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DNA evidence identifies Jack the Ripper

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement

According to news reports published in UK newspapers including the Daily Mirror and The Independent over the weekend, DNA evidence has unmasked the identity of “Jack the Ripper”, the infamous rapist and murderer who terrorized London’s East End.

DNA found on a shawl belonging to one of the serial killer’s victims was definitively matched to Polish suspect Aaron Kosminski. Kosminski was an insane man who had a great hatred for women, specifically prostitutes. He had been identified as the prime suspect by the Metropolitan Police detective who led the hunt for “Jack the Ripper”, but there never was enough evidence to convict him.

The 126-year-old mystery was solved after British businessman Russell Edwards bought the shawl at auction and provided it to world-renowned genetic expert Dr. Jari Louhelainen for testing. Russell, a property developer in the UK, said he spent approximately £750,000 to solve one of the most captivating and enduring murder mysteries in history.

Dr. Louhelainen first compared evidence from the shawl to DNA from a descendant of one the serial killer’s victims, Catherine Eddowes, which proved to be a match. This allowed Russell to authenticate the item. But the Liverpool-based scientist also found evidence of semen on the shawl and amazingly matched it to DNA from an unnamed relative of prime suspect Kosminski.

The strand of DNA from Eddowes proved to be a 99.2 percent match, but the second strand from Kosminski proved to be a perfect 100 percent match.

Among various possible biometric modalities, Biometrics Research Group, Inc. has noted that DNA provides the most reliable data for personal identification. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. Because it is intrinsically digital, and does not change during a person’s life or at the time of their death.

With the use of DNA evidence, which is widely used to solve crime today, Edwards believes he has eliminated several other prominent suspects accused of the “Jack the Ripper” crimes, including Queen Victoria’s grandson, Prince Albert Victor.

Edwards’s book Naming Jack the Ripper, which describes his quest to identify the murderer through the use of this stunning new forensic evidence, will be published by the Pan Macmillan imprint Sidgwick & Jackson on Tuesday.

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