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The Stamp and DNA

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  • The Stamp and DNA

    A stamp would have been the best source of DNA available in the Jack the Ripper matter, if it was still on the paper--as nobody else could have touched the back of the stamp. DNA, of course, would have been in the saliva used to lick the stamp. Prof. Findlay opined that the DNA belonged to a female in the case of the Openshaw letter. On the one hand, the Ripper [if it was really the killer and not just some man pretending to be he] could have just casually asked some female to stamp and mail the letter. That there was some design behind that is not likely because blood typing or grouping was not even a procedure during the period when the Ripper was active and DNA certainly not a concept. So no one would have worried about anything being deduced from that stamp or any other. Under those circumstances, it makes the most sense that whoever wrote the most suspicious letters [there were many others that were discounted] would probably have wanted to do that under complete privacy--and put the stamps on and mailed the letters in the most surreptitious manner without involving a second party, who would have been able to view the address. When it comes to trickery, women can be just as twisted as men.

    I have heard that the Openshaw letter was used by author Patricia Cornwell during her investigation into Walter Sickert being the Ripper. She maintained that the paper used for this letter came from the same manufacturers as paper used by Sickert. Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the stamp on the envelope was also, according to Cornwell, the same as that found on other Sickert letters. Does anyone know any more about that last assertion--if it was really true?

  • #2
    I found what I was looking for right here!

    http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...ndsickert.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
      A stamp would have been the best source of DNA available in the Jack the Ripper matter, if it was still on the paper--as nobody else could have touched the back of the stamp. DNA, of course, would have been in the saliva used to lick the stamp. Prof. Findlay opined that the DNA belonged to a female in the case of the Openshaw letter. On the one hand, the Ripper [if it was really the killer and not just some man pretending to be he] could have just casually asked some female to stamp and mail the letter. That there was some design behind that is not likely because blood typing or grouping was not even a procedure during the period when the Ripper was active and DNA certainly not a concept. So no one would have worried about anything being deduced from that stamp or any other. Under those circumstances, it makes the most sense that whoever wrote the most suspicious letters [there were many others that were discounted] would probably have wanted to do that under complete privacy--and put the stamps on and mailed the letters in the most surreptitious manner without involving a second party, who would have been able to view the address. When it comes to trickery, women can be just as twisted as men.

      I have heard that the Openshaw letter was used by author Patricia Cornwell during her investigation into Walter Sickert being the Ripper. She maintained that the paper used for this letter came from the same manufacturers as paper used by Sickert. Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the stamp on the envelope was also, according to Cornwell, the same as that found on other Sickert letters. Does anyone know any more about that last assertion--if it was really true?
      You seem to be unaware that many stamps would be pressed on a damp sponge to wet them. Thus the DNA of the sender may not even be on the back of the stamp, but rather the DNA of

      The last person to touch the sponge or
      The person who sold the sponge

      And unless you can ascertain that Jack wrote the letter you are testing, at most you get a link to a letter writer, and still need to prove that the killer wrote it.
      G U T

      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi GUT!

        Are you suggesting The Openshaw Letter is sponge worthy
        My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DJA View Post
          Hi GUT!

          Are you suggesting The Openshaw Letter is sponge worthy
          Yuck, yuck yuck.

          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE=GUT;384651]You seem to be unaware that many stamps would be pressed on a damp sponge to wet them. Thus the DNA of the sender may not even be on the back of the stamp, but rather the DNA of

            The last person to touch the sponge or
            The person who sold the sponge

            And unless you can ascertain that Jack wrote the letter you are testing, at most you get a link to a letter writer, and still need to prove that the killer wrote it.
            Yes, that is the problem. You may link Mr X to a letter, but if you have no link between Mr X and a murder done by the serial killer in 1888-1889, preferably several murders, it is hopeless.

            Regards, Pierre

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pierre View Post
              Yes, that is the problem. You may link Mr X to a letter, but if you have no link between Mr X and a murder done by the serial killer in 1888-1889, preferably several murders, it is hopeless.

              Regards, Pierre
              I must be wrong Pierre agrees with me.

              Now I'm worried.
              Last edited by GUT; 06-15-2016, 03:12 AM.
              G U T

              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

              Comment


              • #8
                Meh!
                Doubt anyone deems Pierre sponge worthy.
                My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is certainly possible for a stamp to have been moistened by a sponge but, lacking actual saliva, it is highly unlikely that any human DNA would have survived for more than a century on the back of it. If it was that easy to obtain good DNA from a finger, DNA testing companies would send people a swab for a finger instead of a tube in which to deposit a rather copious amount of saliva. The person who sold the sponge doesn't even enter into the picture.

                  If one can trust the Internet reports, Prof. Ian Findlay, who performed the DNA testing of the Openshaw letter stamp, concluded it had been licked by a female. Findlay would only have been able to say this if he found no trace of y-DNA on the back of that stamp. This type of DNA is passed on from father to son in a chain that goes back indefinitely—but females get none. If a female had, by some act, managed to leave her DNA on the reverse of the stamp, the y-DNA in the saliva of the male who licked it would probably have been there, regardless.

