The DNA apparently came from a shawl researchers said was found near the body of Jack the Ripper's fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes, Science reported. Researchers said blood and other DNA evidence was found on the silk wrap.
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They matched fragments of mitochondrial DNA, inherited from a person’s mother, that was compared to living relatives of Eddowes and Kosminski. The DNA matched Kosminski’s family.
Researchers believe, the DNA confirmed "observable" characteristics like eye and hair color, given by the only eyewitness to one of the attacks, which was considered by police at the time as "considerably reliable," NBC News reported.
But not all believe the DNA was that of Kosminski. The shawl was not kept by police over the centurylong period since the murder. It was given to researcher Jari Louhelainen by Russell Edwards, whose 2014 book named Kosminski as the infamous killer. Edwards calls himself an "armchair detective" who bought the shawl at an auction in 2017, the Guardian reported.
Jack the Ripper killed at least five women from Aug. 7, 1888 to Sept. 10, 1888 in the Whitechapel area of London, according to History.com.
The study claims the DNA test findings are the first "systematic, molecular level analysis of the only surviving physical evidence linked to the Jack the Ripper murders," NBC News reported.
Some believed that Jack the Ripper was Victorian painter Walter Sickert or even the grandson of Queen Victoria. Since the murders, more than 100 suspects were named, according to History.com.