Jack the Ripper study based on error

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Researchers: 'Study Proving Identity of Jack The Ripper Based On Error'


Scientists claim the recent bombshell study revealing the identity of Jack the Ripper was all based on an error.

The study in question, led by amatuer sleuth Russel Edwards, was centered around a blood-stained shawl found near one of the ripper's victims. Edwards and genetic expert Dr. Jari Louhelainen used mitochondrial DNA to link the shawl to prostitute Catherine Eddowes and polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski. They claim an extremely rare DNA alteration conclusively matched Kosminski to the infamous serial killer. However, now a group of DNA experts are poking a giant hole in the discovery.

The new team of researchers claim Edwards referenced the wrong mutation, and the correct alteration isn't rare at all. In fact, it's extremely common. Meaning, the match isn't significant.

One of the new researchers wrote,"The same match would have been seen with almost anyone who had handled the shawl over the years."

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Jack the Ripper study based on error
A knife allegedly used by serial killer Jack the Ripper is displayed at a press preview of the 'Jack the Ripper and the East End' exhibition at Museum in Docklands, in London, on May 14, 2008. Returning to the scene of London's most infamous crimes in 'Jack the Ripper and the East End', the exhibition explores the Jack the Ripper murders and their enduring legacy. Visitors can examine orginal documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded. The exhibition runs until November 2, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
A letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper and sent to a London news agency on Spetember 25, 1888 is displayed at a press preview of the 'Jack the Ripper and the East End' exhibition at Museum in Docklands, in London, on May 14, 2008. Returning to the scene of London?s most infamous crimes in 'Jack the Ripper and the East End', the exhibition explores the Jack the Ripper murders and their enduring legacy. Visitors can examine orginal documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded. The exhibition runs until November 2, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
The corpse of Elizabeth Stride, murdered by Jack the Ripper at Derner Street, September 30, 1888. Jack the Ripper was an English serial killer who killed five women in London in 1888 and was never caught. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
The corpse of Annie Chapman, murdered by Jack the Ripper at Hanbury Street, September 8, 1888. Jack the Ripper was an English serial killer who killed five women in London in 1888 and was never caught. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED : picture from Scotland Yard of Mary Ann Nicholls victim of serial killer Jack the Ripper september 1888 (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
1888, London, England, Murder, Elizabeth Stride, aged 45, a prostitute, died in Berners Street, Her windpipe was severed, but Jack the Ripper had apparantly been interrupted and she became one of his six victims (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
1889: A fanciful engraving showing 'Jack The Ripper', the east end Murderer of prostitutes in the nineteenth century, being caught red-handed, grasping one of his victims by the hair and holding a knife. The caption reads : 'The Whitechapel murder, The cry is Jack The Ripper !!'. Illustrated Police News - pub. 1889 Vict 0371 21 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The corpse of 40-year-old Alice McKenzie, who was murdered on 17th July 1889 in Castle Alley, Whitechapel, London, July 1889. Her left carotid artery has been severed. The murder was attributed by many to contemporary serial killer Jack the Ripper, although several investigators were unconvinced. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Mitre Square in the City of London, with Church Passage (later St James's Passage) in the right corner, circa 1928. It was here that prostitute Catherine Eddowes was murdered by serial killer Jack the Ripper, on 30th September 1888. The plaque on the wall reads 'Site of the Priory of the Holy Trinity. Founded 1108'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Mitre Square in the City of London, with an arched passageway leading to St James's Passage (formerly Church Passage), circa 1928. It was here that prostitute Catherine Eddowes was murdered by serial killer Jack the Ripper, on 30th September 1888. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1900: Hanbury Street in Spitalfields, east London, where Annie Chapman was murdered by serial killer Jack the Ripper on 8th September 1888. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1900: Miller's Court in Dorset Street, east London, where Mary Jane Kelly was murdered by serial killer Jack the Ripper on 9th November 1888. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A member of staff holds the knife allegedly used by Jack the Ripper during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
A member of staff is seen reflected in "The Illustrated Police News" on display during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
A member of the staff is silhouetted against a display of suspects' pictures as she poses for photographers during a press preview for the exhibition depicting the murders of the notorious "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, east London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, brings together surviving original documents for the first time, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End, and the world where the crimes took place. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
A letter with the signature of an individual calling themselves 'Jack the Ripper' is seen during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
A member of staff looks at a mortuary trolley on display during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
A member of staff poses stands in front of a screen showing a short movie about Jack the Ripper during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
A letter with the signature of an individual calling themselves 'Jack the Ripper' is seen during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
An old police uniform and equipment are seen on display during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
Shop windows and real estate signs line a row in the Whitechapel area of east London, once the haunt of Jack the Ripper, March 2000. Once considered one of the more lawless sides of London, the neighborhood is now starting to be listed by upscale real estate agencies. (AP Photo Alastair Grant)
