The year 2016 marks 128 years since Jack the Ripper was active and walking amongst the people of London, all of whom were completely unaware of what he was capable of doing and why. To this day, we are all still left questioning the why’s and how’s, but more importantly, we are all still asking who was Jack the Ripper?
These days, not only do we have considerably advanced technology, surefire police investigatory methods and techniques – including DNA profiling, but we also have much substantially further advanced serial killers. One of the biggest weapons in the police arsenal these days is DNA profiling. This is so important that on 15th April every year, we celebrate DNA Day and marvel at genetics, genomes, and learn more about DNA as we know it.
DNA in Crime
Since the mid-1980’s, and almost a century after Jack the Ripper terrorised the streets of London, DNA profiling has been used to aid in criminal investigation. This is now a commonplace practice around the world and one of the most scientifically correct ways of identifying the perpetrator of a crime.
The 0.01% of DNA sequences that are not identical in every human being is enough to determine the identity of one individual from another, with the exception of identical twins. The genetic information required to determine a DNA profile can be found in a single strand of hair or a drop of blood. The police have been building a DNA database since the 80s, and this profile has helped convict and exonerate in equal measures.
Some of the most high-profile cases involving DNA include the murder of Damilola Taylor, the exoneration of the West Memphis Three and more recently, the case of Steven Avery, who was wrongly convicted and imprisoned for 18 years.
DNA vs. Jack the Ripper
So, who was Jack the Ripper? Had DNA profiling been around at the time, it is still not possible to say with any certainty, that it could have been used to identify the killer. However, sufficient evidence was available (a scrap of an apron and a message scrawled in blood) that could have contained DNA of the murderer.
It appears that we might never know who Jack the Ripper was, but it does appear that he had both time and a lack of science advancement on his side.
If you want to learn more about who the killer was, the victims and the proposed suspects, then book your ticket to our Jack the Ripper tour today.