According to the reports, Jack the Ripper was a Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski. The young man (who was 23 at the time of the murders) was a barber who many years later died from gangrene in his leg while he was housed in an insane asylum. The man was already a leading suspect in the murders which occurred more than 120 years ago and had at some point been placed on surveillance. Kosminski was noted by the police to have had “strong homicidal tendencies” and to have hated women. There was never any conclusive evidence, however, to bring the man to trial.
Russell Edwards told the news that after 14 years of work on the case, the mystery has definitely been solved. “I’ve got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the [Jack the Ripper] case,” he said. The case was something that the author had been completely “captivated” by. He’d spent his free time investigating the murders and thought that no answers could be found until he saw that the victim’s shawl was at auction.
The shawl was found by Catherine Eddowes’ body. Eddowes was one of the first victims of the serial killings. It must have been a very nice shawl because the acting Sergeant on the scene nabbed it for his wife. Upon receiving it, his wife, horrified, refused to ever wear it.
The shawl was then stored away and passed on for generations and it was never washed in all that time.
The shawl was bought at an auction in 2007 by Russell Edwards and was used for the research in this case in hopes of pinpointing the killer. After purchasing the shawl, Edwards employed the aid of Jari Louhelainen, an expert in molecular biology to test and analyse DNA. Answers came after 3 ½ years of testing and analyzation. The amateur sleuths found that the shawl also had traces of semen on it thought to have belonged to the killer.
Edwards has published a book on the subject. “The circle is now complete,” he said, “One of the greatest unsolved crime mysteries of all time has been solved through cutting edge science, historical research and a great deal of determination and good fortune.” His book, “Naming Jack the Ripper” will be released on Tuesday.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com