DNA evidence may have uncovered the true identity of serial killer Jack the Ripper


Illustration shows the police discovering the body of one of Jack the Ripper’s victims, probably Catherine Eddowes, London, England, late September 1888. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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LONDON — More than a 130 years later, we may finally know the true identity of one of the most widely-known serial killers, Jack the Ripper.

According to a study published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, a pair of researchers used DNA evidence to determine Jack the Ripper was a man named Aaron Kosminski.

David Miller, of the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, and Jari Louhelainen, of Liverpool John Moores University, conducted the study.

The researchers tested a stain on the shawl of Catherine Eddowes, Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim, and linked the DNA to Kosminski, a Polish immigrant to London.

“I was able to identify body cells that were consistent with the presence of seminal fluid on the shawl and which enabled us to match DNA with the descendants of one of the suspected killers, Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski,” Miller said in a news release.

The authors also tested mitochondrial DNA from a blood stain and matched it to a descendant of Eddowes.

This report is not the first to link the crimes to Aaron Kosminski. Russell Edwards previously wrote about this conclusion in his 2014 book, “Naming Jack the Ripper.” The Smithsonian reports these biochemists are the ones who ran the tests behind Edwards’ book.

The Smithsonian argues that these results, however, are not conclusive, and only more detailed results could give the final word on the century-old question.

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