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Poster for movie version of "Jack the Ripper."

The brutal serial killer Jack the Ripper has been identified through DNA as a Jewish barber who immigrated to London from Poland, but many experts question the DNA claim while acknowledging that the murderer probably was Jew from Poland.

Businessman Russell Edwards, an amateur Jack the Ripper sleuth, and molecular biologist Dr. Jari Louhelainen, of Liverpool John Moores University, made the discovery through DNA traces found on a shawl recovered from one of the crime scenes that allegedly belonged to one of his victims.

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The discovery is announced in a book by Edwards that is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, the Daily Mail first reported on Sunday.

Edwards identifies the killer as Aaron Kosminski, who would have been age 23 at the time of the murders.

Kosminski came to England in 1881 with his family. He reportedly lived near the scenes of the murders, was taken in by police as a witness at the time of the murders and was later released. He died in an insane asylum in 1919.

The serial killer nicknamed Jack the Ripper is accused of killing five women over about three months in the fall of 1888 in and near the Whitechapel district of London. The victims’ throats were cut and their bodies mutilated.

Edwards bought the shawl, which allegedly came from the murder scene of the killer’s fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes and still contained bloodstains, at an auction in 2007. Louhelainen was able to find blood that matched the victim, and other body fluids which ultimately were linked to Kosminski.

Scientists and scholars questioned whether Edwards and Louhelainen’s evidence on the shawl can support positive identification/

“The shawl has been openly handled by loads of people and been touched, breathed on, spat upon,” Richard Cobb, who runs Jack the Ripper conventions and tours, told The Times of London. “My DNA is probably on there. What’s more, Kosminski is likely to have frequented prostitutes in the East End of London. If I examined that shawl, I’d probably find links to 150 other men from the area.”

Sir Alec Jeffreys, who invented the technique of DNA fingerprinting, told the Independent that despite the lack of convincing evidence, his recollection of a visit to the Black Museum at New Scotland yard led him to believe that “Kosminski was long regarded as by far the most likely perpetrator.”

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Religion is never mentioned or called into question on any other killings (unless ISIS) — the only reason this is news, i have yet to find out if it's substantiated, is for its anti-Semitic usefulness. Bah Humbug.

  2. There is so much antisemitism at the moment its so sad, does it really matter if he was. Unfortunately there is people who carry out acts like this from all walks of life, religions, people groups or how ever you want to put it. There is many Jews who have blessed this world through their God given achievements, why don’t they mention them instead???

  3. The world is so messed up no wonder its coming to an end soon and go figure they blame it all on holy people . but one thing we all know the truth God Yahweh is with us showing the way to his eternity his home our home with him in the new Jerusalem and new heaven God bless you all

  4. Calm down, people! Kosminski was considered one of the top three suspects at the time, and has constantly popped up in various published analyses as being Jack the Ripper. There’s nothing scientific or definitive in Edwards’ theory, DNA testing or not. Is Edwards anti-semetic? I don’t know. Certainly the detective in charge at the time was most likely to have been, which also causes this theory to deteriorate. (The detective described Kosminski as having homicidal tendencies, although the insane asylum where Kosminski spent his last couple of decades recorded that he posed no danger to others. He claimed an eyewitness id’d Kosminski but refused to testify because they were both Jews. So then why were the police still considering other suspects, hmm? The same detective recorded another suspect’s age as 41, when in fact the man was 31, and that he had surgical training, which he did not. Not exactly a reliable source.) In the end, this is a mind exercise, not the resolution of an extremely cold case.

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