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."
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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