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Kosminski Shawl DNA published as peer reviewed paper in Journal of Forensic Sciences

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  • #16
    Just heard this on the news today.

    Well, I just want to say congratulations Rob House.

    Your book Prime Suspect was quite in depth, the research you did was wonderful and the fact that your further research later on showed Kozminski lived in the area within blocks of the murders shed light that furthered my belief you were hot on the trail all along.

    Would love to see another book on this by you. Anytime that comes out I'll be there.

    Again, congratulations.

    Comment


    • #17
      I've always favored the Kosminski family of theories. Proof, given the problems of provenance, is an interesting term to use. The fact that it is mDNA rather than nuclear DNA and the amount of time between the killings and the tests means this should not be treated as "proof" Kosminski was the ripper. There are still a few difficulties in the timeline. However, it does add warrant to the theory that Kosminski was the ripper. I see many arguing that there is a lack of evidence for the crime, but it seems to me the problem is that most of the actual evidence in the case is no longer extant; those who had the evidence in the case; at least some of those in the know thought Kominski was the ripper, and while there are issues in the reporting it should not be discounted by moderns infected by chronological snobbery. It would seem to me, Kosminski should be treated as a more likely candidate today than last week.

      Think of it this way, there is an artifact that has somehow been associated with the ripper should have markers matching the mDNA of one of the best suspects in the case. On the one hand the breaks in the chain of evidence mean we should not over estimate it, but it is a rather interesting coincidence; that would bear a small resemblance to a Gettier problem.
      Last edited by KRS; 03-19-2019, 01:24 AM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by theshamanisright View Post

        Yes it was peer reviewed, but as other people have mentioned, the science is dubious, who the shawl belonged to is uncertain, and there are a multitude of reasons that Kosminski is a bad suspect.
        I know the whole shawl thing has been done to death here.

        But if it can be proven the shawl has DNA from Catherine Eddowes (and Kosminksi) then conundrums about provenance become a moot point and would surely mean the gist of the Amos Simpson story is true.

        I also can’t see how it can be a question of contamination.

        Dr Louhelainen claims that he found mtDNA from blood stains (and matched it to a descendant of Catherine Eddowes) and from a kidney cell that he extracted from semen stains (and matched it to a descendant of Kosminski).

        They’re very specific claims that would seemingly rule out contamination by touch, sneezing or whatever at some Ripper Con.

        I’ve read the manuscript ‘Forensic Investigation of a Shawl Linked to the “Jack the Ripper” Murders’ and Dr Louhelainen also states the methods he used to eliminate contamination.

        Dr Louhelainen’s manuscript has been peer reviewed prior to publication. This would suggest that those scientific peers do not believe he has made a mistake with his methodology.

        I totally respect that everyone has their opinion and for those who write this whole thing off hey no worries.

        Dr Louhelainen has impeccable credentials and work experience in his field and I do wonder if we’re prejudiced against his claims partly because of the Patricia Cornwell experience (which has never been subject to peer review and is also addressed in his paper) and partly because of negative perceptions some people have of Russell Edwards.

        In the various past “Shawl” posts on this forum people demanded that his results were peer reviewed and he always consistently said he would when things died down a bit.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by phantom View Post

          I also can’t see how it can be a question of contamination.

          Dr Louhelainen claims that he found mtDNA from blood stains (and matched it to a descendant of Catherine Eddowes) and from a kidney cell that he extracted from semen stains (and matched it to a descendant of Kosminski).

          They’re very specific claims that would seemingly rule out contamination by touch, sneezing or whatever at some Ripper Con.

          I’ve read the manuscript ‘Forensic Investigation of a Shawl Linked to the “Jack the Ripper” Murders’ and Dr Louhelainen also states the methods he used to eliminate contamination.
          Ruled out, that might be an overstatement, but it would seem to be an odd series of coincidences, which is why I think it adds warrant, but not "proof" Kosminski was the killer, particularly given the eyewitness testimony the police claimed for Kosminski.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by KRS View Post

            Ruled out, that might be an overstatement, but it would seem to be an odd series of coincidences, which is why I think it adds warrant, but not "proof" Kosminski was the killer, particularly given the eyewitness testimony the police claimed for Kosminski.
            I actually said “seemingly rule out”.
            And you’d still need someone bleeding and ejaculating on the shawl because as I said it is from those stains that the mtDNA has apparently been collected.

            Comment


            • #21
              Right, actually I was thinking you illustrated the point I made above. Yes, the artifact in question has an issue with the chain of evidence, and yes mtDNA is not as certain as nuclear DNA, but it is an interesting set of coincidences that the findings would seem to match Kosminski theory of the crimes. Not intended as a criticism.

