It is gratifying that in today’s day and age, science and technology are such that DNA solves mysteries and breaks down walls in more than just genealogy. It holds the promise of possibly identifying the culprits in unsolved crimes throughout history – as long as DNA can be found on artifacts left on the scene. In this case, DNA solves the mystery of the true identity of Jack the Ripper.
In a previous post, “Be prepared for the skeletons in the closet you find,” I discussed the discoveries I have made in our genealogies and those of others I’ve done. Although some were fascinating and positive, others were decidedly negative and I had to be careful how I relayed the information to the recipient of the research.
An example of the positive side of discoveries made and mysteries solved through DNA is the discovery of the burial site of Richard III. I can just imagine how the distant ancestor they approached for testing must have felt. I’d have been glad to be able to know for sure whether or not I was his ancestor.
Then there’s the recent announcement of the analysis of DNA found on a shawl left at the scene of the murder of Catherine Eddowes. DNA has proved that Jack the Ripper was a long held suspect, Aaron Kosminski, a recent Polish immigrant and hair stylist.
I can just imagine how the distant ancestor of his sister felt when she was approached to be tested and have it confirmed that her distant uncle was indeed Jack the Ripper.
The DNA results identifying Jack the Ripper are supported by the fact that the Ripper’s last victim, Frances Coles, was attacked just prior to Kosminski being placed in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, where he remained until his death at 53 in 1919.
The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.
It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.
All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.