Forensic Scientists Use DNA Evidence To Identify Jack The Ripper

DNA tests pointed to Aaron Kosminski as the infamous serial killer.

The famous serial killer who tormented London in the late 19th century has finally been unmasked, researchers say. A study published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences last Tuesday concluded that Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and primary suspect in the investigation, was indeed Jack the Ripper.

“To our knowledge, this is the most advanced study to date regarding this case,” the authors of the study wrote.

Jack the Ripper is thought to be responsible for the murders of at least five women in London during the late summer and autumn of 1888. Co-authors Jari Louhelainen and David Miller used genetic testing on blood and semen samples from a silk shaw investigators say was found next to the fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes. The researchers analyzed mitochondrial DNA and compared the sample with ones from Eddowes' and Kosminski's living relatives. They stated that the sample matched the DNA of Kosminski’s relative.

But skeptics claim that the results of the study are still somewhat inconclusive because the shawl could have been contaminated over time. Louhelainen obtained the shawl from self-proclaimed "armchair detective" and author of "Naming Jack the Ripper" Russell Edwards, who purchased the piece of evidence from an auction in 2007.

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