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Does the new genetic analysis ultimately reveal the identity of Jack Trbosjek? | Science

Historical picture of the police who discovered the victim of the murder of Jack Trbosjek

Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

David Adam

Forensic scientists say they finally discovered the identity of Jack Trbosjek, an infamous serial killer who had terrorized the streets of London more than a century ago. Genetic tests released this week point to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish scammer and suspect for police police at the time. But critics say the evidence is not strong enough to declare this case closed.

The results were obtained by forensic examination of the smeared silk jumper found by the investigators with the incarnated body Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim of the killer, in 1888. The scarf is stitched with what is claimed to be blood and seed, the latter believed to be a killer. Four other women in London were also killed in a three-month visit, and the culprit was never confirmed.

This is not the first time Kosminski is linked to crimes. But for the first time, evidence of DNA was published in a reviewed journal. Jari Louhelainen, a biochemist from Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, spent several years in the first genetic tests on joker samples, but said he wanted to wait for the hassle to drop before submitting the results. Author Russell Edwards, who bought a scarf in 2007 and gave it to Louhelainen, used unpublished test results to identify Kosminski as a killer in a 2014 book. Appointment of the Jack of the ThiefBut geneticists then complained that it was impossible to estimate the allegations because there were few technical details about the analysis of genetic patterns from the joke.

New paper puts them out to the point. In what Louhelainen and his colleague David Miller, a reproductive and sperm specialist at the University of Leeds, UK, claim that "the most systematic and most advanced genetic analysis so far associated with the murder of Jack Trbosjek", describes extracting and amplifying DNA from a joke. The tests compared the DNA mitochondrial DNA fragments inherited from the mother only – from the jumble of the living descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski. DNA coincides with DNA of living cousin Kosminkija, conclude in Journal of forensic science.

The analysis also shows that the killer had brown hair and brown eyes, which is consistent with eyewitness testimony. "These features are certainly not unique," the authors acknowledge in their work. But blue eyes are now more common than brown in England.

The results will probably not satisfy the critics. Key details of specific genetic variants identified and compared between DNA samples are not included in the work. Instead, authors present them in charts with a series of colored boxes. Where boxes overlap, they say, scarves and modern DNA sequences match.

The authors say in their work that the Law on Data Protection, an American law that protects the privacy of individuals, has prevented the publication of genetic sequences of living relatives Eddowes and Kosminski. Graphics in the newspapers, they say, are easier to understand scientists, especially those who are interested in the real crime.

Walther Parson, a forensic doctor at the Medical School of Medicine at Innsbruck, Austria, says mitochondrial DNA sequences are not a risk for privacy and authors should be involved. "Otherwise the reader can not evaluate the result. I wonder where science and research goes, when we begin to avoid showing the results, but instead introduce the colored boxes. "

Hansi Weissensteiner, an expert in mitochondrial DNA also in Innsbruck, also challenges the analysis of mitochondrial DNA, which he says can prove reliably that people – or two DNA samples – are not related. "Based on mitochondrial DNA, only the suspect can be excluded." In other words, mitochondrial DNA from the joke could be from Kosminski, but probably out of the thousands of those who lived in London at that time.

Other critics of Kosmet's theory have pointed out that there is no evidence that the joke has ever been at the crime scene. They could also become contaminated over the years, they say.

New tests are not the first attempt to identify Jack Trbosjek from DNA. A few years ago, US criminal author Patricia Cornwell asked other scientists to analyze any DNA in the samples taken from the letters allegedly sent by a serial killer to the police. Based on DNA analysis and other traces, she said the killer was a painter Walter Sickert, although many experts believe that these letters are false. Another genetic analysis of the letters claimed that the killer could be a woman.

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