An amateur sleuth with a book to sell and a scientist working in his spare time claimed to have solved one of the biggest murder mysteries in history by naming Jack the Ripper as a Polish immigrant in the 19th Century after discovering what they said was conclusive DNA evidence.
Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew whose family had emigrated to London to escape pogroms, is “definitely, categorically and absolutely” the man behind the grisly series of murders in 1888 that left at least five women dead and mutilated in the streets of London’s East End, said Russell Edwards, the author of the latest in a long-line of speculative books on the affair.
“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.
READ MORE: JACK THE RIPPER ‘WAS POLISH BARBER’
Leaving aside for a moment that Kosminski, who was 23 when the murders took place and died in a lunatic asylum at the age of 53, was already a leading candidate for the murders, what exactly is this new evidence that so definitely nails him as the culprit?
It turns out to hinge on an old shawl that Mr Edwards bought in 2007 at an auction in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. He claims this large piece of cloth was found at the scene of the murder of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims, and has a letter to “prove” it from a descendent of Sergeant Amos Simpson, the policeman on duty the night Eddowes was killed who had claimed the abandoned shawl for his wife.
Horrified by the blood-soaked wrap, Mrs Simpson never wore or even washed it, but stored it away where it became a family heirloom to be passed down the generations until it was sold to Mr Edwards.