Picture of Buck's Row Whitechapel in London's East End (now Durward St) - site of Jack the Ripper's first murder on 31 August 1888. Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols' body was discovered 3 metres back from the corner of the tall brick building.

Take a Ripper virtual tour from the first murder scene. Click on the map below to view all 5 murder scenes and other key locations in the hunt for the world's first recognised serial killer.

Buck's Row Whitechapel

Jack the Ripper's London 1888

View Jack the Ripper Walk, Whitechapel, Greater London UK in a larger map

This link will take you to the key points in London where Jack the Ripper carried out his 5 murders
over 71 days from 31 August 1888 to 9 November 1888. You can use this map to make your own Jack the
Ripper walk around London or to trace the movements of the Whitechapel killer whose identity has
never been established.

Author claims to have identified Jack the Ripper via DNA testing of a shawl

Jack the Ripper, one of the most notorious serial killers in history, has been identified through DNA traces found on this shawl, according to a book to be published Tuesday. The fabric was taken from the murder scene of Jack the Ripper's fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes. 

In the end, it may have taken a Johnny Depp movie, a shawl and a DNA test to solve the mystery behind one of the most notorious serial killing sprees in London: Who was Jack the Ripper?

British businessman and noted "Ripperologist" Russell Edwards claims to have finally and conclusively identified the serial killer as Aaron Kosminski, a Polish immigrant and barber.

Edwards unmasked his candidate for Jack the Ripper in the Daily Mail and chronicles how he came to the conclusion in a forthcoming book.

Kosminski has long been one of the more credible suspects in the five gruesome murders of women in the London's East End in 1888. Born in central Poland on Sept. 11, 1865, he moved with his family moved to east London in the early 1880s, and lived near the murder scenes, according to Agence France Presse.

He ended up in a workhouse the year after the murders and was described as destitute; a year later, he was discharged but eventually ended up in an insane asylum -- he was thought to have been "seriously mentally ill," Edwards writes -- where he died from gangrene in 1919. A witness had identified Kosminski as the murderer at the time.

Edwards said his interest in Jack the Ripper began after he watched "From Hell," a 2001 film about the murders that starred Depp as a clairvoyant police inspector.

In 2007, Edwards bought a shawl that had been discovered at the scene of the murder of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth Ripper victim. Before Edwards bought it, the shawl belonged to the relative of a police official who had been allowed to take it home to his dressmaker wife, Edwards writes. "Incredibly, it was stowed without ever being washed," and handed down in the family, he said.

A contemporary sketch of Polish
 emigre Aaron Kosminski. 

When Edwards bought the shawl, he subjected it to DNA testing, which confirmed that the blood on it belonged to Eddowes. A UV light showed semen on the fabric. That DNA was compared to that of a Kosminski descendant, Edwards writes.

The identity of Jack the Ripper has eluded Brits for over a century and obsessed everyone from serious academics to armchair detectives. Queen Victoria's grandson Prince Albert Victor was thought to be a suspect at one point, but it turned out he wasn't near the murders at the time. Other suspects have included Mary Pearcey ("Jill the Ripper"), who had been convicted of murdering her lover's wife; in 2006, an Australian scientist, pointing to DNA results, suggested the killer may have been a woman.

Historian Mei Trow had previously identified mortuary attendant Robert Mann as Jack the Ripper, using "psychological and geographical profiling,"the Daily Mail wrote in 2009. The murder victims' bodies would have been delivered to the mortuary where Mann worked, where he was suspected to have "admire[d] his handiwork."

In claiming that Jack the Ripper was definitely, most assuredly Aaron Kosminski, Edwards has generated serious skepticism; as Agence France-Presse points out, the findings haven't been subjected to the methodology required for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

And the man who invented the DNA finger-printing technique, Alec Jefferys, called for greater scrutiny, telling The Independent it was "n interesting but remarkable claim that needs to be subjected to peer review, with detailed analysis of the provenance of the shawl and the nature of the claimed DNA match with the perpetrator's descendants and its power of discrimination; no actual evidence has yet been provided."

No matter who Jack the Ripper was, he remains one of the least liked figures in British history: Several years ago, in a BBC History Magazine survey, Jack the Ripper was voted the worst Briton of the last 1,000 years.