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

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

    No comment, as I have not read it, nor do I know to what extent it has been peer reviewed. But I am posting here for discussion:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019...ty-jack-ripper

    Rob House

  • erobitha
    replied
    Newbie alert.

    I have always had problems with Kosminski being the Ripper and this peer review has frankly not done much to appease those concerns on the whole.

    Good news and bad news here from what I can gather.

    GOOD NEWS
    From what I understand mtDNA testing can only positively identify specific female individuals via inheritance testing due to certain genes it can detect and that line can be followed back in time. However it does not rule out that the blood could be from a female descendant of Eddowes either, as we have no guarantee the blood sample was that of Catherine Eddowes herself. Just being picky I would guess however, in all likelihood it most probably was her blood and her shawl. Whether it was at the crime scene is another debate. I'm willing to assume it was and therefore assume the Shawl is genuine.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitoch...le_inheritance

    BAD NEWS
    If the purpose of mtDNA testing was to apply the same rules above to the sperm donor (want of a better term) then that has failed, and will always fail. The testing cannot be done in the same manner in which the female inheritance testing can be done, not with humans at least. The best this testing can do is rule out groups of people. For instance, this test says the doner had brown eyes and brown hair. Which means it simply matches any man that may have very similar genetic markers such as brown hair and brown eyes. I imagine the relative of Kosminski who tested had brown hair and brown eyes. This is the bad news. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of men in London at the time most likely had brown hair and brown eyes. Thus, Kosminski HAS NOT been revealed as the ripper. My last point is also this, I am not aware of any dating science that is able to confirm that both the blood sample and semen sample were produced at the same time. I leave you with this thought, it could have been used as a very macabre inspiration for, ahem, self abuse by an individual with similar genetic markers much later on.

    I suspect the reason why "confidentiality" (there is zero chance of individuals being publicly tracked down with this data) is being used as an excuse for not confirming all of the above is because Mr Edwards knows very well that the shawl, whilst remains likely an intriguing artefact whose provenance has gained more credibility, is not the the smoking DNA gun that will pin point once and for all who Jack The Ripper was.
    Last edited by erobitha; 04-18-2019, 02:29 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Beowulf
    replied
    Rob,

    Listened to a podcast called Midnight in the desert (old Art Bell show) the other night. Their guest was Randy Williams who wrote Sherlock Holmes and Autumn of terror. I'm writing in to the host to ask you to do a show, hopefully they can find a contact for you, which I do not have or do not know that you might want to do a show but I think you would be quite interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • KRS
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

    From The Times of Israel (2014)

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Post me.JPG
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ID:	704008

    Sir Alec Jeffrey's observation about Louhelainen's error was made five years ago, KRS, when the "shawl" first received widespread media attention.

    Reading those original press releases, one would have concluded that this rare mutation would only be found in about 3 or 4 East Enders in a million. In reality, 99 out of 100 people in the East End would be expected to have had it, provided they were of European ancestry.

    This error may help explain why some of us are more "dismissive" of this "evidence" than you seem to be. I think, at the very least, Dr. Louhelainen should have demonstrated that he was in fact dealing with blood or semen stains.

    Further, let me remind you that nuclear DNA is unique. Given a long enough sequence, it is like a finger print. mDNA is not unique; it is more akin to a blood type. Many people might share the same sequence.

    How many people? It is difficult to know, because Dr. L only published colored boxes instead of his specific data. Considering the error the first time around, isn't this a little worrisome?

    The "usual dismissals of evidence" you refer to doesn't really apply. The shawl has been around for many years and has been considered and discussed at length. Best wishes.
    I just listened to the podcast on this, my earlier thoughts were based on a misreading of results, I'm seeing and, having gone through peer review in other fields, I would have thought issues needing corrected had been corrected before publication, but I guess the peer review process in the sciences is still in a certain degree of disarray. But I think my point was more to warrant and epistemology than anything else, I still consider the case invaluable, and we seem to assume our beliefs about the facts are more correct than they likely are.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tonylondon
    replied
    I also think there is a reasonable possibility that kosminsky was trained in Poland as a barber-surgeon which would mean he would have rudimentary knife anatomical skills which is what the experts say was required. There is an indication he did work at a hospital in Poland. No such post existed in the Uk which is why he probably worked albeit briefly as a barber only in London. My only issue was what hapened between the Mary Kelly murder and his incarceration in the lunatic assaylum 3 years later. The sheer ferocity of the Kelly murder may have led to such a mental collapse that left him incapable of killing again and his family looking after him until they finally just had to commit him

