I never knew where I was going, I never knew what I was doing – that’s why you never nailed me…you never knew.

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Was Serial Killer Jack The Ripper A Woman?

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New Evidence suggest that notorious serial killer, Jack The Ripper, who stalked London’s East End, butchering prostitutes and terrorizing the population, might have been a woman. This story first appeared on May, 2006, but now there is more reason to believe those speculations are true. His victims were all prostitutes, murdered and mutilated in the foggy alleyways of Whitechapel. By the surgical nature of the wounds, the killer was assumed to have some surgical knowledge.

An Australian scientist has used swabs from letters supposedly sent to police by the Ripper to build a partial DNA profile of the killer. The results suggest that the person who murdered and mutilated at least five women from 1888 onwards may have been a woman.

Ian Findlay, a professor of molecular and forensic diagnostics had developed a profiling technique that could extract DNA from a single cell or strand of hair up to 160 years old, while conventional DNA sampling methods required at least 200 cells.

He examined the material, which was kept by Scotland Yard until 1961. It includes letters sent to police at the time, some of them signed “Jack the Ripper”. Most are believed to be fakes, but a handful are thought to have been written by the killer. Dr Findlay took swabs from the back of stamps and from the gum used to seal envelopes, and possible bloodstains. He took his haul back to Brisbane, where – concentrating on swabs from the so-called “Openshaw letter” (click on the picture for the full size view of the letter), the one believed most likely to be genuine – he extracted the DNA and then amplified the information to create a profile. The results were “inconclusive” and not forensically reliable, but he did construct a partial profile and based on this analysis, he said, “it’s possible the Ripper could be female”.

The chief suspects were all man, and only Frederick Abberline, the detective who led the investigation, thought it possible the killer was a woman. This was because the fifth victim, Mary Kelly, was “seen” by witnesses hours after she was killed. Abberline thought this was the murderer running away, in Kelly’s clothes.

The only female suspect was Mary Pearcey, who was convicted of murdering her lover’s wife, Phoebe Hogg, in 1890 and hanged. She apparently employed a similar modus operandi to the Ripper.

-article by Kathy Marks, rewritten and addapted by admin-

     

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