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'Most Advanced' Study on Jack the Ripper Is Ripped Apart

Experts throw cold water on new study that claimed to use DNA to unmask him
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2019 10:45 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – It's an intriguing assertion, and one that grabbed headlines at sites like ABC News and NBC News—that more than a century after Jack the Ripper terrorized London, the serial killer had possibly been unmasked. Too bad it's bogus, at least according to a slew of experts. Here's the chain of events: Jari Louhelainen of Liverpool John Moores University and David Miller of the University of Leeds published a case report in the Journal of Forensic Sciences based on an analysis of victim Catherine Eddowes' silk shawl, which is purported to have been stained with blood and semen. The researchers call it "the only remaining physical evidence linked to these murders," and they tested it for mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, which a child inherits from his mother. They said they found a match to a living relative of one of the main suspects, Polish barber Aaron Kosminski, and call their study "the most advanced genetic analysis to date." Four reasons why scientists are extremely skeptical:

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