Every few years or so, there’s a media frenzy surrounding the latest claim about the identity of the infamous British serial killer known as ‘Jack The Ripper’. Usually, it’s associated with the release of a book by an investigative author who claims to have solved the century old mystery. And this time, it’s no different.
Over the years, countless theories have been suggested and subsequently debunked. Avid readers and followers of ‘The Ripper Saga’ are reasonably sceptical after dozens of so called breakthroughs. This time around, the reports had an air of certainty and scientific quality. As such, the revelation is being billed by most media outlets as the ‘definitive solution’ we’ve all been waiting for.
Self confessed ‘armchair detective’ Russell Edwards has written a book, “Naming Jack The Ripper”, which categorically states that 23 year old Polish immigrant Aaron Kominski was in fact Jack The Ripper. Mr. Edwards claims to have used DNA evidence for the first time, using the shawl from one of the Ripper’s victims as the basis for a test. The shawl was purchased at auction by the author, who is also a part time operator of a ‘Jack The Ripper’ themed tour.
But in spite of obvious holes in the author’s case, the mainstream media seem to be reporting on the closure of the matter. Ripper-ologists (and investigative outlets) have pointed out the likely transfer of countless DNA particles through constant handling, factors which all make DNA testing less accurate.
While Edwards’ case does offer food for thought, it does little more than offer circumstantial evidence of contact with a shawl. It’s doubtless that hundreds of people made contact with the shawl before or around the time of the incident, another fact which muddies the waters.
In short, the ‘revelations’ constitute little more than a bald-faced attempt to sell books. Though DNA-identifying technology is useful, these kinds of circumstantial revelations do little to further any understanding of the true identity of the notorious killer. Instead, they serve to distance us from the reality of one of history’s great unknown criminals.
Koala Storage, the best place for all your storage needs.