                  Once again, the salient points are that no one at the time the Ripper was active would have feared licking a stamp because the saliva might leave some clue as to his or her identity. Also, people at the time would have realized a letter connected to the murders would probably become an item in the newspapers, so a writer would have likely avoided allowing a second party to view it or handle it before sending in the event that a person with a good memory might connect him or her to the address and render a description or possibly even an ID.

                  One thing is certain, though—DNA for the purpose of identification is only as good as what there is to compare it to. This was made quite clear to the general public when it came to identifying the remains of King Richard III. This last was part of a rare haplogroup associated with his mitochondrial DNA and that helped to clinch the ID. Would it be impossible to add some clues to the ID of Jack the Ripper from his DNA? No, theoretically not, because millions of modern persons now have their DNA on file with the testing companies. The best bet would be y-DNA, listed by some companies in connections with surnames and haplogroups. One could connect Jack to certain families [men with different surnames can have the same y-DNA for reasons not difficult to understand] and know his distant ancestry from the haplogroups. However, the companies would probably not find a reason to compare any possible Ripper DNA that was obtained to that of their customers. One thing that happened with the y-DNA found on the shawl—it couldn't be connected to the “Juwes” because it didn't evidence a haplogroup commonly found in Jewish populations.
                  Last edited by Aldebaran; 06-15-2016, 12:06 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I should add that I think the Openshaw letter was written by an educated person pretending to be an ill-educated one. Everything on the envelope is spelled correctly, including the word "pathological". On the other hand the misspellings of the letter, itself, are overdone and seem deliberate, even adding an "h" onto the beginning of a word to mimic a Cockney accent. If one had gone to school at all and learned to write, one would certainly know better than to put an "h" where it did not belong simply because that was a pronunciation habit in London's East End, the location of the post-mark of the Openshaw letter--or leave out the same letter when it was omitted in speaking.

                    **Old boss you was rite it was the left kidny i was goin to hoperate agin close to you ospitle just as i was going to dror mi nife along of er bloomin throte them cusses of coppers spoilt the game but i guess i wil be on the jobn soon and will send you another bit of innerds


                    Jack the Ripper


                    O have you seen the devle with his mikerscope and scalpul a-lookin at a kidney with a slide cocked up.**
                    Last edited by Aldebaran; 06-16-2016, 07:53 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
                      I should add that I think the Openshaw letter was written by an educated person pretending to be an ill-educated one. Everything on the envelope is spelled correctly, including the word "pathological". On the other hand the misspellings of the letter, itself, are overdone and seem deliberate, even adding an "h" onto the beginning of a word to mimic a Cockney accent. If one had gone to school at all and learned to write, one would certainly know better than to put an "h" where it did not belong simply because that was a pronunciation habit in London's East End, the location of the post-mark of the Openshaw letter--or leave out the same letter when it was omitted in speaking.

                      **Old boss you was rite it was the left kidny i was goin to hoperate agin close to you ospitle just as i was going to dror mi nife along of er bloomin throte them cusses of coppers spoilt the game but i guess i wil be on the jobn soon and will send you another bit of innerds


                      Jack the Ripper


                      O have you seen the devle with his mikerscope and scalpul a-lookin at a kidney with a slide cocked up.**
                      And for all you astute detectives out there in ripperology land, note the word kidney is spelt correct at the end and not at the beginning which goes to show this postrr is right with his assumption

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yep.
                        Also seems to have an insider's knowledge of the workings of the London Hospital's Pathology Department.
                        My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DJA View Post
                          Yep.
                          Also seems to have an insider's knowledge of the workings of the London Hospital's Pathology Department.
                          wouldn't mind putting my money on a medical student prank !

                          www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
                            wouldn't mind putting my money on a medical student prank !

                            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                            Which reminds me....I saw the documentary "Jack the Ripper-the German Suspect" in which you were featured. That was very interesting and educational, especially from the psychological and anatomical point of view. I could have missed remembering something, but did you find any information that could link the suspect, Carl Feigenbaum, to something that might have given him the knowledge to do the butchery on the C5 and retrieve organs? I admit I never realized, until this program, how difficult the "surgery" would have been.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aldebaran View Post
                              Which reminds me....I saw the documentary "Jack the Ripper-the German Suspect" in which you were featured. That was very interesting and educational, especially from the psychological and anatomical point of view. I could have missed remembering something, but did you find any information that could link the suspect, Carl Feigenbaum, to something that might have given him the knowledge to do the butchery on the C5 and retrieve organs? I admit I never realized, until this program, how difficult the "surgery" would have been.
                              Hi
                              Glad you enjoyed the program it seems it was most enlightening to many around the world and has helped to change many peoples perception of the Ripper mystery.

                              As to the mutilation of the victims I dont think that needed any skill for anyone to perform. However I do believe that there was skill shown in the cutting of the women's throats, by someone who knew how to kill using a knife, and how to kill quickly, and quietly.

                              As to Feigenbaum he may well have had those skills as he was known to have been a soldier in the Prussian army.

                              As to the organ removal if you remember I dont support the old accepted theory that the killer removed the organs from Chapman and Eddowes.

                              Might I suggest you obtain a copy of my DVD which explores all of these issues in much more detail or my recently updated book Jack the Ripper-The Secret Police Files.

                              Links to both set out below

                              http://www.trevormarriott.co.uk/?page_id=328
                              http://www.trevormarriott.co.uk/?page_id=191

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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