This won’t change my weekend plans:
JACK the Ripper could well be a Jill.
In a bid to crack the identity of one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time, technology developed in Australia has tested 118-year-old DNA the notorious serial killer may have left behind and built a partial female profile. Scientist Ian Findlay today said the partial profile had been created from saliva possibly from the Ripper on the back of stamps on the envelopes of letters sent to London police.
Most of the 600 or so letters claiming to have come from the Ripper – who butchered at least five prostitutes in London’s East End in 1888 – have been dismissed as hoaxes but a few are thought to be genuine.
Brisbane-based Professor Findlay said he used his method, called Cell Track-ID, capable of extracting and compiling a DNA fingerprint from a single cell or strand of hair up to 160 years old.
It can amplify information from a single cell and is hundreds of times more powerful than DNA profiling techniques used by crime fighting bodies such as the FBI that require at least 200 human cells.
“It’s possible the Ripper could be female but the results are inconclusive,” said Prof Findlay, who is the chief scientific officer at the Gribbles Molecular Science forensic lab.