Over the weekend, one of the oldest cold cases in the books was revived—that of Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who murdered and eviscerated five prostitutes in London in 1885. A self-proclaimed “armchair detective,” Russell Edwards, took on solving the case as a macabre hobby and is releasing a book on it tomorrow with his findings. In an excerpt pre-released by the Daily Mail, he “definitely, categorically, and absolutely” names Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski as the killer.
And because armchair detectives watch a lot of movies, Edwards told the Mail that he got into the case after watching From Hell, the splashy 2001 thriller starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham that postulates that Jack the Ripper’s murders were part of a Freemason conspiracy. (The film is based on the Alan Moore graphic novel by the same name.) Edwards has been interested in the case since the film’s release, and in 2007, he bought a bloodstained shawl at an auction that was allegedly found near the body of victim Catherine Eddowes. Using “cutting-edge” techniques, Edwards and a molecular biologist analyzed DNA on the shawl they say pointed to it belonging to Eddowes—along with what they claim to be 126-year-old semen that points to Kosminski as the killer.
Numerous sources have observed that there are flaws with the method that Edwards used—and of course, certainty on a 126-year-old case is always going to be out of reach. But obviously, it was the Freemasons.