Report: Jack the Ripper May Not Have Been Jewish After All

Calculation error is found in DNA assessment that identified the killer as a Polish Jewish immigrant to the U.K., reports say.

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Jack the Ripper (illustration)Credit: Dreamstime

After 126 years, many theories and unlimited speculation, an author thought he had solved one of history's great mysteries: the identity of the notorious 1888 U.K. killer, Jack the Ripper.

No such luck, media reports say.

A recently published book asserted that DNA evidence proved that Jack the Ripper was Aaron Kosminsky, a 23-year-old Jewish barber from Poland who emigrated to the U.K. According to the book, Kosminsky was a suspect in the killings at the time. 

The book was written by Russell Edwards, who Haaretz reported in September runs a Jack-the-Ripper-themed paraphernalia shop in London.

In turn the DNA - extracted from a shawl supposedly found at the scene of one of the killings - was assessed by Jari Louhelainen, who the U.K. Independent reported is a molecular biologist at Liverpool John Moores University. 

Reports quote experts and bloggers as saying that Louhelainen made a calculation error when he was assessing the DNA. The error, according to these reports, means that no DNA connection can be made between Kosminsky and the victim.

Louhelainen declined to comment to the U.K. Independent on the matter.