Jack the Ripper Murder Mystery Solved by DNA
Friday, April 12, 2024
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Jack the Ripper, the infamous serial killer who terrorized the streets of London greater than a century in the past, might have lastly been recognized by forensic scientists in Nice, Britain. Genetic assessments revealed final week within the Journal of Forensic Sciences level to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and a major police suspect on the time. Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer generally believed to have been active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. In both the criminal case files and contemporary journalistic accounts, the killer was called the Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron.


Ripper Aaron Kosminski Polish Jew and other four suspects
Aaron Kosminski (right) one of Six Key Suspects in the Historical

Mystery Ripper and other Suspects (left)

The true identity of notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper can now be revealed thanks to a DNA breakthrough, it has been claimed. Author and self confessed "armchair detective" Russell Edwards claims to have solved perhaps the most notorious whodunit ever. Mr Edwards claims Aaron Kosminski, a 23 year-old Polish immigrant who ended up dying in an asylum, was "definitely, categorically and absolutely" the man behind the grisly killing spree in 1888 in London's East End. 


The White chappel murders


He said a blood-stained shawl he bought in 2007 after an auction in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, held vital DNA evidence which led him to the killer. "I've got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case. I've spent 14 years working on it, and we have definitively solved the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was," he said. "Only non-believers that want to perpetuate the myth will doubt. This is it now - we have unmasked him."


Police Discovering One of Jack the Ripper victims

Illustration Showing Police Discovering the Body of one of Jack the Ripper's Victims, probably Catherine Eddowes, London, England, late September 1888 


Jack the Ripper red cover


Jack the Ripper murdered at least five women, slashing their throats, removing some of their internal organs and leaving their mutilated bodied in Whitechapel's darkened alleyways.


Blind Man Buff Punch Cartoon September 22 1888

"Blind Man's Buff" - Punch Cartoon by John Tenniel (September 22, 1888) Criticizing the Police's Alleged Incompetence


Whitechapel first 7 murders

Map of the Location of Jack the Ripper First 7 Murders


Wanted Newspaper Wanted Ad 

London Newspaper "Wanted" Advertisement in 1888


Jack the Ripper in 5 minutes 2 


Mr Edwards, 48, from Barnet, north London, was "captivated" by the murder mystery and had been investigating it in his spare time, but had come to the conclusion it could never be solved. But then in 2007 he saw a shawl found by the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper's victims, was up for sale. He bought it, and enlisted the help of Jari Louhelainen, an expert in molecular biology, who used pioneering techniques to find DNA from her blood and that of the killer. He said: "Here I am with the shawl and possibly the evidence to solve the most unsolvable murder in English criminal history. But where do I start? That was the big question. "I enlisted the help of Jari and we embarked on a three-and-a-half year journey. "When we discovered the truth it was the most amazing feeling of my entire life."


 DNA from Shall

Evidence: DNA was Found on this Shawl


Mr Edwards said the discovery 126 years after the murders proves beyond doubt that Kosminski - one of the six key suspects commonly cited as the Ripper - was the actual killer.  He said the shawl had been taken by acting Sergeant Amos Simpson, who was on duty the night of Eddowes's death and wanted it for his wife. But horrified at the blood-soaked wrap, she never wore it, and it was stored away and passed down through the generations until it came to auction seven years ago. Mr Edwards said: "Thank God the shawl has never been washed, as it held the vital evidence."


Victim of Jack the Ripper 


On the Path of Jack the Ripper:  The outcomes come from a forensic examination of a stained silk scarf that investigators stated was discovered subsequent to the mutilated physique of Catherine Eddowes, the killer’s fourth sufferer, whose badly mutilated physique was discovered Sept. 30, 1888. The scarf is stained with what’s claimed to be blood and semen, the latter thought by some to have belonged to the killer.


An image referencing the investigation into the Whitechapel murders taken from The Illustrated Police News

Researchers in contrast fragments of mitochondrial DNA, which is handed down solely from one’s mom, retrieved from the scarf with samples taken from dwelling descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski, to one in every of Kosminski’s dwelling descendants, in line with Science.  However critics have questioned whether or not the scarf is viable proof, saying there is no such thing as a proof it was ever on the crime scene, and that it may need been contaminated through the years.



