Aaron the Ripper?

The real Jack the Ripper (Beth Ivie-Allen)

The real Jack the Ripper (Beth Ivie-Allen)

In the fall of 1888, the Whitechapel district of London was terrorized by a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes and murdered them in the most brutal fashion: the infamous Jack the Ripper. And for more than 125 years, the identity of this vicious madman remained a mystery, despite there being a handful of potential suspects.

Well, it looks like the mystery has finally been solved—and not by a seasoned detective, but by an amateur sleuth named Russell Edwards.

The revelation came after Edwards acquired a shawl that was found at the crime scene of one of the Ripper’s victims, Catherine Eddowes. A world-renowned expert in DNA analysis—Dr. Jari Louhelainen—examined the shawl and was able to recover not only blood from the victim, but semen from her killer. He then used mitochondrial DNA—as well as samples from descendants of Eddowes and several suspects—to determine the identity of the notorious slasher: a Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski.

Edwards and the shawl that helped him solve the mystery (Ian Mcilgorm)

Edwards and the shawl that helped him solve the mystery (Ian Mcilgorm)

Kosminski fled to England in the early 1880s to escape the Russian persecution of Jews in Poland. According to his immigration papers, he worked as a hairdresser in Whitechapel and lived only a few hundred yards away from where his third victim, Elizabeth Stride, was murdered. Kosminski also suffered from serious mental illness—most likely schizophrenia—and spent the end of his life in an asylum before dying of gangrene at the age of 53.

Thus ends one of the most interesting mysteries in history. Jack the Ripper has finally been unmasked, so now people can focus on solving other mysteries… like what the hell McDonald’s really puts in their Chicken McNuggets!

Posted on September 11, 2014, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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