COMMENTARY | Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper, or so a new book says based on mitochondrial DNA research.
While we’ll certainly admit that the evidence presented so far is compelling, and the latest find is probably the most important to happen in “Ripperology” for a very long time, no honest jury could convict him of the crimes. Yet.
Does that mean he’s innocent?
Of course not. In fact, there is a lot to be said for Aaron Kosminski aside from the newly revealed evidence.
First of all, he was on the early short list of Jack the Ripper suspects, with at least one Scotland Yard Inspector placing him at the top. He was known to be a misogynist. He is believed to have had schizophrenia, making him prone to violence. He lived in the area where the women died.
And yes, finding his DNA on a shawl that also reportedly contained the DNA of Catherine Eddowes with blood that got there as a result of arterial spurting is compelling.
But there is much we don’t know about Aaron Kosminski, and much we don’t know about the validity of the “evidence” reported in the Daily Mail story.
Furthermore, Catherine Eddowes, the victim whose DNA was on the shawl, was a prostitute practicing around 200 yards from where Aaron Kosminski lived, and the DNA that belonged to Kosminski was extracted from semen — no indication he was ever in a struggle with her.
Any attorney worth his paycheck would have the very evidence the Daily Mail is reporting as irrefutable proof under the shadow of reasonable doubt in a heartbeat.
That’s why it may be a little early to convict Aaron Kosminski of the killings.
That being said, I hope it’s him.
Jack the Ripper has gotten a pretty sweet deal from history. He slashed at least five women to bits and ended up a folk hero of sorts. A mystery that everyone wanted to be “the one” to solve. And when each theory was met with the shadow of doubt, these amateur sleuths would quietly rejoice that maybe, just maybe, they still had a shot at “catching him.”
It’s why there have been libraries of books written on the topic. As a culture, we’re fascinated by the enigma of Jack the Ripper, but the reality is this — and it’s a reality we need to be reminded of regularly.
The real Jack the Ripper, whoever he was, was a lowlife serial killer scumbag and hater of women. There was nothing brilliant about the man. He simply killed women before modern science could evolve. If he killed in the 21st Century, he would be one of the useless rabble that are convicted in America, England, and all over the world every day.
If Aaron Kosminski does, in fact, turn out to be Jack the Ripper, few will be happier than me. This mystery needs to be solved, because it’s a mystery by default. A “lucky” loser killing in the right place with the right victim at the right time.
Hopefully, the full case as laid out in Naming Jack the Ripper — which releases September 9 — will end all doubt. Until then, Aaron Kosminski is innocent until proven guilty.
[Image via ShutterStock]