Has Jack the Ripper been unmasked?

Jack the Ripper.© Mary Evans Picture Library/Alamy

The mystery surrounding one of the most gruesome series of murders in history has finally been solved, as a new books claims to have found the identity of Jack the Ripper.

Jack the Ripper.© Mary Evans Picture Library/Alamy

A new book, which delves into the murky world of Jack the Ripper, who was responsible for at least five murders in and around London’s Whitechapel area in the 19th century, claims to have finally solved one of history’s most famous whodunnits by naming Polish immigrant, Aaron Kosminski, as the notorious killer.

In his book Naming Jack the Ripper, Russell Edwards, a self-confessed “armchair detective” claims he has DNA evidence that proves that Kosminski, who was one of six chief suspects at the time of the murders, was the perpetrator.

“I’ve got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case. I’ve spent 14 years working, and we have definitely solved the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was. Only non-believers that want to perpetuate the myth will doubt. This is it now – we have unmasked him,” Mr Edwards said.

The DNA evidence is based on a blood-stained shawl, which Edwards bought at auction in 2007, belonging to one of Jack the Ripper’s victims, Catherine Eddowes. Woking with molecular biologist, Jari Louhelainen, Edwards says he was able to track down defendants of both Komlinski and Eddowes and found their DNA matched that found on the shawl.

Kosminski would have been 23 when the murders took place and worked as a barber in London’s East End. He spent his later years in a string of asylums, though whether these new findings provide further proof of his guilt is a subject of debate.

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the man who brought the world DNA fingerprinting told the Independent newspaper: “An interesting but remarkable claim that needs to be subjected to peer review, with detailed analysis of the provenance of the shawl and the nature of the claimed DNA match with the perpetrator’s descendants and its power of discrimination; no actual evidence has yet been provided.

“In any case, if I remember correctly when I visited the Black Museum at New Scotland Yard, Kosminski was long regarded as by far the most likely perpetrator.”

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