The Coldest Case

It appears that the 126 year old cold case of Jack the Ripper has been solved by DNA testing. A shawl that was alleged to have been found next to Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper's victims, carries mitochondrial DNA profiles from both Eddowes' line and the familial line of one of the Ripper suspects. Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski, who subsequently spent his later years in mental asylums, lived in the area of the killings, and was a suspect, left his DNA behind on a bloody shawl. That shawl turned out to be a time capsule for justice.
     Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 19, 2014
     Category: Crime | Death | Evil | Science | Historical Figure | Seventeenth Century | Blood

That's the basis for a new book about the Ripper.

But really, DNA evidence on a cheap prostitutes's clothes? There must have been dozens of men represented.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/19/14 at 10:25 PM
I had that same thought Phideaux, I would be interested in the source of the sample. If it was ejaculate, Then maybe a customer. If however the sample were blood, then you'd have something of true evidentiary value. :coolhmm: :coolsmile:
Posted by Tyrusguy on 09/19/14 at 10:57 PM
After perusing this story (again, I'd seen it on 'the news) I checked my givashitometer and it registered deep in the area of, So What?.

Why couldn't the time, energy and effort that went into this gone to some good purpose like, "Where's Nessy hiding?.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/20/14 at 12:34 AM
Nope. A decent lawyer and an open-minded jury would make sure Kosminski walked. DNA from semen on her shawl establishes only that his semen was on her shawl. Doesn't say what day it got there, doesn't say under what circumstances, exactly, it got there either. Any doubt about whether he was one of her customers, any witness who said he/she had seen them together at any time prior to Eddowes' murder and there goes the prosecution's case.
Posted by Flamingo1 on 09/20/14 at 01:12 AM
"Where's Nessy hiding
Bigfoot caught and ate her, sorry honey. 😉

What's the chance the semen of one of the main suspects would still be present 126 years later though? He looks guilty to me. :coolhmm:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/20/14 at 03:15 AM
I believe the main suspect was a doctor/surgeon as many of the women murdered had organs removed "professionally".
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/20/14 at 07:17 AM
Patricia Cornwell (the author) has a theory that Jack the Ripper was Walter Sickert, the artist. She got permission to test for DNA off the envelope of one of the Ripper letters. It was so degraded that they could only pin it down to 1 in 4 men, and Sickert is in that group.

It's far easier for me to believe that the Ripper licked the envelope than it is to believe that a random stain on a random shawl is the missing clue.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 09/20/14 at 09:10 AM
I read that book too Scot. It was quite compelling. The shawl carries arterial splatter and kidney cells from the murder victim which pretty well validates its authenticity as being present at the murder. There is also no mention of other samples being found, only 2 people's DNA was found on the shawl. It is very interesting at the least but you are quite right, it is not conclusive.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/20/14 at 10:10 AM
I've seen Cornwell ramble on about her "investigation".

She'd better stick to writing crime fiction. This wasn't up to standard. (And I'm not the only one thinking that - serious policemen have made mince meat of her arguments. Sloppy is just the least of it.)

This new argument is slightly better. Slightly. It does make me rather suspicious that the new "real Ripper" is conveniently, in these UKIP days, a dirty, job-stealing Polack.
Posted by Richard Bos on 09/21/14 at 09:48 AM
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