              It means Kosminski is replacing David Cohen in my notes as most likely suspect, but it isn't eliminating all the others. It is an interesting set of coincidences if a piece of cloth that family lore claims came from a ripper victim has mtDNA that just happens to match the victim and another sample of mtDNA that happens to match one of the leading police suspects in the case. Certain, no. But also something that should not be dismissed as some of the other tests performed that did not have the same set of double mtDNA matches.
              Last edited by KRS; 03-19-2019, 02:39 AM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by KRS View Post
                Right, actually I was thinking you illustrated the point I made above. Yes, the artifact in question has an issue with the chain of evidence, and yes mtDNA is not as certain as nuclear DNA, but it is an interesting set of coincidences that the findings would seem to match Kosminski theory of the crimes. Not intended as a criticism.

                It means Kosminski is replacing David Cohen in my notes as most likely suspect, but it isn't eliminating all the others. It is an interesting set of coincidences if a piece of cloth that family lore claims came from a ripper victim has mtDNA that just happens to match the victim and another sample of mtDNA that happens to match one of the leading police suspects in the case. Certain, no. But also something that should not be dismissed as some of the other tests performed that did not have the same set of double mtDNA matches.
                No worries here. And I hear you.
                I haven’t boarded the K-Train just yet either, still waiting on the platform.

                Personally, I used to think that Kosminski was just another shambling lunatic foreigner who the Police tried to stitch up.

                I wasn’t convinced by the David Cohen theory either, although I was impressed by the argument in favour of his candidacy made by John Douglas in ‘The Cases That Haunt Us’ even though I think he confused aspects of Cohen with Kosminski.

                It’s only been in recent years that I have unbiasedly acknowledged Kosminski as the strongest police suspect and that’s only really because we have Anderson declaring and Swanson implying that he was the murderer. IMO the strongest case for Kosminski is made by Rob House in ‘Jack the Ripper and The Case for Scotland Yard’s Prime Suspect’.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I had held to David Cohen for a very long time; I read Fido's book The Crimes, Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper in the 90s when I picked it up from a sale (first book on the Ripper I had read since Knight in the late 80s in high school, but still a great read, and first rate research.) Everything I've read since led to Cohen as my primary suspect, Kosminski as my secondary suspect. Douglas's The Cases that Haunt Us was a secondary sort of corroboration for my own thinking as well.

                  I think some of the issues with the Kosminski theory with moderns is that we have our own set of prejudices, including a number of negative assumptions about the intellect of anyone living before the middle or end of the twentieth century, due to some of the epistemological problems inherent in post-modernism particularly as it influences the humanities.

                  House is on my list of reads, but my time is rather limited to be a serious "armchair ripperologist." Still, I like to keep up. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Hello KRS and Phantom:

                    So am I right in saying that :

                    1. The identities of the two living blood donors, supposedly relatives of Kosminski and Eddowes, have not been made public for confidentiality reasons? So no independent researchers have confirmed their identities? Is that correct, or am I mistaken?

                    2. Further, that the actual details of the mDNA results have also not been published, but were instead "translated" into colored boxes in order to maintain the 'confidentiality' of the mDNA sequences?


                    So, if I understand it correctly, the precise details of the results have not been published in order to protect the identities of two donors, whose names have also not been made public.

                    And you have no problem with this?

                    As one of my friends likes to say, 'what could possibly go wrong?'







                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                      Hello KRS and Phantom:

                      So am I right in saying that :

                      1. The identities of the two living blood donors, supposedly relatives of Kosminski and Eddowes, have not been made public for confidentiality reasons? So no independent researchers have confirmed their identities? Is that correct, or am I mistaken?

                      2. Further, that the actual details of the mDNA results have also not been published, but were instead "translated" into colored boxes in order to maintain the 'confidentiality' of the mDNA sequences?


                      So, if I understand it correctly, the precise details of the results have not been published in order to protect the identities of two donors, whose names have also not been made public.

                      And you have no problem with this?

                      As one of my friends likes to say, 'what could possibly go wrong?'






                      Hi rjpalmer


                      In the book 'Naming Jack the Ripper' Russell Edwards states that the descendant of Catherine Eddowes he obtained a DNA sample from is a lady named Kate Miller. There's a lengthy chapter about it beginning on p.185.

                      On p.275 he states that the descendant of Aaron Kosminski is related to him via Matilda Lubnowski-Cohen. He goes on to say "I am not naming her here, nor giving any personal information about her, because she does not want to be exposed to cranks and weirdos..."

                      Can't blame her there.

                      In the paper 'Forensic Investigation of a shawl linked to the "Jack the Ripper" murders' written by Dr Jari Louhelainen and Dr David Miller, both descendant's details were indeed withheld from the paper to protect their anonymity.

                      It's also a publishing requirement. I draw your attention to some info I posted earlier re: peer review/publishing process.

                      I think the peer review process would be concerned with the integrity of Dr Louhelainen's methodology rather than verifying family trees.

                      Are you suggesting that the wrong descendants have been identified?

                      Maybe you could check out Kate Miller's family tree.

                      Re: Kosminski's (alleged) descendant you could try contacting Dr Louhelainen and/or Russell Edwards to obtain that info.

