In the dark and creepy world of crime and criminals, the story and hidden facts of the world’s number one serial killer, Jack the Ripper, have captured the world’s attention like no other. Since 1888 when the one-year killing spree began, police and amateur sleuths have been searching for his identity for roughly 126 years.
Today, using modern scientific forensic tests, authorities believe they have finally found him from the six-pack of original suspects: John Pizer (shoemaker), George Chapman (barber), Aaron Kosminski (hairdresser), Prince Albert Victor (Duke of Clarence), Sir William Gull (surgeon), and Walter Sickert (artist).
Through DNA evidence, they’ve identified Aaron Kosminski, the hairdresser, as “Merry Jack.”
Experts found and extracted two sets of DNA evidence from a shawl found next to the victim/shawl owner’s body. The samples belonged to Catherine Eddowes, a Ripper victim. They didn’t test Kosminski’s DNA but that of his direct descendents.
The shawl’s hidden treasure hunt was made possible by the shawl’s auction sale in March 2007 to businessman Edward Russell who enlisted the expertise of Dr. Jari Louhelainen, a world-renowned expert analyst of genetic evidence from historic crime scenes.
Dr. Louhelainen found that extracted mitochondrial DNA samples provided perfect matches to that of both the victim’s and hairdresser’s descendents. An original investigating police officer took the shawl from the scene and took it home, starting its century-plus-long trek. It was never laundered or used and was amazingly intact at the time of sale to Russell.
As one of the three most credible suspects, Kominski was watched by police around the clock but still could not be arrested because the police lacked enough evidence. Police were so certain of his involvement that he was specifically named in an officer’s notes.
Kosminski was known to be mentally ill. A paranoid-schizophrenic suffering from auditory hallucinations, he was eventually committed to a mental hospital for the rest of his life.