    Leave a comment:


  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by KRS View Post

    It seems to me that 2 isn't out of bounds, but it requires something other than the usual dismissals of evidence because of the double sets of DNA. This might be a line of reasoning demonstrating number 2, though it needs to be demonstrated rather than merely asserted.
    From The Times of Israel (2014)

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Post me.JPG
Views:	453
Size:	53.6 KB
ID:	704008

    Sir Alec Jeffrey's observation about Louhelainen's error was made five years ago, KRS, when the "shawl" first received widespread media attention.

    Reading those original press releases, one would have concluded that this rare mutation would only be found in about 3 or 4 East Enders in a million. In reality, 99 out of 100 people in the East End would be expected to have had it, provided they were of European ancestry.

    This error may help explain why some of us are more "dismissive" of this "evidence" than you seem to be. I think, at the very least, Dr. Louhelainen should have demonstrated that he was in fact dealing with blood or semen stains.

    Further, let me remind you that nuclear DNA is unique. Given a long enough sequence, it is like a finger print. mDNA is not unique; it is more akin to a blood type. Many people might share the same sequence.

    How many people? It is difficult to know, because Dr. L only published colored boxes instead of his specific data. Considering the error the first time around, isn't this a little worrisome?

    The "usual dismissals of evidence" you refer to doesn't really apply. The shawl has been around for many years and has been considered and discussed at length. Best wishes.

    Leave a comment:


  • KRS
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
    I recommend listening to the pod-cast on the shawl and the published paper (https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...ssor-turi-king). There are some serious questions concerning the analysis and results. The methodological details on the dna typing, etc, as presented are incomplete, making it hard for experts to evaluate what was done or what was found. In particular, it appears from what was presented there are some serious concerns (one being that when the sequencing was done in one direction they get a different result from when it is done in the other - that's a problem because whether you read a string of letters forwards or backwards, you should end up with the same conclusion and get the same string of letter i.e. if I read ABCD forwards I should get ABCD and backwards I should get DCBA, which is ABCD backwards). The sequencing in the paper doesn't get the same result, so that points to some sort of problem, and not one that can be explained by the age of the sample, apparently - it suggests something wasn't done properly.

    There were also concerns about the fact there are two mismatches between the suspect material and the Kosminsky reference sample (their maternal descendant). And the issue of contamination was mentioned a lot. Peer review is supposed to catch these kind of issues, and reviewers should have been asking for more details on the methodology. The concern over publishing mtDNA sequences of living people was noted as "this is not really a problem as 1) mtDNA does not individuate people and 2) this can be done provided the donors are fully informed and consent to that information being made public. And, given the importance of the sequences (finding a match but only in really common sequences would be quite different from finding a match in a very rare mutation, for example), this really should have been done.

    - Jeff
    That is an interesting point, as I noted, there are three possibilities, 1. additional evidence Kosminski was the ripper, 2. Fraud or incompetence in the testing, or 3. we need to look for a multiplication of causes, which is usually not ideal.

    It seems to me that 2 isn't out of bounds, but it requires something other than the usual dismissals of evidence because of the double sets of DNA. This might be a line of reasoning demonstrating number 2, though it needs to be demonstrated rather than merely asserted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherman
    replied
    Originally posted by GUT View Post

    Laughable fits the story well.

    but it doesnít clear Kos, it is the shawl theory thatís laughable, Aaron remains what he was before all this shawl nonsense kicked off, I canít believe that anyone buys it.
    I note that some say that Kosminskis viability is raised by the shawl business. If anything, being coupled to that sort of thing should make people smell a rat. Which, as you say, would not be fair either!

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffHamm
    replied
    I recommend listening to the pod-cast on the shawl and the published paper (https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...ssor-turi-king). There are some serious questions concerning the analysis and results. The methodological details on the dna typing, etc, as presented are incomplete, making it hard for experts to evaluate what was done or what was found. In particular, it appears from what was presented there are some serious concerns (one being that when the sequencing was done in one direction they get a different result from when it is done in the other - that's a problem because whether you read a string of letters forwards or backwards, you should end up with the same conclusion and get the same string of letter i.e. if I read ABCD forwards I should get ABCD and backwards I should get DCBA, which is ABCD backwards). The sequencing in the paper doesn't get the same result, so that points to some sort of problem, and not one that can be explained by the age of the sample, apparently - it suggests something wasn't done properly.

