Having remained elusive for more than 125 years, one would have thought that Jack the Ripper would always remain a mystery to us all. Until now.
New evidence has come to light that claims to solve this century old mystery, once and for all. New claims regarding the identity of the Ripper are nothing new though. Since the late 1800s, there have been countless theories based mostly on circumstantial evidence regarding the identity of the Ripper. However, this one is unique in the sense that it offers something that is borderline conclusive.
A self-titled detective named Russell Edwards claims to have solved one of the most infamous cases in living memory. He identifies 23 year old Polish immigrant, Aaron Kosminski as the mastermind of the Ripper murders citing that he is “definitely, categorically and absolutely” the man who created sheer panic and terror in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Aaron Kosminski was one of the prime suspects questioned during the investigation. He was rounded up due to him being present near the crime scene immediately after the gruesome murders took place. Although he was thoroughly questioned, he walked free because nothing conclusive was ever proven and he had a mental disability that prevented him from cooperating with the police. Aaron Kosminski died in a mental asylum at the age of 53.
According to Edwards, a blood-stained shawl he bought in 2007 after an auction, led him to this spectacular discovery. The shawl is the only piece of forensic evidence ever collected, apart from that of the apron that belonged to Catherine Eddowes. Coincidently, the shawl Edwards collected from the auction also belonged to Catherine Eddowes. It had been taken by acting Sergeant Amos Simpson, who was on duty the night of her murder.
After enlisting the help of Jari Louhelainen, a molecular biology expert, they set out to solve this mystery on their own. Together, they utilised the latest in forensic technology and pioneering techniques to find DNA from her blood and that of the killer. The bloody DNA on the shawl matches that of Aaron Kosminki, ‘proving’ him as the culprit who committed the gruesome murders.
Of course, no theory is without its fair share of critics as well as ambiguities and this one is no different. Critics have been quick to point out flaws on the claims. Some of the criticism has come from people who operate Jack the Ripper tours for tourists. The main concern is regarding the shawl, which is the integral component upon which the identity of Jack the Ripper has been based on. Many argue that the shawl which was auctioned just recently and picked up by Edwards, had been touched by many people over the years, which made any DNA samples less and less reliable and that some of the testing might have been inconclusive and resulted in false leads and results.
Edwards however remains adamant that he has solved the mystery. According to him, it had never been washed and was passed on all these years in its original form. To his credit, there is no doubt this is the most credible evidence to come to light that points the finger at someone who many widely believed to be one of the prime suspects in the Ripper saga, if not the prime suspect. However, more is needed until something can be said with certainty and whether that evidence will arrive or not, only time will tell.