                      And if they're hesitant about divulging that info to you, I'd propose recommending that they give the information to a trusted researcher(s) such as Paul Begg, Keith Skinner, Neil Bell for instance, on the condition that they verify the descendant's relationship to Kosminski while preserving her identity from the public.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                        Hello KRS and Phantom:

                        So am I right in saying that :

                        1. The identities of the two living blood donors, supposedly relatives of Kosminski and Eddowes, have not been made public for confidentiality reasons? So no independent researchers have confirmed their identities? Is that correct, or am I mistaken?

                        2. Further, that the actual details of the mDNA results have also not been published, but were instead "translated" into colored boxes in order to maintain the 'confidentiality' of the mDNA sequences?


                        So, if I understand it correctly, the precise details of the results have not been published in order to protect the identities of two donors, whose names have also not been made public.

                        And you have no problem with this?

                        As one of my friends likes to say, 'what could possibly go wrong?'






                        Another issue with this shawl and its alleged connection to Eddowes is that had she been wearing it at the time she was murdered I would expect there to have been significant blood on it bearing in mind women wear shawls around their neck and shoulders, and having regard to the fact that her throat was cut i would have expected there to have been significant blood transference. Now before everyone says well it could have been washed. Even with washing a number of times modern forensic methods would likely as not be able to still detect blood, so another nail in the shawl coffin.

                        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Wearing at the time of her murder:
                          • Black straw bonnet trimmed in green and black velvet with black beads. Black strings, worn tied to the head.
                          • Black cloth jacket trimmed around the collar and cuffs with imitation fur and around the pockets in black silk braid and fur. Large metal buttons.
                          • Dark green chintz skirt, 3 flounces, brown button on waistband. The skirt is patterned with Michaelmas daisies and golden lilies.
                          • Man's white vest, matching buttons down front.
                          • Brown linsey bodice, black velvet collar with brown buttons down front
                          • Grey stuff petticoat with white waistband
                          • Very old green alpaca skirt (worn as undergarment)
                          • Very old ragged blue skirt with red flounces, light twill lining (worn as undergarment)
                          • White calico chemise
                          • No drawers or stays
                          • Pair of men's lace up boots, mohair laces. Right boot repaired with red thread
                          • 1 piece of red gauze silk worn as a neckerchief
                          • 1 large white pocket handkerchief
                          • 1 large white cotton handkerchief with red and white bird's eye border
                          • 2 unbleached calico pockets, tape strings
                          • 1 blue stripe bed ticking pocket
                          • Brown ribbed knee stockings, darned at the feet with white cotton
                          No mention of a Shawl. Also, wasn't most if not all City police archives/records lost in the blitz. Would this not be also true of the shawl, if there was one,[ I am assuming here it would be kept with their files/records on the murders].
                          Regards Darryl

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                            Wearing at the time of her murder:
                            • Black straw bonnet trimmed in green and black velvet with black beads. Black strings, worn tied to the head.
                            • Black cloth jacket trimmed around the collar and cuffs with imitation fur and around the pockets in black silk braid and fur. Large metal buttons.
                            • Dark green chintz skirt, 3 flounces, brown button on waistband. The skirt is patterned with Michaelmas daisies and golden lilies.
                            • Man's white vest, matching buttons down front.
                            • Brown linsey bodice, black velvet collar with brown buttons down front
                            • Grey stuff petticoat with white waistband
                            • Very old green alpaca skirt (worn as undergarment)
                            • Very old ragged blue skirt with red flounces, light twill lining (worn as undergarment)
                            • White calico chemise
                            • No drawers or stays
                            • Pair of men's lace up boots, mohair laces. Right boot repaired with red thread
                            • 1 piece of red gauze silk worn as a neckerchief
                            • 1 large white pocket handkerchief
                            • 1 large white cotton handkerchief with red and white bird's eye border
                            • 2 unbleached calico pockets, tape strings
                            • 1 blue stripe bed ticking pocket
                            • Brown ribbed knee stockings, darned at the feet with white cotton
                            No mention of a Shawl. Also, wasn't most if not all City police archives/records lost in the blitz. Would this not be also true of the shawl, if there was one,[ I am assuming here it would be kept with their files/records on the murders].
                            Regards Darryl
                            Her property would likely as not have either been handed back to her next of kin or Kelly or they might have disposed of it after the inquest. I doubt it would have been kept there would have been no point it would not have been of any evidential value

                            www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                              Her property would likely as not have either been handed back to her next of kin or Kelly or they might have disposed of it after the inquest. I doubt it would have been kept there would have been no point it would not have been of any evidential value

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                              That's a fair point Trevor

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Could there possibly be mug shots of any of the Ripper victims still lying about somewhere undiscovered? The daily mail every now and then pulls some right blinders. with pictures of criminals from all over the country. There could be a picture of Eddowes with her shawl taken after one of her many drunk and disorderly episodes.

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