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Jack the Ripper's Identity Proved; DNA Tests Show the Killer Was Polish Immigrant Aaron Kosminski [PHOTO]

By Marisa Lewis | September 08, 2014 11:34 AM EDT


The Mirror reports that the identity of the famous serial killer Jack the Ripper has been revealed due to a DNA breakthrough. Author Russell Edwards claims to have solved the mystery by testing the DNA on a shawl found on one the victims, which contained a match to both her and major suspect Aaron Kosminski.

According to the Independent, Kosminski was a Polish Jew whose family had immigrated to London to escape minority killings. He arrived in London with his family in 1881, and was eventually committed to a mental asylum at the peak of the public's fear concerning the Ripper's atrocities. But was he really the man behind the gruesome murders of 1888 that left at least five women dead and mutilated in the streets of London? Edwards is sure of it.

He told the Independent, "I've got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case. I've spent 14 years working, and we have definitely solved the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was. Only non-believers that want to perpetuate the myth will doubt. This is it now - we have unmasked him," conveying his steadfast belief in his find.

Edwards said he had always been "captivated" by the murder mystery, but that he had concluded it could never be solved. However, his viewpoint changed when he came across victim Catherine Eddowes' shawl in 2007, when it was put up for sale. Unsure of what to do, he enlisted help from Dr. Jari Louhelainen, an expert in historic DNA.

According to News, Louhelainen stated in an interview, "It has taken a great deal of hard work, using cutting-edge scientific techniques which would not have been possible five years ago... Once I had the profile, I could compare it to that of the female descendant of Kosminski's sister, who had given us a sample of her DNA swabbed from inside her mouth."  

He went on to say, "The first strand of DNA showed a 99.2% match, as the analysis instrument could not determine the sequence of the missing .8% fragment of DNA. On testing the second strand, we achieved a perfect 100% match." Edwards further commented on the shawl, stating, "Thank God the shawl has never been washed, as it held the vital evidence."

Though Kosmisnki had previously been identified as a major suspect, he was never brought to trial due to lack of evidence. After being committed to a mental asylum, he died in 1899 due to a gangrene infection in his leg. 

Tagged :  Jack the Ripper, identity, DNA, Aaron Kosminski


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