A gruesome mystery that has fascinated millions of people for generations has at last been solved
Jack The Ripper, perhaps the most famous of all serial murders, has finally been identified after 126 years...and it is none other than the schizophrenic man many had always considered the prime suspect, Polish immigrant, Aaron Kosminski. Thanks to DNA testing, a match has been made to stains on a shawl found at the crime scene of the final victim, Catherine Eddowes, and should close this case once and for all.
This new revelation comes to light thanks to property developer and self professed "armchair detective" Russell Edwards, who became rather fascinated with Jack The Ripper after seeing the 2001 film From Hell.
spent the next several years researching and theorizing about the unsolved case. He jumped at the chance to purchase the shawl when it went up for auction in 2007 despite the opinions that had long varied as to whether or not it actually belonged to Eddowes.
Before long, Edwards recruited molecular biologist Dr Jari Louhelainen, an expert in genetic evidence from historical crime scenes, to do the needed testing and analysis. Those tests would eventually find her blood and also the semen of an unknown male.
“I initially just wanted to prove that the shawl was genuine. I never dreamed that I was actually going to solve the mystery. It’s quite overwhelming and moving that we can say with certainty to Kosminski was the Ripper. It’s been a long personal journey.” Said Edwards, who claims to have spent about 750,000 pounds solving this case but won't say how much he spent on the shawl itself.
After tracking down Catherine Eddowes' three times great-grand daughter to get a sample, a perfect match was made, proving that the shawl had indeed been at the crime scene. Provenance could now be attributed to the shawl.
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Soon, the hunt was on to locate a modern relative of Kosminski, who, when found, wanted to remain anonymous due to the fear of being linked to such a well known murderer. Can't blame a person for that.
“She is British and gave me swabs from inside her mouth and they were given to Juri. He spent months checking and re-checking the DNA. I was on tenterhooks. And then in February this year I got an email from him confirming a match. I was speechless. I was so moved.”
The true identity to the most widely know slasher in history is now, more or less, a matter of record.
A Russian Jew, Aaron Kosminski, had fled to London in the 1880's with his family to escape the pogroms, ethnic massacres of Russia and eastern Europe. A know woman hater, he was named a prime suspect in the notes of the original case officer, Chief Inspector Donald Swanson when eyewitnesses identified him, but would not give official evidence. When the murders occurred, Kosminski was in his early twenties and lived a mere 200 yards from the location of Elizabeth Strides' attack. Without enough evidence to charge him of any crime, he remained free but was later committed to an asylum and labeled a paranoid schizophrenic and died at age 53.
Edwards has a book about the whole experience coming (Naming Jack the Ripper
, on sale this Tuesday) and the shawl will likely end up in a museum at some point, but he still has unanswered questions.
“I’ve still got lots I want to know. I’d love to know the trigger for the killing spree. What caused such a monster to do what he did?”
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