circa 1891: A map of Whitechapel in east London, where eleven women were killed between 1888 and 1891, and the murders often attributed to unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, c1890s. Portrait of the prince (1864-1892), who died of pneumonia before he was thirty. The eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), Prince Albert Victor's life has been wrapped in secrecy and scandal. He is thought to have visited a male brothel, to have fathered an illegitimate child by a married woman, and was for a time rumoured to have been Jack the Ripper. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
A member of staff is seen reflected in the glass case containing the knife allegedly used by Jack the Ripper during a press preview for the exhibition "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Docklands, London, Wednesday, May 14, 2008. The exhibition, which will open to the public on Thursday, displays for the first time surviving original documents, including police files, photographs and letters from the public to highlight the serial killer, who allegedly murdered 11 women between 1888 and 1891 in London's East End. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
'Blind-Man's Buff', 1888. The policeman faces insurmountable odds in his attempts to catch the many villains operating on the streets of Britain's towns and cities. This was the year also of Jack the Ripper and the failure of the police to find the guilty man led to them being less than flattering coverage in the newspapers of the day. From Punch, or the London Charivari, September 22, 1888. (Photo by The Cartoon Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED : James Maybrick, the cotton merchant suspected of being Jack the Ripper - the merchant James Maybrick suspected to be Jack The Ripper, circa 1888 (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
An imagined portrait of the unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, circa 1890. At least five murders attributed to the killer took place in Whitechapel, London in 1888. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, c1890s. Portrait of the prince (1864-1892), who died of pneumonia before he was thirty. The eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), Prince Albert Victor's life has been wrapped in secrecy and scandal. He is thought to have visited a male brothel, to have fathered an illegitimate child by a married woman, and was for a time rumoured to have been Jack the Ripper. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - circa 1910: Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), English artist of the New English Art Club, he was suspected of being Jack the Ripper (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED : James Maybrick, the cotton merchant suspected of being Jack the Ripper - the merchant James Maybrick suspected to be Jack The Ripper, circa 1888 (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
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circa 1860: William Withy Gull (1816 - 1890), the first Bart physician and Royal physician to Queen Victoria. He was also peripherally involved with the notorious Bravo poisoning case, and was a major suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Bucks Row, now Durward Street, east London, where the body of Mary Ann Nichols, victim of Jack the Ripper, was found lying across the gutter. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 2003: Police monitoring a suspect at the time of Jack the Ripper, London, 1888, engraving. England, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 2003: The police questioning a homeless person in the course of the investigation for the crimes of Jack the Ripper, 1888, engraving. England, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
LONDON - JULY 13: A copy of 'The Lighter Side Of My Life' is displayed at the Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard on July 13, 2006 in London. The book was donated by Neville Swanson, the great-grandson of Chief Inspector Donald Swanson who was the officer in charge of the original investigaton into the murders of at least five women, all prostitutes, in East London in the late 1800's. The final page of the book contains original notes made by Chief Inspector Swanson including the sentence 'Kosminski was the supsect'. (Photo by Will Rose-Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - JULY 13: Notes made on the final page of the book 'The Lighter Side Of My Life' are displayed at the Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard on July 13, 2006 in London. The book was donated by Neville Swanson, the great-grandson of Chief Inspector Donald Swanson who was the officer in charge of the original investigaton into the murders of at least five women, all prostitutes, in East London in the late 1800's. The final page of the book contains original notes made by Chief Inspector Swanson including the sentence 'Kosminski was the supsect'. (Photo by Will Rose-Pool/Getty Images)
Police equipment, as used in the 1880's, is displayed at a press preview of the 'Jack the Ripper and the East End' exhibition at Museum in Docklands, in London, on May 14, 2008. Returning to the scene of London?s most infamous crimes in 'Jack the Ripper and the East End', the exhibition explores the Jack the Ripper murders and their enduring legacy. Visitors can examine orginal documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded. The exhibition runs until November 2, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
A letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper and sent to a London news agency on Spetember 25, 1888 is displayed at a press preview of the 'Jack the Ripper and the East End' exhibition at Museum in Docklands, in London, on May 14, 2008. Returning to the scene of London?s most infamous crimes in 'Jack the Ripper and the East End', the exhibition explores the Jack the Ripper murders and their enduring legacy. Visitors can examine orginal documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded. The exhibition runs until November 2, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
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The publisher of Edwards book, "Naming Jack the Ripper," is investigating the error but points out there is still more evidence proving Kosminski is the killer.

This isn't the first study to use DNA evidence to try to prove a long-time Ripper suspect was guilty of the crimes. For Patricia Cornwell's 2002 book "Portrait of a Killer," she had a stamp from a Jack the Ripper letter analyzed for DNA and found it matched artist Walter Sickert, who she claims painted works depicting Ripper crimes that only the killer and detectives would have been privy to. Her book was met with harsh criticism, just like Edwards.

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