Mystery solved? Jack the Ripper ‘identified’ in new book as 23-year-old Polish immigrant

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-08 17:25:48-04

(PIX11) — Jack the Ripper’s identity may have been revealed after 126 years of mystery.

Russell Edwards claims to have solved the mystery of Jack the Ripper’s identity in his new book “Naming Jack the Ripper.” Using DNA evidence found on a blood-stained shawl, Edwards believes he has “definitely, categorically and absolutely” identified the murderer, Mail Online reported.

Edwards, who has been fascinated with the murder mystery, bought the blood-stained shawl in 2007 at an auction in Suffolk. The shawl was found at the murder scene of victim Catherine Eddowes.

Using “the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case,” Edwards traced the murderer’s identity to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish Jewish immigrant. Blood linked the shawl to the victim, and semen connected the cloth to Kosminski — the old DNA was compared to descendants of both who are alive today.

Kosminski went to England in 1881 after fleeing persecution in his Russia-controlled homeland. He was a patient in several asylums and died in 1899 of gangrene in the leg.

Jack the Ripper became notorious after his killing spree in 1888. He killed at least five prostitutes by slashing their throats and removing some of their internal organs.

While Edwards claims that Kowminski is Jack the Ripper, others are still skeptical. Richard Cobb, who organizes Jack the Ripper conventions, told the Times that the blood-stained shawl may be contaminated. Others argue Kosminski likely lacked the surgical expertise to carve out organs in the way the Ripper did.

“The shawl has been openly handled by loads of people and been touched, breathed on, spat on,” Cobb told the publication.

Edwards’ book “Naming Jack the Ripper” will be available Tuesday, Sept. 9.