Name: Aaron Kosminski (born Aron Mordke Kosminski)
Date of Birth: 11th September 1865
Place of Birth: Klodawa, Congress Poland
Died: March 24th, 1919.
Born in a city called Klodawa in Poland, Aaron Kosminski went on to become one of the top suspects in the Ripper case. He was the son of Abram Kosminski, who was a tailor by profession, and his mother was Golda Lubnowska. The family migrated to England in 1881 with hopes to start a new life. With dreams of becoming a barber, Abram Kosminski presumably saw Whitechapel as a beacon of hope too. Whitechapel, at that time, however, was a slum where many poor and unemployed people lived.
During that time, it was mostly occupied by Jewish immigrants, which was one of the reasons the Kosminkis’ chose it as a viable place to settle down. Upon arriving though, they realised the severity of the situation. Whitechapel didn’t bring a change of scenery, as work was scarce and opportunities, even rarer. Joining the family in their search for a new life in Whitechapel were Kosminki’s two brothers and sister.
Connection With Ripper:
Two main reasons Kosminski is largely associated with the Ripper is because he was thought to be present near the crime scene on more than one occasion and because of his mental instability. An eyewitness placed him at the site of one of the Ripper murders however; they couldn’t make the claim with 100% assurance.
Medical experts can confirm that Aaron Kosminski had been ill since the late 1800s. Mile End Old Town had played host to his erratic behaviour for a year and a half before he was discharged to a mental asylum known as Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum. After being a patient for roughly three years, he then moved to Leavesden Asylum where he remained until his death.
Aaron Kosminski frequently experienced auditory hallucinations and a constant fear of everything. He refused to take a shower because he was afraid of water and self-abuse was also noted. He kept a very poor diet, which took a severe toll on his mental and physical health. Aaron Kosminski’s lowest recorded weight is only 99 pounds. He died in March on 1919 at the age of 53.
A discovery came to light on 7th September 2014. Dr. Jari Louhelainen, an expert in historic DNA analysis, concluded that he had recently studied a shawl allegedly belonging to Catherine Eddowes, one of the victims, and had extracted DNA evidence from it. He found two sets of DNA prints; one that matched Catherine Eddowes bloodline and the other supposedly matched Aaron Kosminski’s. The DNA claim was looked at by scientific professionals and it seems there may have been a mistake with the original experiment. The DNA sample could, in fact, belong to thousands of other people. The research continues.
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