The Horror Honeys: Honey Buzz ~ Jack the Ripper's "true" identity revealed!

Honey Buzz ~ Jack the Ripper's "true" identity revealed!

Having a personal obsession with Jack the Ripper, when the news broke yesterday that the true identity of witty Jack had been revealed, I was awash with many feels, and they were mostly incredulous. After so many years and so many theories (and so many movies) was the truth actually out there? Part of me prefers the gothic romantic notion that he faded away into history, his needs satiated, his ritual completed, never to be seen again. However, the publication of a new book on the case has created a bit of a stormy debate (once again) over the identity of the historical slasher, now identified as Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski.

British newspapers are of course, all over this story and had this to report:

Russell Edwards, who describes himself as an “armchair detective”, believes he has identified the Victorian murderer for the first time after more than 120 years of mystery.
He said Kosminski, who died in an asylum, was “definitely, categorically and absolutely” the man behind the grisly killing spree in 1888 in Whitechapel.
Police had identified Kosminski as a suspect, Mr Edwards said, but never had enough evidence to bring him to trial.
A modern rendering of Aaron Kosminski.
Looks properly sinister on purpose, I imagine.
Chief Inspector Donald Swanson, who led the investigation, recorded a suspect named "Kosminski" in contemporary notes, saying he was a low-class Polish Jew and had family living in Whitechapel.
The notes, donated by his descendants to Scotland Yard's Crime Museum in 2006, included a memorandum from Assistant Chief Constable Sir Melville Macnaghten saying Kosminski “had a great hatred of women…with strong homicidal tendencies”.

The blood soaked shawl of Catherine Eddowes. 
Using one of the only pieces of physical evidence remaining from the case, a blood-stained shawl belonging to one of the Ripper's victims Catherine Eddowes, was bought at an auction in 2007 - morbidly amazing, right? 

As well as being soaked in Eddowes' blood, it was found to have traces of semen thought to belong to the killer - now, this little piece of evidence is something that I hadn't heard of before, the Ripper's cases were always thought to have been non-sexual in nature, but whether that was a function of "proper" English fact manipulation or not, I'll definitely have to do some more reading.  

Mr Edwards said: “I've got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case.
“I've spent 14 years working on it, and we have definitively solved the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was.

"Only non-believers that want to perpetuate the myth will doubt. This is it now - we have unmasked him."

Now, the assumption that only non-believers won't be buying this story is a bit insulting, the degradation of DNA evidence is quite the science in and of itself, and the survival of this evidence after 100 years is a fun bit of speculation, as is the assumption that the shawl is authentic...and if nothing else, while it might identify the killer of Catherine Eddowes, who was killed on the same night as Elizabeth Stride, it doesn't necessarily prove anything else.  

Details about Catherine Eddowes' death:

Eddowes was killed and mutilated in the square between 1.35 and 1.45 a.m. Police surgeon Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown, who arrived after 2:00 a.m., said of the scene:

The body was on its back, the head turned to left shoulder. The arms by the side of the body as if they had fallen there. Both palms upwards, the fingers slightly bent. A thimble was lying off the finger on the right side. The clothes drawn up above the abdomen. The thighs were naked. Left leg extended in a line with the body. The abdomen was exposed. Right leg bent at the thigh and knee.

The bonnet was at the back of the head—great disfigurement of the face. The throat cut. Across below the throat was a neckerchief. ... The intestines were drawn out to a large extent and placed over the right shoulder—they were smeared over with some feculent matter. A piece of about two feet was quite detached from the body and placed between the body and the left arm, apparently by design. The lobe and auricle of the right ear were cut obliquely through. There was a quantity of clotted blood on the pavement on the left side of the neck round the shoulder and upper part of the arm, and fluid blood-coloured serum which had flowed under the neck to the right shoulder, the pavement sloping in that direction.

Body was quite warm. No death stiffening had taken place. She must have been dead most likely within the half hour. We looked for superficial bruises and saw none. No blood on the skin of the abdomen or secretion of any kind on the thighs. No spurting of blood on the bricks or pavement around. No marks of blood below the middle of the body. Several buttons were found in the clotted blood after the body was removed. There was no blood on the front of the clothes. There were no traces of recent connection

I might have to pick up this book, because now I'm intrigued and perhaps even more skeptical.