Whoa, scientists have finally uncovered the identity of Jack the Ripper
I don’t normally reblog things, but this is simply too interesting to not make a note of! Read more at the Independent or the Mirror
This is so misleading that it is frankly a lie.
First of all, “Scientists” haven’t solved anything except determined the results of a DNA test—matching a still-living descendent of the sister of a mental patient with a 126-year-old semen stain on the shawl of a single woman thought to be killed by the Ripper.
- The idea that they could have a “100% match” is highly tenuous at best; siblingship is a tricky thing to discover through DNA to begin with, and vastly more so when you take into account that they’re testing the descendent of a sibling. There’s a reason that whenever possible, geneticists prefer to test a parent as well as a sibling, given how many DNA loci are recombined to form a sibling’s DNA. They also “matched” the shawl’s owner’s bloodstain to her “three-times great-granddaughter,” proving again a “100% match.”
- The DNA evidence has not been independently verified by any authorities.
- The shawl itself, the one and only piece of physical evidence, has not been independently verified. It “is thought” to have been part of the case.
- The lead detective on the case is not a detective. He is a self-proclaimed “armchair detective” and history nut.
- He is selling a book about this. It doesn’t take an “armchair detective” to realize that a book about looking for Jack the Ripper’s identity is not going to turn a profit without showing “conclusive proof” that they’ve found the killer.
- His only other proof is the fact that Kosminski was recorded as a suspect in the 1800s by the police, who were notedly anti-Semetic (Kosminski was a Polish Jew).
- This “study,” if it can even be called that when the information was clearly biased, was reported in the Daily Mail and the Mirror, not exactly shining bastions of journalism. Look for it to be discredited very soon. I’m betting Cracked’s “B.S. News Stories that Fooled Your Facebook Friends” gets there within a week.
- The apparently brilliant scientist that has pioneered this new DNA matching technology, Dr. Jari Louhelainen, is hardly a standout in his field. He is not decorated, has received no awards or fellowships that I’ve been able to find, and is a professor at a college that has turned out only one notable alumnus in the scientific field, ever (and she is an astrophysicist).
- Even if the shawl and its two spots of purported DNA were not obviously of over-inflated importance (and if they could be verified), that is far from saying the mystery of Jack the Ripper is solved. All that would be in today’s courtroom is a single piece of circumstantial evidence for ONE of five serial murders.
- The newspaper that reported this is a tabloid.
- The “detective” is an amateur with a book to sell.
- The “scientist” is a lecturer at a new university in England that focuses on sports.
- The “evidence” is over-hyped and far from conclusive.
- The “evidence” only points to Kosminski for ONE murder out of five.
This is not research. This is sensationalism. The mystery of Jack the Ripper is far from solved.