Vital DNA evidence has finally uncovered the identity of notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper.
The man behind the grisly killing spree in London’s East End has been unveiled as Aaron Kosminkski, a 23-year-old Polish immigrant who ended up dying in an asylum.
A blood soaked shawl, purchased by author Russell Edwards, led to the breakthrough when a scientist matched DNA evidence left on it to descendants of Kosminski.
Mr Edwards, 48, from Barnet, north London, was "captivated" by the murder mystery and had been investigating it in his spare time, but had come to the conclusion it could never be solved.
But then in 2007 he saw a shawl found by the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper's victims, was up for sale.
He said the shawl had been taken by acting Sergeant Amos Simpson, who was on duty the night of Eddowes's death and wanted it for his wife.
But horrified at the blood-soaked wrap, she never wore it, and it was stored away and passed down through the generations until it came to auction seven years ago.
Mr Edwards said: “Here I am with the shawl and possibly the evidence to solve the most unsolvable murder in English criminal history. But where do I start? That was the big question.
"I enlisted the help of Jari and we embarked on a three-and-a-half year journey."
"When we discovered the truth it was the most amazing feeling of my entire life."
Mr Edwards said the discovery 126 years after the murders proves beyond doubt that Kosminski - one of the six key suspects commonly cited as the Ripper - was the actual killer.
Kosminski was born in the Polish town of Klodawa, when it was under the Russian Empire in 1865. He emigrated to the UK in 1881 and lived with his family in Whitechapel.
He was forcibly put in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, and he remained in asylums until his death in 1919, aged 53.
Jack the Ripper is believed to have killed between five and 11 women in the Whitechapel area which began in 1888. Police identified Kosminski as a suspect, but never had enough evidence to bring him to trial.