Jack the Ripper has been unmasked as a 23-year-old Polish barber, according to new DNA tests carried out on a blood-stained shawl.
Scientists say Aaron Kosminski, whose name has previously been connected to the case, was the notorious serial killer who murdered women on the streets of Victorian London.
He has been named as the Ripper by researchers from two British universities, whose findings were published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
They said they had identified two sets of DNA traces for Kosminski and one of the Ripper’s victims, Catherine Eddowes.
Kosminski was a Polish Jewish immigrant who lived with his two brothers and sister in Greenfield Street, about 200 yards from where the third victim, Elizabeth Stride, was killed.
The research was carried out by Jari Louhelainen of Liverpool John Moores University and David Miller from the University of Leeds.
They wrote: “The killer’s identity has remained a mystery to date. Here, we describe the investigation of, to our knowledge, the only remaining physical evidence linked to these murders, recovered from one of the victims at the scene of the crime.
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“We describe for the first time systematic, molecular level analysis of the only surviving physical evidence linked to the Jack the Ripper murders.
“Finding both matching profiles in the same piece of evidence enhances the statistical probability of its overall identification and reinforces the claim that the shawl is authentic.”
The shawl was bought by businessman Russell Edwards at auction in 2007, then handed over to the scientists.
The item had been reportedly found next to Ms Eddowes’ body and was stained with what was believed to be her blood.
She was killed on September 30, 1888 in Mitre Square, Whitechapel – her kidney had been hacked out and her cheeks ripped apart.
She was the second woman to be killed by Jack the Ripper that night – Elizabeth Stride had her throat slit earlier the same evening.
However, critics claim there is no evidence the shawl was found alongside Ms Eddowes’ body and say it may have been contaminated over time.
Kosminski, who came to England in 1881, died in an asylum in 1899 of gangrene in the leg.
Jack the Ripper murdered at least five women in Whitechapel, slashing their throats and removing some of their organs.
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