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Does new genetic analysis finally reveal Jack the Ripper's identity? | Science



Historical image of the police discovering the victim of murder Jack the Ripper

Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

5, 2019, 2:00 PM

Forensic scientists say they put Jack the Ripper, the famous broadcaster who made excitement on the streets of London more than a century ago. Genetic tests published this week inform Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber of prime age and police suspects at the time. But the critics say the evidence is not strong enough to confirm that this case was closed.

The results come from a forensic examination of colored silk shawl which found investigators near the impaired body of Catherine Eddowes, fourth victim of the killer, in 1888. The shawls are drowned with the semen and the semen, which is believed to be they are the killer. Four other women in London were also killed in a 3-month spree and never declared the culprit.

This is not the first time Kosminski was linked to the crimes. But the first is that the DNA supporting evidence was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Jari Louhelainen carried out the first genetic tests on shawl samples some years ago, that is a biochemist at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, but said he wanted to stay with the fuse before submitting the results. Author Russell Edwards, who bought the shawls in 2007 and gave it to Louhelainen, used the unpublished results of the trials to identify Kosminski as the murderer in the 2014 book . Nomination of Jack the Ripper . However, genetics complained at the time that it was impossible to assess the claims as there was little technical detail on the analysis of genetic samples from the shawls available.

The new paper sets them out, up to a point. As Louhelainen and her colleague David Miller, a reproductive and sperm expert at the University of Leeds in the UK, claim “the most systematic and latest genetic analysis to date for Jack the Ripper murders,” they describe harvesting and increasing the DNA from the shawls. The tests compared fragments of mitochondrial DNA – the part of the DNA received from a single mother – obtained from the shawls with samples taken from the live descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski. This DNA matches the living relationship of Kosminki, finished in the Journal of Forensic Sciences .

The analysis also suggests that he had brown hair and brown eyes at the killing. . “These characteristics are certainly not unique,” ​​the authors admit in their paper. But blue eyes are now more common than brown in England, the researchers note

The results are unlikely to satisfy critics. The main paper does not include data on the specific genetic variants identified and compared between DNA samples. Instead, the authors represent them in a graph with a series of colored boxes. Where the boxes go apart, they say that the DNA sequences are shaded and modern.

The authors say in their paper that the Data Protection Act, UK law designed to protect the privacy of individuals living relatives Eddowes and Kosminski. The graphics in the paper, they say, are easier for the scientists to understand, especially “those interested in a real crime.”

says Walther Parson, forensic scientist in the Institute of Medical Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, sequences have no risk of privacy and the authors should be included in the paper. “Otherwise the reader cannot assess the result. I wonder where the science and research are going when we start avoiding the results but instead present colored boxes. they only reliably show that people – or two DNA samples – do not belong to them. “In other words, the mitochondrial DNA from the shawls could be from Kosminski, but it probably came from thousands who lived in London at the time. Kosminsky's theory suggested that there was no evidence that the shawls were ever present at the scene of crime. It could also be contaminated over the years, they say.

The new tests are not the first attempt to identify Jack the Ripper from DNA. Several years ago, the US crime author Patricia Cornwell asked other scientists to analyze any DNA in samples taken from letters sent by the serial number to the police. Based on the DNA analysis and the other tips she said the killer was the painter Walter Sickert, although many experts believe that those letters are fake. Another genetic analysis of the letters claimed that the murderer may have been a woman.


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