In the poor East End district of London in 1888 a number of murders attracted wide attention, especially from the press. The person who committed these killings was never caught and over the years many theories have been put forward suggesting who the killer was. The press of the day called the killer ‘Jack the Ripper’ because of the way the bodies were cut.
In the latest theory an amateur detective, named Russell Edwards, and a scientist, Jari Louhelainen, claim to have solved the crime. They claim that Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew whose family had emigrated to London to escape persecution, is definitely the man behind these brutal murders. They have used what they say is conclusive DNA evidence. Kosminski was 23 when the murders took place and died in a lunatic asylum at the age of 53. He had always been a suspect been there was no conclusive evidence against him.
The evidence now produced rests on a shawl that Mr Edwards bought in 2007 at an auction. With the shawl was a letter claiming that this piece of cloth was found where Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims was found. The shawl had been taken by Sergeant Amos Simpson, the policeman on duty that night, and given to his wife. It is said that Mrs Simpson never wore it or even washed it. She stored it away and it became a family heirloom and was passed down the generations. Mr Edwards assumes that the shawl was owned by the ‘Ripper’ and not by the victim. He alleges she was too poor to own such an item.
Edwards claims to have found descendents of both Catherine Eddowes and Aaron Kosminski and linked their DNA to traces of fluids on the cloth. The evidence has yet to be analysed by others to check it out. The fact that there is a book published by Edwards and that he needs to sell copies has also added to the skepticism.