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Investigator Claims To Have Solved The Ripper Mystery Using DNA

Investigator Claims To Have Solved The Ripper Mystery Using DNA | IFLScience

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After seeing the movie From Hell, businessman Russell Edwards was intrigued enough by the crimes to have bought a shawl that was supposedly found near Eddowes' body. The shawl was collected by one of the police officers investigating the crime, though preservation of evidence was more lax in those days.

While other “Ripperologists” have dismissed the shawl as a fake, Edwards believed its Michaelmas flowers were an obscure clue left by the killer warning of his next attack, which occurred on November 8, 1888 at the Eastern Orthodox Churches' Michaelmas festival.

Edwards had the shawl tested and found not only blood, but also semen. The DNA was too degraded by the passage of time for microsatellite analysis, but Dr. Jari Louhelainen, a senior molecular biology lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, matched the mitochondrial DNA from the blood to a descendent of Eddowes, using a technique he developed for extracting genetic material from cloth.

Nifty. From Hell was a good but scary Johnny Depp movie by the way. 

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Jack the Ripper unmasked: How amateur sleuth used DNA breakthrough to identify Britain's most notorious criminal 126 years after string of terrible murders

DNA evidence on a shawl found at Ripper murder scene nails killer

By testing descendants of victim and suspect, identifications were made

Jack the Ripper has been identified as Polish-born Aaron Kosminski

Kosminski was a suspect when the Ripper murders took place in 1888

Hairdresser Kosminski lived in Whitechapel and was later put in an asylum

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