profiles. There have been only a handful of close calls, where Police believed they had found the Gentleman Doctor, but each time he escaped, leaving behind only an alias, some discarded body parts, a lab, and in the most fortunate cases, some notes.
Before the Second Civil War, a professor named Camille Houghton compiled the most detailed stockpile of facts collected on the Gentleman Doctor, making some sense of an otherwise disparate assortment of fact, theories, and assumptions over the years. Her novel-sized file is still in use in modern times, invaluable to the FBI, who maintain a task force dedicated to finding the Gentleman Doctor.
From his notes, and other relevant data gathered, Professor Houghton put together the basic history and presumed motivations of Gentleman Doctor as follows.
England, 1845. A media circus surrounds a museum display that recently arrived. In the showcase were treasures and goods from a recently unearthed Assyrian tomb, including a gold covered human skeleton that was reputed to be the bones of a goddess.
Within two weeks, the museum was burnt to the ground, and the skeleton was stolen. Notes from the 'Doctor' indicate that he fell in love with the goddess, and she spoke to him, bidding him to liberate her.
It was then that the grisly murders began. He would stalk through the alleys, dragging women into the darkness and operating on them. He would remove select parts from them, leaving the rest of the body behind.
His notes suggest that he was commanded to rebuild the body of the goddess around her bones, and that he would bring her these parts one by one. Her demand for perfection was absolute, however, and she would summarily reject any part that she thought unfit. This fickle nature, and the lack of modern preservation techniques, led to the 'Doctor' having to start back at square one many times over.
He travelled across many countries, and continents even, searching out the pieces of his goddess, and getting progressively better and better at his craft. His notes indicate frustration at being able to come so close to assembling the body, and then having to vacate his lab (stripping back down the skeleton in the process) because of the authorities closing in.
Handwriting analysis and no records of training a successor are the chief indications, to those who believe, that he may be one person. Gentleman Doctor Conspiracy Theorists of the UK are one group that asserts that he is in fact communicating with an ancient goddess or fell spirit who compells him to do her dark work, and rewards him with eternal life. The FBI and Interpol both dismiss this notion entirely, and even the Houghton Files profile the original 'Doctor' as a schizophrenic with delusions of the goddess speaking to him. They admit that they don't know how he chooses or trains his successor, or what their motivation might be, but cite similar examples of brainwashing from cults as to how they may come to think and feel as the original did.