Sunday Reader: Jack the Ripper Identity Solved Through DNA

An illustration of the elusive ‘Jack the Ripper’ in the Oct. 13, 1888 edition of the ‘Illustrated London News’ entitled ‘With the Vigilance Committee in the East End: A Suspicious Character.’ (Source: Illustrated London News/Wikimedia Commons)

An illustration of the elusive ‘Jack the Ripper’ in the Oct. 13, 1888 edition of the ‘Illustrated London News’ entitled ‘With the Vigilance Committee in the East End: A Suspicious Character.’ (Source: Illustrated London News/Wikimedia Commons)

The mystery is over. The most infamous serial killer in history has been unmasked, 126 years later. 

A university professor claims to have identified the person known only by his haunting nickname – “Jack the Ripper.”

A 126-year-old DNA sample left on a piece of clothing allegedly belonging to Ripper victim Catherine Eddowes is linked to Aaron Kosminski, a hairdresser of Polish Jewish descent who emigrated from Eastern Europe to London in 1881.

A man named Russell Edwards purchased the shawl in 2007 at a Bury St. Edmunds auction house. His curiosity about the shawl’s history fueled his amateur sleuthing, and led him to Dr. Jari Louhelainen, senior lecturer in molecular biology and associate professor of biochemistry at Liverpool John Moores University.

Although the DNA evidence has not been independently verified, DNA samples compared to a living relative of Eddowes and extracted male bodily fluids from the shawl made a “99.2 percent match” to Kosminski in tests completed by Louhelainen, reports say.

“Now that it’s over, I’m excited and proud of what we’ve achieved, and satisfied that we have established – as far as we possibly can – that Aaron Kosminski is the culprit,” Edwards said in his book Naming Jack the Ripper, which will be published on Sept. 9th.

Killing sports ... this map of Whitechapel in the 1800s shows Flower and Dean Streets in purple and the sites of some killings as red spots.

Killing spots … this map of Whitechapel in the 1800s shows Flower and Dean Streets in purple and the sites of some killings as red spots.

There are five “canonical’ murder victims connected to “Jack the Ripper,” but 11 victims are linked to the infamous killer. Most of the murders took place in the fall of 1888 in the poor Whitechapel neighborhood of London’s East End. The victims were either poor women or prostitutes.

The nickname came from newspapers that reported  the brutality of the murders: the women were assaulted, then maimed before their throats were slit. Three of the victims had organs removed, which lead to claims that the suspect had medical experience.

Kosminski, who has consistently been linked to the true identity of “Jack the Ripper,” was committed to an asylum in 1891, at the height of Ripper hysteria. Kosminski remained in and out of mental institutions, and died at Leavesden Asylum in 1919.

The last victim of “Jack the Ripper” was killed in February 1891.

He is one of  the six most discussed potential “Ripper” suspects batted around by “Ripperologists,” amateurs and historians alike who study the murders.

A video that goes more in depth on the history of “Jack the Ripper” can be seen by clicking here.

Crash

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Reader: Jack the Ripper Identity Solved Through DNA

    • This is the age for that, I guess with the world shrinking and advancements in science. Don’t forget the piece I ran a couple of months ago when they believe they found Dracula (Vlad the Impaler)

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