British History

Jack the Ripper Murders Solved

The Daily Mail has published an article that DNA testing of a blood- and semen-soaked shawl worn by Catherine Eddowes (1842–1888), one of Jack the Ripper’s victims, has determined that Aaron Kosminski (1865–1919) was the infamous murderer. Kosminski had been identified by a witness back in 1888, but the London Police didn’t have enough evidence to convict him. Instead, Kosminski, who was mentally ill, was sent to various asylums until he died in 1919.

The sensational Whitechapel Murders of 1888 are collectively the most famous murder mystery in recorded history. The unprecedented global media coverage at the time dominated daily conversations and shaped social policy, from neighbourhood watches to slum clearance. The London Metropolitan Police’s hunt for Jack the Ripper spurred the development of modern police investigative techniques, from the canvassing of neighbourhoods, the interrogation of witnesses, to the meticulous handling, recording, and analysis of forensic evidence. Perhaps the most visible legacy of the the Whitechapel Murders has been the widespread and enduring popularity of crime fiction, from Alan Moore’s The Watchmen, the works of Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.