The author of the 2014 book said he was part-inspired to take up the search for the killer after watching the Johnny Depp film From Hell about the Ripper murders also said at the time the police had identified Kosminski as a suspect, but never had enough evidence to bring him to trial.


Murder Victim Catherine Eddoves

Murder Victim Catherine Eddowes


Kosminski was a Polish Jewish immigrant who, fleeing persecution in his Russia-controlled homeland, came with his family to England in 1881 and lived in Mile End Old Town. He was admitted to a string of lunatic asylums, where he died in 1899 of gangrene in the leg.


Historica Image of Police Discovering a Murder Victim of Jack the Ripper


Does a New Genetic Analysis Finally Reveal the Identity of Jack the Ripper?  Forensic scientists say they have finally fingered the identity of Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who terrorized the streets of London more than a century ago. Genetic tests published this week point to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and a prime police suspect at the time. But critics say the evidence isn’t strong enough to declare this case closed. The results come from a forensic examination of a stained silk shawl that investigators said was found next to the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes, the killer’s fourth victim, in 1888. The shawl is speckled with what is claimed to be blood and semen, the latter believed to be from the killer. Four other women in London were also murdered in a 3-month spree and the culprit has never been confirmed.


Drawin of murderer Jack the Ripper London Illustrated October 13 1888 


This isn’t the first time Kosminski has been linked to the crimes. But it is the first time the supporting DNA evidence has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. The first genetic tests on shawl samples were conducted several years ago by Jari Louhelainen, a biochemist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, but he said he wanted to wait for the fuss to die down before he submitted the results. Author Russell Edwards, who bought the shawl in 2007 and gave it to Louhelainen, used the unpublished results of the tests to identify Kosminski as the murderer in a 2014 book called Naming Jack the Ripper. But geneticists complained at the time that it was impossible to assess the claims because few technical details about the analysis of genetic samples from the shawl were available.

Wall Projection of Killer 


The new paper lays those out, up to a point. In what Louhelainen and his colleague David Miller, a reproduction and sperm expert at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, claim is “the most systematic and most advanced genetic analysis to date regarding the Jack the Ripper murders,” they describe extracting and amplifying the DNA from the shawl. The tests compared fragments of mitochondrial DNA—the portion of DNA inherited only from one’s mother—retrieved from the shawl with samples taken from living descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski. The DNA matches that of a living relative of Kosminki, they conclude in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.


london Star about Ripper 


The analysis also suggests the killer had brown hair and brown eyes, which agrees with the evidence from an eyewitness. “These characteristics are surely not unique,” the authors admit in their paper. But blue eyes are now more common than brown in England, the researchers note. The results are unlikely to satisfy critics. Key details on the specific genetic variants identified and compared between DNA samples are not included in the paper. Instead, the authors represent them in a graphic with a series of colored boxes. Where the boxes overlap, they say, the shawl and modern DNA sequences matched.


 Autopsy of Victim

Illustration of a Jack the Ripper Victim Autopsy


The results are unlikely to satisfy critics. Key details on the specific genetic variants identified and compared between DNA samples are not included in the paper. Instead, the authors represent them in a graphic with a series of colored boxes. Where the boxes overlap, they say, the shawl and modern DNA sequences matched.   Other critics of the Kosminsky theory have pointed out that there’s no evidence the shawl was ever at the crime scene. It also could have become contaminated over the years, they say.


 Merry Kellys Murder Scene

Murder Scene Illustration 


The new tests are not the first attempt to identify Jack the Ripper from DNA. Several years ago, U.S. crime author Patricia Cornwell asked other scientists to analyze any DNA in samples taken from letters supposedly sent by the serial killer to police. Based on that DNA analysis and other clues she said the killer was the painter Walter Sickert, though many experts believe those letters to be fake. Another genetic analysis of the letters claimed the murderer could have been a woman.


jack the Ripper

"Jack the Ripper" Staged Photograph by Joshua Hoffine, 2012


Joshua Hoffine, the internationally renowned horror photographer residing in Kansas City has cultivated a massive cult following for his meticulously staged photographic works regarding, as he puts it, "the psychology of fear." Conceived as a two-panel diptych, Jack the Ripper depicts the moments "just before" and "just after" a grisly alleyway murder.



From Hell is a 2001 American mystery horror film directed by the Hughes brothers and loosely based on the graphic novel From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell about the Jack the Ripper murders.