DNA Says Kosminski Was Jack the Ripper

The dangerous lunatic Aaron Kosminski was always the most likely suspect, and now they’ve found his DNA on poor Catherine Eddowes’ shawl.

It’s a little late in the day, but it will be great to have this case closed.

(And none of that weird conspiracy junk, either.)

Of course, it is just barely possible (despite the weird provenance) that this shawl had gunk on it from an encounter between Eddowes and Kosminski before her murder. Victorian prostitutes in Whitechapel did their thing outside and mostly dressed, if they couldn’t afford a more elegant setting. But with her DNA and his DNA, and with her having pawned her shoes the day before and yet this shawl showing up, it seems pretty likely to be exactly what it was claimed to be – evidence improperly given after the case to a policeman, to keep as a souvenir.

Of course, the other question is what kind of police guy keeps this kind of souvenir. Sounds shady to me. but apparently this sergeant thought his wife would like it. She apparently didn’t want to wash and wear the creepy thing (no wonder!), but she did hold onto it anyway, like a true Victorian packrat. It became a historical curio handed down in the family.

It’s amazing that they were able to get good DNA from so long ago and from such a small sample in such a tough place….

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3 responses to “DNA Says Kosminski Was Jack the Ripper

  1. Couple of problems:
    there’s no record of the lady having the shawl, so if it was really taken from the victim then the cops were stealing everything of value from the victims and not recording it. (The Case Files site has the official listing of everything she had.)

    Another problem, there’s no record of the guy being dangerous during the thirty years he spent in the asylum, and only one story that he threatened his sister with a knife. He is recorded as a misogynist, so you’d think they’d record that, as well.
    A couple of folks who are familiar with the issues the guy is recorded as having, in a sealed list, also pointed out that it doesn’t fit the profile for him to have not said anything while he was locked up if he was observed to be physically violent.

    At most, it means he frequented one of the victims, in an area near his home, the same one he was simi-identified as having been seen near.

    Best theory I heard is that, if the scarf was indeed that of the lady who was killed (instead of that being a family story), then it had previously been the crazy guy’s mother’s or sister’s and was taken to be used as payment.

  2. I got really excited this morning, but read it with some hobby-knowledge– about five years ago I went through a spat of scaring myself crazy by reading everything I could find on him, and there’s some spots where they really had to talk fast– like where they say that the murders stopped when he was put in the asylum, but to do that they’ve got to include every claimed victim, rather than the usually listed 5.

    Meh, guy has a book coming out. Of course he’s going to buff the story.

  3. K, reading over the info on the dead woman’s funeral, my evaluation of the cop has gone from “questionable” to “thieving scumbag.”

    http://www.casebook.org/victims/eddowes.html

    Four of her sisters and some nieces came to the woman’s funeral, and it’s not like he could’ve missed it shutting down part of the city, so he’s not a practical guy taking a useful thing to keep it from moldering in evidence– he basically opened the murder victim’s wallet and rifled through it.

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