A study in the Journal of Forensic Studies purports to answer the long-standing question of the identity of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. Using DNA evidence, the authors conclude that Polish barber Aaron Kosminski, 22. After 130 years, the mystery may indeed be solved.
Aaron Kosminski was born in Klodawa, Poland to a Jewish family that later emigrated to England. He found work in Whitechapel as a barber. He showed early signs of mental illness and was out into an asylum. He was said to have threatened his mother with a knife.
Family members gave DNA samples for a comparison to blood found on a shawl from one of the murders. It was found on the night of the murders of victims three and four: Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.
The murderer may have killed 5-18 women, including Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. After dismembering Eddows (left above), the murderer left his infamous “From Hell” letter claiming to have eaten her kidney. He also cut out the uterus of a couple victims.
Kosminiski was a suspect at the time in 1888. His brown eyes and brown hair and height matched witness accounts. Moreover, one of the coauthors Jari Louhelainen, a biochemist at LJMU previously identified Kosminiski.
What is interesting is the distinct handwriting of the “From Hell” letter and the absence of forensic work that could match on writing.
It is a chilling mystery but one that seems likely solved at last.