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Subject: The Ripper mystery is far from "solved" -Some facts, most of these articles leave out about this DNA case...

Jack T. Ripper
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Date Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 02:38:48pm
In reply to: DNA may have cracked the case. 's message, "OT: Jack the Ripper mystery finally solved? ..." on Tuesday, March 19, 12:24:02pm

The DNA is based on a Shawl that allegedly belonged to the Ripper's fourth canonical victim, Catherine Eddowes.

This belief (and that's all it is - there is no "proof") is based on a family tale that one of their ancestors was a Policeman on the London Force during the time of the JtR murders. That much seems to be true. And that he claims he took the shawl from beside Eddowes dead body the night she was killed and meant to turn it in as evidence but never got around to it. (Nice Police work!)

The problem is there is NO evidence Eddowes' ever possessed a shawl, let alone that this piece of cloth was hers even if it could be proved she ever did own one.

No mention of a shawl appears in any Police record of her murder. None. A complete list of her property is still on record at Scotland Yard, it can be found on numerous websites devoted to the Ripper, and no-where is a shawl mentioned. Nor has any witness who knew her before she was murdered ever described her owning a shawl.

The Policeman's family by their own admission used it as a table-cloth for decades.(God alone knows how many different DNA pieces that left in it!)

The provenance of the shawl (or table cloth as some believe) in question has never been established, despite claims to the contrary. Unless it can be proven to have been found on the pavement, next to Eddowes' bloody body at the time the body was discovered in Mitre Square, its historic value is nil. Moreover, any traces of DNA found on it, and that presumes the shawl has never been laundered, could have come from any and all of those who handled the shawl over the years before and after its purchase by the author.

Hansi Weissensteiner, an expert in mitochondrial DNA at Innsbruck, takes issue with the mitochondrial DNA analysis, which he says can only reliably show that people—or two DNA samples—are not related. “Based on mitochondrial DNA one can only exclude a suspect.” In other words, the mitochondrial DNA from the shawl could be from Kosminski, but it could probably also have come from thousands who lived in London at the time.

So there you have it. No real provenance to the shawl itself and a DNA test that only means Aaron Kosminski cannot be ruled out - not that the test "proves" it was his DNA on the shawl....or table-cloth....or whatever the material really is...

This is a book author remember and that means money is at stake here. I urge caution and a healthy dose of skepticism...

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