DNA Analysis Reveals Identity of Jack the Ripper | Forensic DNA

The DNA profile of Jack the Ripper, one of history’s most notorious killers, has been obtained and his identify is now known! The murderer’s DNA was obtained from the shawl of the Ripper’s fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes, which occurred in 1888. The shawl, found next to the victim’s body, contained both blood and semen from the killer. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA from the shawl revealed the true identity of Jack the Ripper.

Forensic DNA genome sequencing analysis of Jack the Ripper DNA profile

Who is Jack the Ripper?

DNA analysis provides evidence that Jack the Ripper’s true identity was Aaron Kosminski! At the time of the killings, Mr. Kosminski was a 23-year-old barber living in Hastings, London. He was also a prime police suspect in the killers during the initial investigation in 1888 and also by forensic investigators throughout history.

DNA Forensics Solves The Case

This new genetic analysis of Jack the Ripper’s DNA data was performed by Dr. Jari Louhelainen and Dr. David Miller, scientists at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and was ⁠published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in March 2019.

The scientists sequenced the mitochondrial DNA from blood and semen found on the shawl of the Ripper’s fourth victim and compared the genetic sequence to DNA samples taken from living descendants of ⁠Catherine Eddowes (the victim) and ⁠Aaron Kosminski (a prime suspect).

The DNA matched that of Mr. Kosminski’s descendants, providing very strong evidence that the killer was Mr. Kosminski.

Below is a sketch of Aaron Kosminski aka Jack the Ripper.

DNA analysis proves Aaron Kosminski is Jack the Ripper

Interesting in learning more?

A great ⁠summary of the forensic DNA sequencing study was published in the journal Science.

There are other great discoveries of famous historical figures and their DNA. For example, did you know that Jesus Christ’s DNA was possibly found on crucifixion nails? While we likely wouldn’t want to clone Jack the Ripper, would you want to clone Jesus?

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