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An illustration of the discovery of a female torso in the basement of the Norman Shaw Building in 1888 from The Illustrated Police News newspaper, October 1888. (Credit: The Illustrated Police News via Wikimedia Commons)
An illustration of the discovery of a female torso in the basement of the Norman Shaw Building in 1888 from The Illustrated Police News newspaper, October 1888. (Credit: The Illustrated Police News via Wikimedia Commons)

Jack the Ripper finally identified, forensic scientists claim

Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who terrorized the streets of London more than a century ago, may have finally been identified by forensic scientists in Great Britain. Genetic tests published last week in the Journal of Forensic Sciences point to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and a prime police suspect at the time.

Kosminski has previously been named as a possible suspect. Jack the Ripper is thought to have claimed the lives of at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London between August and November 1888.

The results come from a forensic examination of a stained silk shawl that investigators said was found next to the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes, the killer’s fourth victim, whose badly mutilated body was found Sept. 30, 1888. The shawl is stained with what is claimed to be blood and semen, the latter thought by some to have belonged to the killer.

Researchers compared fragments of mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down solely from one’s mother, retrieved from the shawl with samples taken from living descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski, to one of Kosminski’s living descendants, according to Science.

But critics have questioned whether the shawl is viable evidence, saying there is no evidence it was ever at the crime scene, and that it might have been contaminated over the years.

Author: CBS News
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