September 07, 2014

Jack the Ripper = Aaron Kosminski (?)

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Jack the Ripper unmasked: How amateur sleuth used DNA breakthrough to identify Britain's most notorious criminal 126 years after string of terrible murders
The landmark discovery was made after businessman Russell Edwards, 48, bought the shawl at auction and enlisted the help of Dr Jari Louhelainen, a world-renowned expert in analysing genetic evidence from historical crime scenes. Using cutting-edge techniques, Dr Louhelainen was able to extract 126-year-old DNA from the material and compare it to DNA from descendants of Eddowes and the suspect, with both proving a perfect match. 
Because of the genome amplification technique, I was also able to ascertain the ethnic and geographical background of the DNA I extracted. It was of a type known as the haplogroup T1a1, common in people of Russian Jewish ethnicity. I was even able to establish that he had dark hair. 
Now that it’s over, I’m excited and proud of what we’ve achieved, and satisfied that we have established, as far as we possibly can, that Aaron Kosminski is the culprit.
 DNA never ceases to amaze... Hopefully a more detailed report on this discovery will appear in time.


Thugnacious said...

"The juwes are the people who won't be blamed for nothing."

CleverPrimate said...

I read a book in 2000 (The Cases That Haunt Us by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker) written by FBI profilers that label Kosminski as the Ripper because he best fit the profile that they had generated. Fascinating to see it confirmed with DNA.

Unknown said...

"He remained in the asylum until his death at age 53, in 1919
Read more at"

From what I can see this guy arrived in England with his family aged 18 and was thought to be committing these murders in his early 20s (up to 25 when he was institutionalized). I realize barbers were more surgical in those days, but does this really look like the work of a barber in his early 20s? A young man who would have only been in the country for a couple of years when he started (unfamiliar with the geography, still learning the language, in a scary part of town).

It is possible, I suppose, but to me this looks like the work of an older, experienced man.

Fanty said...

It was Al Swaerengen from Deadwood? X-D

andrew said...

There is a fair amount of literature in criminology that supports a strong link between total incarceration rate including both mental health and upon criminal conviction and crime rates, rather than just one part of it.

The Jack the Ripper suspect data, in which many serious suspects were detained for mental health rather than conviction of a crime, illustrates how this might play out.

ron quiroriano said...

Hi, Annie Mouse,
I second your opinion that it was the work of someone with experience.
There was a documentary several years ago about a retired NYC homicide det.who had tracked down a suspect.
I wish I could remember his name, but his suspect was a leather apholsterer, and was convicted of murdering and disembowling his wife. He was convicted and sent to an asylum, where he was mistakenly released, just before the Whitechapel murders.He fled to Holland before the police could catch up to. While he was in Holland there was a string of very similar murders. This person then sent to new York, where there was a string of murders, while he was there. After fleeing ny he rode the rails across the US. Everywhere he went dead prostitutes showed up.
He finally died in the early twenties.

Unknown said...

This guy was a smelly, known public self-abuser. The FBI profile says a quiet man preying on drunk prostitutes as they leave the pub. Kosminski does not fit at all. More like the mysterious unreliable Jewish witness, with sticky hands.

The murders stopped a couple of years BEFORE he was committed. He never displayed ripper behaviour in the asylum, and he would have had plenty of opportunity.

There were THREE members of the heavily inbred Polish Jewish community with similar names who were suspects. Kosminski, Kaminski (aka Cohen) and Klosowski.

The police's best guess was Cohen, who was committed just when the murders stopped, and died soon after. I dont know if it was Cohen/Kaminski either but I am not buying Kosminski.

Unknown said...

Most Africans do not have great genetic diversity (I.E Bantu) . However, because Toba did not effect Africa directly, certain Archaic groups survived as haplogroups, and africans do generally lack flood legands . Before Toba, I think all different kinds of what would now be called A,B, CT* and others would be found in Eurasia, and also Neanderthals, giving Eurasian 400,000 years of Diversity while only giving africa 200,000 years, (70KYa).
The bible and probably other ancient books, sya humans came from the near east, and than a great flood killed everyone this might be a remembrance of Toba.

CleverPrimate said...

Annie Mouse,
You sound like a well informed Ripperologist. While I don’t think of myself in such terms I will confess to a stronger than normal interest in the subject.

I remember watching that same documentary a few years ago about the suspect who left a trail of Ripper-like victims everywhere he went. I never heard much about it after that but have often thought that he was a better suspect than most.

I admit to having skepticism about Kosminski when I read the FBI profiler’s book but was reluctant to dismiss their conclusions because of their bona-fides.

CleverPrimate said...

I did a little research and the subject/suspect of the documentary was one James Kelly.

Unknown said...


Yep he is more likely. The nickname at the time was Leather apron too.

andrew said...

Annie Mouse almost says it, but to spell it out, the point is that an exact mtDNA match (which is what they have) could easily be shared by members of the same inbred Polish Jewish immigrant community in London. Indeed, two or more Polish Jewish suspects might very well share the same grandmother or great-grandmother.

pconroy said...

Has anyone considered the fact that this blood could be from one of his victims?!

I'm an Irish T1a1... his last victim was Irish...

Anonymous said...

Im also t1a1. Wonder why t1a1 shows up in so many various peoples

pconroy said...


My theory is that mtDNA T1a1, originated in the Middle East, then spread with early farming to both the Indus Valley and Egypt/NE Africa, and much later via the Caucasus and the Khvalynsk culture, became part of the Indo-European Culture.

T1a1 has been found from Pakistan to Morocco, and from the Tarim Basin to Ireland.

