Russell Edwards, a businessman and book sleuth, claims that the identity of Jack the Ripper has been determined beyond the shadow of a doubt. According to him, Jack the Ripper, one of the most notorious serial killers in history, has been identified through DNA traces on a bloody shawl.
Jack the Ripper’s identity has been a mystery ever since he terrified residents of Whitechapel shantytowns in London 1888. More than 120 years have passed, and dozens of suspects were considered that included royalty and prime ministers.
After DNA was extracted from the scene of one of the Ripper’s murders, it was shown to match DNA sampled from one of the relatives of the victim as well as one of the relatives of a suspect. Edwards is convinced that the killer’s name is Aaron Kosminski. He was a Jewish immigrant from Poland who made a living as a barber.
Edwards bought a bloody shawl in an auction in 2007. According to Edwards, the shawl came from the murder scene of Catherine Eddowes, the Ripper’s fourth victim, whose body was found on September 30th, 1888. Acting Sergeant Amos Simpson reported to the scene and was allowed to take the shawl to his dressmaker wife. She was understandably mortified at the thought of using it, and it was consequently passed down through the sergeant’s family in a box.
Dr. Jari Louhelainen, lecturer in molecular science at Liverpool John Moores University, isolated seven segments of mitochondrial DNA from the shawl, which were a match with Karen Miller, a direct descendant of Catherine Eddowes. Ultraviolet light exposed the additional presence of seminal fluid on the shawl.
Genealogists assisted Edwards in finding a descendant of Kosminski through the female line, and that descendant’s DNA match the DNA of the semen stains found on the bloody shawl. This has convinced Edwards that Aaron Kosminski was at the scene of the crime. Reports say that although a witness saw Aaron Kosminski with a victim before their murder, a lack of incriminating evidence led authorities to release him. Kosminski was described as destitute in 1889 and was admitted into an insane asylum. He died from gangrene on March 24, 1919.
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