, , ,


DNA Testing Does NOT Prove Who Was Jack the Ripper

Here we go again. A new peer reviewed article published in Journal of Forensic Sciences claims that the DNA testing conducted by Drs. Jari Louhelainen and David Miller have finally discovered who was Jack the Ripper. The problem remains: The DNA testing merely shows who the blood and semen on a shawl was. Nothing more.

In 2007, Jack the Ripper aficionado Russell Edwards bought a shawl. He hired Louhelainen, an expert in molecular biology, to conduct DNA analysis. Samples of semen and blood were tested. Louhelainen found 99.2% and 100% matches to Aaron Kosminski, a Polish barber who was 23 at the time of the murders.

The “Whitechapel Murders” consisted of 11 murdered women in the Whitechapel area of London from April 3, 1888-February 13, 1891. Of the 11, 5 victims’ murders showed similarities. These 5 are considered the “Canonical Five” whereby the murderer was nicknamed “Jack the Ripper.” These murders occurred from August 31, 1888-November 9, 1888. The fourth woman killed was Catherine “Kate” Eddowes. She was killed shortly after the third victim, Elizabeth Stride, on September 30, 1888 in Whitechapel’s Mitre Square. Supposedly, Edwards purchased Eddowes’ shawl. However, there are a lot of questions surrounding the shawl and the DNA analysis.


Testing was completed in 2014 with Edwards publishing his book Naming Jack the Ripper claiming that he has proven who Jack the Ripper was by naming Aaron Kosminski. Here is a short list of problems with the newly published article co-authored by Louhelainen and Miller:

  1. Provenance (ownership) of the shawl has not been proven;
  2. It’s not clear the shawl was actually at the crime scene;
  3. The shawl was handled quite a bit between 1888 until 2007 when it was purchased;
  4. Early police reports and memoirs of investigators identify a “Kosminski” as a possible suspect; however, his first name was never written down. Further, at least one notation stated this man died shortly after the last victim was murdered. Aaron Kosminski lived until 1919.
  5. There isn’t any evidence from the other 4 crime scenes which can be compared to the DNA evidence on the shawl. This is huge.
  6. But most problematic is that Edwards hired Louhelainen. He commissioned the testing.

Don’t fall for the hype related to this story. The DNA evidence merely shows that a man named Aaron Kosminski had sex with Catherine Eddowes. It does not show he killed her.