Having said that, although I'm genetically Irish with no known Jewish ancestry, I happen to have many exact mtDNA (full genome) matches with Ashkenazi Jews in Ukraine, and on 23andme show some distant Ashkenazi matches, and some closer Sephardic matches. My maternal lineage goes back to French Huguenot settlers in Ireland.

Simon_W said...

pconroy, the blood indeed is from the victim, they found a perfect match with a living relative. But they also examined traces of sperm, and the cell carrying T1a1 was found in this context.

Taken at face value, the evidence presented looks rather convincing. If the story isn't a hoax the only alternative possibility would be the already mentioned caveat that Kosminski might have been just a relative of the true murderer. Or conceivably he had given the shawl to Catherine Eddowes without killing her – but why would she accept a shawl stained with sperm traces?

I found it interesting how the Swiss Tages-Anzeiger commented on the case, overly sceptical: The journalist doubts the account that the shawl had never been washed. And he completely misrepresents the actual evidence: According to him, sperm-, blood- and urethra epithelium traces were compared with the DNA of a descendant of the victim and found to match 100%. This of course would make no sense at all. The journalist further raises concerns over the fact that the Ripper case has always been object to unfounded speculations, antisemitic conspiracy theories und faked evidence. And that the allegedly foolproof DNA evidence has created more confusion than clarity before, in other mysteries of history, as in the case of Kaspar Hauser's blood stained underwear. He continues that in 2002 crime writer Patricia Cornwall believed to have identified Walter Sickert as the Ripper, by means of DNA analysis. And that in 2006 a woman was identified as the Ripper, after DNA analysis on the Ripper's confessional letters. Lastly he's sceptical because of Russell Edwards' lofty account and his confession that his work was inspired by the film „From Hell“ featuring Johnny Depp, and fueled by consideral amounts of money.

Simon_W said...

Well to offer a conceivable alternative scenario: The sperm traces on the shawl might have got there by means of oral sex. Kosminski might have left afterwards and someone else might have murdered the woman.

I find it suspicious though, that they reportedly determined the hair colour of the man who left his traces on the shawl. This cannot be achieved by analysis of mt-DNA. But according to the report they only extracted mt-DNA.

Unknown said...

What about Patricia Cromwell's belief that he was a Mr.Sickert. Anyone can have dark hair and have mitochondrial DNA or a Y chromosome of a type.
This doesn't prove Kosminski was the killer.

CleverPrimate said...

“This doesn't prove Kosminski was the killer.”

Agreed. As fascinating as this new information is, the “Ripper” case is by no means solved. In my opinion the best that can be said about this new evidence is that Kosminski has been tentatively linked to one of the Ripper crime scenes. The chain of custody of the evidence is so problematic that no further conclusions about the identity of the Ripper can be drawn.

I have always doubted the scenario that Mrs. Cornwell paints but cannot rule it out for the following reason: I have always suspected that the Ripper murders were the work of at least two, if not more, killers. As I stated above, I feel that James Kelly makes a good candidate in the Ripper case and Mrs. Cornwell makes a very compelling case against Walter Sickert. I think that there is a good possibility that all 3 men committed one or more of the murders.

Serial killers are drawn to prostitutes like flies to honey. On the South side of Chicago, in an area known as the “South Shore”, dead prostitutes were turning up with frightening regularity during the 90’s. Investigators compared the DNA evidence recovered from every crime scene, expecting to find that all of the murders were the work of a single individual due to similarities in each case. To their surprise, the DNA indicated that no less than five killers were involved in the murders. At least two of those killers have been apprehended but the other three remain at large.

I believe that the same phenomena (multiple serial killers operating independently in the same area at the same time) may have been at work in the “Green River” killings as well, due to the large number of victims. Even though there is a killer behind bars who confessed to all of the killings, similar murders continue to this day.

Simon_W said...

Emily, what they reportedly determined isn't just mtDNA of a certain haplogroup, but a full match with a relative of Kosminski. If the sperm trace on the shawl is from the killer (what's dubious though), then it must have been Kosminski or a relative of him.

ron quiroriano said...

It seems that the forensic expert made a mistake in his analysis of the DNA.

" "This DNA alteration is known as global private mutation (314.1C) and it is not very common in worldwide population, as it has frequency estimate of 0.000003506, i.e. approximately 1/290,000. This figure has been calculated using the database at Institute of Legal Medicine, GMI, based on the latest available information. Thus, this result indicates the shawl contains human DNA identical to Karen Miller's for this mitochondrial DNA segment," he says.

But experts with detailed knowledge of the GMI's mtDNA database claimed that Dr Louhelainen made an "error of nomenclature" because the mutation in question should be written as "315.1C" and not "314.1C". Had Dr Louhelainen done this, and followed standard forensic practice, he would have discovered the mutation was not rare at all but shared by more than 99 per cent of people of European descent. "

Simon_W said...

So apparently, according to that article, the evidence presented for the match between Karen Miller and Catherine Eddowes is not at all convincing. Now the publishers seem to claim that more compelling evidence had been found that has not been presented in the book, or why wasn't it commented by the critics? Would be very flimsy if true.

But anyway, this doesn't touch upon the main piece of evidence: The match between some other mt-DNA on the shawl and a relative of Kosminski. It would still be remarkable if one of the main suspects left his trace on that shawl which still reportedly was found near the victim.

On the other hand, according to that new article, Dr Louhelainen made at least two serious mistakes, which calls the accuracy of his other work into question. And anyway, as I said, the victim was a prostitute, you could possibly find all sorts of DNA traces there.