Remember Jack The Ripper? Researchers Look For The Remains Of His Last Victim To No Avail
Serial killers have always intrigued human psychology with unknown questions about their own mind and motive. One of the most infamous serial killers to go down human history is Britain's Jack The Ripper.
In a bid to find the body of his last alleged victim Mary Jane Kelly, a team of researchers, famed for finding Richard III's remains have been commissioned.
The researchers have been commissioned by renowned writer Patricia Cornwell who just released her second book on the Ripper.
The Mary Jane Kelly Project
The researchers have been hired by Cornwall to look into the possibility of discovering the precise burial location of Kelly along with the condition of her remains. If her remains are found, researchers wants to run a DNA analysis on them in order to find her correct identity, as a surgeon named Wynne Weston-Davies believes that Kelly was his great aunt Elizabeth Weston Davies.
The team of researchers includes Dr. Turi King, the leading geneticist of Richard III project. He is also a reader at University of Leicester, in genetics and archaeology. The group also included Professor Kevin Schürer, Carl Vivian, video producer of Richard III project and Mathew Morris, who discovered the remains of Richard III.
Roadblock In The Study
However, the study due to some unavoidable circumstances has met with a roadblock. During the process of research, the team faced two major difficulties. The first was regarding the license to exhume Kelly's remains. It was reported by media widely in 2015 that the Ministry of Justice in Britain would give out an exhumation licence to Wynne Weston-Davies.
Nevertheless, the information was partially correct as the Ministry had only accepted that it would mull over the matter if such an application was submitted. Thus the Ministry did not actually grant any permission to Davies or anyone else to exhume the graves.
The second problem is the major roadblock which has brought the research to a standstill. It was found during the research that the burial remnants of a number of other graves will have to be disturbed in order to know and identify the grave of Mary Jane Kelly.
The problems surrounding Kelly's grave arises from the fact that the cemetery ground was reused in 1947, with removal of earlier grave positions to make place for new burials. According to the current law for human remain exhumation in Wales and England, the consent of the close relative for each person who remains buried in the graves is required.
Considering, the fact that to find Kelly's exact burial ground many more remain would have to exhumed, it is time consuming and expensive to trace down, find and seek consent from each of dead person's relatives.
"Given the number of individuals whose remains would likely be disturbed, it would take months, possibly years, of genealogical research to trace them all," stated Schürer.
In the end, however, the team decided that to look for Kelly's remnants, even if it survived would require a painstaking process and "herculean" efforts which will not guarantee success.
King in conclusion stated that the majority of human remains that are discovered during exhumations are not successfully identified and remain anonymous forever, which may also be the case for Mary Jane Kelly.
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