Jack the Ripper's Identity Is Finally Revealed

It took 126 years, but investigators have finally solved one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time: the identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper has been discovered at long last!

The well-known serial killer terrorized London's poverty-stricken East End in the 1880s by slicing the throats of mostly female prostitutes before removing their internal organs. From the get-go, police assumed the suspect was a doctor or someone who had somehow acquired the knowledge needed to perform methodical incisions. Five women were killed in 1888 and a total of 11 murders were linked to the man known only by his moniker, Jack the Ripper.

Over the years, much ink has been spilled about the killer's identity, and countless films and books have been created and written about him, but no one has been able to confirm who he was or where he came from -- until now. Thanks to DNA evidence, scientists have solved a crime that police had long ago concluded was unsolvable.

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In 2007, a shawl belonging to one of the killer's victims, a woman named Catherine Eddowes, was auctioned off. The man who paid for the blood-soaked article of clothing was author Russell Edwards, who also considers himself an enthusiast on the topic of Jack the Ripper. He knew it possibly contained clues to the murders, so he worked with genetic experts and, thanks to his auction purchase, helped put this mystery to bed.

Turns out the actual Jack the Ripper was a 23-year-old Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski. Back in the day, Kosminski was one of six suspects police believed could have been responsible for the gruesome murders, but they lacked the evidence they needed to make him stand trial.

How unbelievable is it to think the authorities were this close to prosecuting a notorious murderer but that a few missing links prevented them from going forward? It's actually comforting to think that, because of DNA evidence, a serial killer probably wouldn't get away with his crimes for long these days.

Kosminski wasn't the surgeon police originally suspected -- he was a barber. According to police notes, he had a "great hatred of women ... with strong homicidal tendencies." He was forced to live in an asylum, where he died in 1919 at age 53.

What do you think about this discovery? What was your Jack the Ripper theory?

 

Image © iStock.com/duncan1890

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