A British businessman claims that he has ascertained the identity of 19th century serial murder Jack the Ripper using 126-year-old DNA extracted from blood found on the shawl of one of the victims.
In an article written for The Daily Mail, businessman and “armchair detective” Russell Edwards, claims the man responsible for the five 1888 murders in East London was Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew who fled the Russian pogroms to London in the early 1880s.
According to Russell, he acquired the blood-soaked shawl, believed to have been found next to the body of one of the Ripper’s victims (Catherine Eddowes), from David Melville-Hayes in 2007. Russell then turned the shawl over to Dr. Jari Louhelainen, an expert in analyzing genetic evidence from historical crime scenes.
Dr. Louhelainen was then able to extract 126-year-old DNA from both the victim and the supposed murderer from the material, which was then compared the DNA from descendants of Eddowes and the suspect, both proved to be a match.
Aaron Kosminski has long been considered a suspect by Jack the Ripper aficionados and historians, along with Prince Albert Victor (Edward VII’s son), Queen Victoria’s doctor, Sir William Gull, and painter Walter Sickert.
Kosminski was reportedly a paranoid schizophrenic who suffered auditory hallucinations and died in the Leavesden Asylum in 1918 at the age of 53.