DNA Evidence May Have Revealed the Identity of Jack the Ripper

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Forensic scientists say they have may have finally identified the identity of the notorious London serial killer: Jack the Ripper. New DNA evidence using genetic tests point to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year old Polish barber as being the murderer who terrorized the streets of London back in the 20th century.

Kosminski was a prime suspect at the time, but London police never had solid enough evidence to convict him. The DNA results from this renewed forensic investigation come from a stained silk shawl that was found next to the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes, the killers fourth victim, in 1888. The shawl was supposedly speckled with bodily fluids that are said to have come from the killer.

Researchers used the fragments of mitochondrial found on the shawl, which is passed down solely from one’s mother, with samples taken from living descendents of Kosminski. According to test conducted, the DNA matched that of Kosminski. The study also did an analysis of the only description of of the killer, which suggests the killer had brown hair and brown eyes, both of which match up with a description of Kosminski.

While these findings are some of the most convincing yet in terms of solving the mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper, not all are convinced. Some experts say the the shawl used to glean DNA evidence may have been contaminated over the years, as the shawl has been passed down by amaterur detectives and fans of the case. Others say there is no proof the shawl was even at the crime scene.

This is not the first time DNA evidence has been brought forward to identify Jack the Ripper. Several years ago, crime author Patricia Cornwell ask scientists to analyze DNA evidence taken from letters supposedly sent by the killer to the police. However, due to the passage of the time, this may be the closest we’re going to get to uncovering the identity of the notorious Jack the Ripper.

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