A few months ago I read the book “Naming Jack the Ripper” by Russell Edwards. Here are my thoughts…
This was the first book to come along in years on the subject that actually seemed to get it right straight from the beginning. A businessman from England; Edwards was, and still is, fascinated with the history of London. This fascination led him to a rare piece of evidence taken from one of the notorious killer’s crime scenes: a shawl that belonged to the 4th victim: Catherine Eddows. DNA results are linked to surviving members of her family. Forensic testing also concluded that there were other traces of DNA on the shawl that did not belong to the victim. A heart pounding search was conducted and after months of research, Russell and his team of experts had nothing to go on. Having spent his families savings and nearly broke, Edwards decided to give it one last shot. He chose as his subject, Scotland Yard’s favorite suspect: Aaron Kosminski. The results were irrefutable. Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper.
Thos of us armature detectives never once believed that it was Kosminski. He didn’t fit the part of the Victorian killer lurking in the shadows. We also never believed that the killer would be found. With every new suspect (James Maybrick, Walter Sickert) there’s a heightened sense of anxiety; but it always turned out to be false. Am I glad that history finally has a face to the name? Sure. Am I 100% convinced? No, maybe 98%. That last 2% is still holding on that the killer is still hiding the shadows, waiting for his next victim. That’s much more fun. I feel a bit left out in the cold.
Great book though.