Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Clue to identity of Jack the Ripper found on old shawl

Clue to identity of Jack the Ripper found on old shawl

Genetic evidence point to a 23-year-old Polish barber named Aaron Kosminski as the notorious Jack the Ripper.

Investigators identified Kosminski as their prime suspect in the killings in 1888.

Jack the Ripper is thought to have claimed the lives of at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London between August and November 1888.

The shawl belonged to the Ripper's fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes, and was found at the murder scene stained with blood and semen.

The identity of the Whitechapel Murderer may finally have been revealed, thanks to DNA evidence found on a blood-splattered shawl. The tests compared fragments of DNA from the shawl and compared them to samples taken from living descendants, according to Science Magazine.

"At the time we sold it, we weren't sure but we hoped it would play a part in finding out who Jack the Ripper was", he said.

It's the identity of Jack the Ripper, one of history's great unsolved murder cases.

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"To our knowledge, this is the most advanced study to date regarding this case", the authors noted.

Kosminski was a Polish Jewish immigrant who lived with his two brothers and sister in Greenfield Street, about 200 yards from where the third victim, Elizabeth Stride, was killed.

"Genomic DNA from single cells recovered from the evidence was amplified, and the phenotypic information acquired matched the only witness statement regarded as reliable", said Louhelainen and Miller in their study. The analysis also suggests the killer had brown hair and brown eyes.

"We describe for the first time systematic, molecular level analysis of the only surviving physical evidence linked to the Jack the Ripper murders", the authors wrote. The shawl came from Edwards who bought it in an auction in 2007 then gave it to Louhelainen for research purposes.

(Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images, FILE) A visitor watches a black and white projection during a press preview of the "Jack the Ripper and the East End" exhibition at Museum in Docklands, in London, May 14, 2008.

Buyer Russell Edwards released a book in 2014 claiming Kosminski, who was one of the chief police suspects at the time, was the killer after using the unpublished results of the university tests.

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