Well, it’s happened again. Jack the Ripper has been positively identified as Aaron Kosminski. He was a polish barber and who had been one of the prime suspects at the time. Apparently, he left semen stains on a shawl that has been described as the only piece of physical evidence known to be associated with the crimes. Those stains have been matched through DNA with Kosminski.
There is only one problem with this. In the last couple of years there have been others who have been identified as Jack the Ripper through some sort of forensic evidence. Each time, those reporting on it have made a big deal out of having finally, after more than a century and quarter, identified Jack the Ripper.
|H. H. Holmes|
There was a series that suggested that H.H. Holmes, the man who built the murder castle in Chicago was the real Ripper. Travel records and other documents suggested that he had been in England around the time of the killings. The murders seemed to stop after it was established that Holmes had returned to the United States.
Of course, there is James Maybrick, who in 2017, was identified as Jack. This evidence was a diary found Mike Barrett a number of years ago in house that had belonged to Maybrick. In the diary Maybrick confessed to the five murders universally attributed to Jack. Although wrapped in controversy, Bruce Robinson, believed that he had found evidence that the diary was real. Maybrick died in 1889, not long after the killing ended which added some weight to the claim. Of course, the claim that the diary was genuine was destroyed when Barrett said that he had made up the whole thing… a confession that he eventually retracted. What would be a good story if we didn’t have these sorts of complications.
Patricia Cromwell, the detective novelist, believed that she had identified the Ripper. She thought he was the Victorian painter, Walter Sickert. She bought some of his paintings hoping to recover DNA but that failed. She attempted to prove the case by claiming some of his paintings were a confession of sorts. Art critics didn’t think much of the idea.
I could go on in this vein but is it necessary? I could point out that there is a long list of those thought to be the Ripper. I could point out that many have their own, favorite candidates for the Ripper, and it seems that one is as good as the last. Next year we’ll have another story about the real Jack the Ripper.
But, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I had written a book, Conversations, in which the identities of Jack the Ripper were revealed. Yes, I said identities because, according the information I had, it seems that there were two men working in tandem, not unlike the Hillside Stranglers of a couple of decades ago.
In the history of those who do work in tandem, when one is removed from the other, the killing stops. If one died, the other, without the emotional support, would stop the killing. At least, that is the theory.
So, I would say that my theory is as good as any of the others, and I’ve laid it out in the book. I confess that it is a strange little book, that provides more than just a look at the Ripper murders, but at a whole range of other mass murderers and serial killers, some who carried out their crimes in the centuries before anyone had coined the term “serial killer.”
If you would like to read the book, it can be found on Amazon, of course. You can find it here:
Yes, this is a shameless plug for the book, but frankly, I don’t understand why it hasn’t done better. It’s an interesting book with some great detail and offers an intriguing theory… if nothing else, it contains some very interesting history. I was moved to write this post simply because, once again, we had another theory about who was Jack the Ripper… I gave an interesting answer a number of years ago.