After years of investigations, guesses, and suspicions about the identity of Jack The Ripper, we may finally have a concrete answer thanks to DNA testing. The legendary murderer has remained a mysterious member of the cultural landscape for years, surviving as the great unknown boogeyman from the turn of the century.
So who was it? A disgraced member of the royal family covered up in conspiracy? An aristocratic doctor with a deadly taste for prostitutes? Satan himself? From The Evening Standard:
The man behind the grisly killing spree in London’s East End has been unveiled as Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish immigrant who ended up dying in an asylum.
A blood soaked shawl, purchased by author Russell Edwards, led to the breakthrough when a scientist matched DNA evidence left on it to descendants of Kosminski.
Mr Edwards, 48, from Barnet, north London, was “captivated” by the murder mystery and had been investigating it in his spare time, but had come to the conclusion it could never be solved. But then in 2007 he saw a shawl found by the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims, was up for sale…
Mr Edwards said: “Here I am with the shawl and possibly the evidence to solve the most unsolvable murder in English criminal history. But where do I start? That was the big question.
“I enlisted the help of Jari and we embarked on a three-and-a-half year journey.
“When we discovered the truth it was the most amazing feeling of my entire life.”
Well of course. Tell your dad to save his crummy Polish jokes from now on because this proves them wrong. Also they make your dad look bad, so you need to reel that in for him.
Kosminski has been included on suspects lists for years and is the most recent name to stand as conclusive proof of the killers identity. I guess Patricia Cornwell needs to change the name of her book from Portrait of A Killer: Jack The Ripper – Case Closed to I Was Wrong, But Buy This Anyway.
At this point, I think the story of how this cloth came to auction is far more interesting than The Ripper’s actual identity. The legends and stories will go on, but the concrete facts need an interesting twist to keep it alive. Sort of like this:
He said the shawl had been taken by acting Sergeant Amos Simpson, who was on duty the night of Eddowes’s death and wanted it for his wife.
But horrified at the blood-soaked wrap, she never wore it, and it was stored away and passed down through the generations until it came to auction seven years ago. (via)
Here honey, enjoy this blood soaked murder cloth I stole from a crime scene. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to wear it. Don’t embarrass me.
I say we should celebrate this revelation. One of history’s greatest mysteries is solved and everyone involved can sleep soundly tonight, in their graves.