New developments in DNA technology have proved that prime suspect Aaron Kozminski, was the notorious killer Jack the Ripper. The Jewish Polish immigrant was arrested at the time, but released after the key witness refused to testify against him.
Over the years there have been a numerous theories about the identity of the infamous killer: who rained terror on the East End of London in the Summer 1888. He stalked the streets of Whitechapel killing at least five prostitutes by cutting them open and keeping some of their internal organs as souvenirs.
At the time the area was awash with prostitutes, crime and immigrants who could not speak English. This coupled with the lack of modern investigative techniques made the work of the police much harder than it would be today. Their perceived lack of progress led to major criticisms.
The Daily Mail reports businessman Russell Edwards bought the shawl of one of the victims Catherine Eddowes, and discovered her blood and the semen of a man. Geneticist Dr Jari Louhelainen compared this DNA contained in this semen with samples from known relatives of Aaron Kozminski, leading to a match.
Despite the lack of resources available to the Metropolitan Police at the time the Assistant Chief Constable, Sir Melville Macnaghten, wrote in 1894 that one of the suspects was a Polish Jew called “Kosminski” who was now in an asylum. Later research into records from the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum suggested this was Aaron Kozminski, but this was by no means certain as there was a second man with the same surname in a lunatic asylum at the time.
It has long been claimed that the Police had a witness who identified Kozminski but had refused to testify him because he was also Jewish. The Police are then said to have released Kozminski to his family and explained the situation. Whatever was said led the family to have their relative committed to a lunatic asylum, at around that same time as the crimes suddenly stopped.
This breakthrough may not be the end of the story though, the DNA techniques have been called into question. But it is being taken seriously because the Metropolitan Police have always firmly believed that Kozminski was their man. They had been nervous about publicly stated their was a Jewish suspect but that he had been released as another Jew had not been willing to testify against him. At the time mass immigration had caused major tensions in the Whitechapel area.
The Jack the Ripper story, and the mythology around it has fascinated the public ever since the crimes were committed. Many of the rumours around the case have proved to be myths, including that the killer was the Prince of Wales or one of his staff. Even the name “Jack the Ripper” is likely to be a hoax, possibly even faked by the journalists who ran the story.