    There were also concerns about the fact there are two mismatches between the suspect material and the Kosminsky reference sample (their maternal descendant). And the issue of contamination was mentioned a lot. Peer review is supposed to catch these kind of issues, and reviewers should have been asking for more details on the methodology. The concern over publishing mtDNA sequences of living people was noted as "this is not really a problem as 1) mtDNA does not individuate people and 2) this can be done provided the donors are fully informed and consent to that information being made public. And, given the importance of the sequences (finding a match but only in really common sequences would be quite different from finding a match in a very rare mutation, for example), this really should have been done.

    - Jeff

    Leave a comment:


  • Tonylondon
    replied
    I have worked in the court service for years and seen cases collapse for the mishandling of evidence in modern times so would not for a minute try and judge the handling of a scene of crime item from over a130 years ago
    if There is an item of clothing proven to have dna that matches relatives of both Kominski and Eddowes on it along with 3 senior officers indirectly or directly ascertaining the guilt of Kominski i think that is strong evidence despite unclear provenance of the shawl

    Leave a comment:


  • GUT
    replied
    Originally posted by Fisherman View Post

    The autopsies said habitually in all the Ripper cases that there were "no traces of recent connection", and that will have meant basically that there was no semen present on or in the female body. Sadly, that does not rule out that Kosminski could have ejaculated over the shawl after the deed, so in that respect, we must accept the possibility of semen stains from Kosminski present on the shawl.

    However! If - which I do not believe at all - the shawl WAS present at the murder site, and IF - which I donīt believe either - it WAS found by Amos Simpson, it would present entirely new levels of incompetence if the shawl was not passed on to the case investigators for scrutinizing, in which case the semen stains would reasonably have been detected. The bloodstains alone would be reason enough not to lift the shawl out of the investigation and turn it into a gift for a policemans wife, a policeman who was probably never anywhere near the scene in the fist place.

    The whole suggestion is - at best - laughable.
    Laughable fits the story well.

    but it doesnít clear Kos, it is the shawl theory thatís laughable, Aaron remains what he was before all this shawl nonsense kicked off, I canít believe that anyone buys it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherman
    replied
    Originally posted by Tonylondon View Post
    I genuinely believe that this is the solution to the mystery Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper. For a case well over 100 years old no suspects evidence is going to be perfect. The overall evidence in my opinion is stronger than any other suspect.
    Fisherman I have worked in the criminal justice system for years and some levels of incompetence need to be seen to be believed!
    Iīm sure that is true - but when that fact is offered to incriminate somebody and accuse him for murder, I am inclined to say thanks, but no thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tonylondon
    replied
    I genuinely believe that this is the solution to the mystery Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper. For a case well over 100 years old no suspects evidence is going to be perfect. The overall evidence in my opinion is stronger than any other suspect.
    Fisherman I have worked in the criminal justice system for years and some levels of incompetence need to be seen to be believed!

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherman
    replied
    Originally posted by GUT View Post

    Well autopsy said no signs of congress, so I guess if you think intercourse did take place, you are right and you can let the mind think what you want, but if you follow the evidence it didnít, I know which I prefer, but then Iím a sucker for what evidence we have.
    The autopsies said habitually in all the Ripper cases that there were "no traces of recent connection", and that will have meant basically that there was no semen present on or in the female body. Sadly, that does not rule out that Kosminski could have ejaculated over the shawl after the deed, so in that respect, we must accept the possibility of semen stains from Kosminski present on the shawl.

    However! If - which I do not believe at all - the shawl WAS present at the murder site, and IF - which I donīt believe either - it WAS found by Amos Simpson, it would present entirely new levels of incompetence if the shawl was not passed on to the case investigators for scrutinizing, in which case the semen stains would reasonably have been detected. The bloodstains alone would be reason enough not to lift the shawl out of the investigation and turn it into a gift for a policemans wife, a policeman who was probably never anywhere near the scene in the fist place.

    The whole suggestion is - at best - laughable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Busy Beaver
    replied
    I am saying that Aaron Kosminski may have been a client of Eddowes weeks or months before JTR hit the headlines, but did not have full or any S.I. and her shawl,clothing got contaminated by other ways. AK was known to have been a fan of Mrs Palmer and her 5 lovely daughters.

    Leave a comment:

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