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Did the new genetic analysis finally reveal the identity of Jack the Ripper? | Science



Historical image of police who found Jack the Ripper murder victim

Stock photos by Chronicle / Alamy

David Adam

Forensic scientists say they finally realized the identity of the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper, who terrorized the streets of London a century ago. The genetic test released this week is a 23-year-old Polish barber and a police suspect, Aaron Kosminski. Critics, however, said there was not enough evidence to prove that the case was closed.

The result comes from a forensic examination of a silk shawl found to have been found by investigators next to the body of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim of the killer in 1888. The shawl is believed to come from blood and semen, a murderer. The other four women in London were also killed for three months, and the killer has not been identified.

This is not the first time Kosminski has been involved in a crime. But this is the first time that supporting DNA evidence has been published in peer-reviewed journals. The first genetic test for the shawl sample was conducted several years ago by Jari Louhelainen, a biochemist at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, but said he would like to wait for the end of the turmoil before submitting the results. In 2007, Russell Edwards, who bought a shawl and gave it to Louhelainen, used unpublished test results to identify Kosminski as a killer. Name Jack Ripper. However, geneticists have complained that it is impossible to assess the claim because there is little technical detail about the analysis of genetic samples in the shawl.

The new paper gives birth to one point. Louhelainen, a cloning and sperm expert at the University of Leeds in the UK, and his colleague, David Miller, claim that "Jack the Ripper is the most systematic and advanced genetic analysis to date in relation to murder" . This test compared only the genetic parts of the mother, a sample taken from the living offspring of Eddowes and Kosminski, and a part of the DNA extracted from the shawl. The DNA is identical to that of Cochin Mickey. Forensic Journal.

According to the analysis, the perpetrator had brown hair and brown eyes, which is consistent with the witness' testimony. "These characteristics are not necessarily unique," the author admits in his paper. But blue eyes are now more common in Britain than in brown.

The results will not satisfy the critics. The main details of certain genetic variations identified and compared between DNA samples are not included in this paper. Instead, authors are represented graphically with a series of colored boxes. When the box overlaps, the shawl and the modern DNA sequence match.

The authors say that the UK's Data Protection Act, which is designed to protect the privacy of individuals in their work, discourages the publication of genetic sequences of Eddowes and Kosminski's living relatives. The graphic in the paper says that non-scientists are particularly easy to understand, "those who are interested in true crime."

Walther Parson, a forensic scientist at the Forensic Medical Institute in Innsbruck, Austria, argued that the mitochondrial DNA sequence poses no risk to privacy and should be included in the paper by the authors. Otherwise, the reader can not judge the outcome. When we begin to avoid showing results, we wonder where science and research are going, but instead we present a color box. "

Hansi Weissensteiner, an expert in mitochondrial DNA in Innsbruck, says he can clearly show that it is not related to human or DNA samples in relation to mitochondrial DNA analysis. "You can exclude suspects based on mitochondrial DNA." In other words, the mitochondrial DNA in the shawl may be from Kosminski, but thousands of people who lived in London would have.

Other critics of Cosmin's theory point out that there is no evidence that a shawl was on the scene of a crime. They also say they can be contaminated over the years.

The new test is not the first attempt to identify Jack the Ripper from DNA. A few years ago, US criminal Patricia Cornwell asked other scientists to analyze the DNA of a sample of a letter taken by a serial killer to the police. Based on the DNA analysis and other clues, the murderer was called painter Walter Sickert. Many experts believe the letters are forgery. Another genetic analysis of the letter claimed that the murderer could be a woman.


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