Jack the Ripper mystery: Back to square one

You’ll recall last month this blockbuster story “Jack the Ripper identity confirmed by DNA”. Well, as we suspected… meh.

Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has ‘made serious DNA error’ – The Independent.

A 23-year-old Polish immigrant barber called Aaron Kosminski was “definitely, categorically and absolutely” the man who carried out the atrocities in 1888, according to a detailed analysis of DNA extracted from a silk shawl allegedly found at the scene of one of his murders.

However, the scientist who carried out the DNA analysis has apparently made a fundamental error that fatally undermines his case against Kosminski – and once again throws open the debate over who the identity of the Ripper.

The author of the book that revealed this line of evidence, Russell Edwards, paid Dr Jari Louhelainen, a molecular biologist at Liverpool John Moores University, to do a forensic analysis on the shawl that supposedly belonged to Catherine Eddowes. Even though this story was dubious in itself, it was discovered by __ that Louhelainen made an “error of nomenclature” when using a DNA database to calculate the chances of a genetic match. The details are technical and not easy for the layman to understand. Several scientists are quoted at agreeing that the mistake may have happened. But if this is true, it means that the DNA wasn’t a good match to suspect Aaron Kosminski.

The problem is, neither the original findings nor the critique are of much value since the details weren’t published in a reviewed journal. So, we are back to “Unsolved”.

  4 comments for “Jack the Ripper mystery: Back to square one

  1. ApexDisorder
    October 20, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Again, I find the most compelling evidence pointing tword the American, Francis Tumblety.

  2. Angela
    October 21, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    I had a feeling this is how it would turn out–like you, I didn’t think it solved any mystery of Jack the Ripper. Honestly, I think on the (highly) remote chance that it would ever be solved, those who have fallen in love with their own theories of who the killer was will not be swayed.

  3. busterggi
    October 21, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    And i don’t – but I think we have to agree to disagree.

  4. October 22, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    You’re free to go, Kosminski. But don’t leave town. We may still need you for questioning.



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