History | By: N Quentin Woolf

Londonist Out Loud: The Jack The Ripper Debate

Welcome to the latest episode of Londonist Out Loud, a podcast about London.

A bumper episode this one — N Quentin Woolf meets Russell Edwards, who thinks he's unmasked Jack the Ripper. Except the interview didn't quite go as usual...

Please do let us know your thoughts via Twitter @londonistsound and @londonist or in the comments.

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Londonist Out Loud is presented and produced by N Quentin Woolf.

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This was a really great episode. Good work asking the hard questions and following journalistic instinct.

Mary Ellis

Great Episode, best one I heard in a long time. Keep up the great work.


Yes, great podcast. Good work Quentin - I think the clue may be in Russ describing himself as an entrepreneur ! Bit of a londonist out loud mystery at the end though - both the iTunes and acast versions finish 1 or 2 minutes early?


Hi! I'm learning English and I have hust found your website and I really like it. I was wondering if you could add the transcription to the podcasts. It would really help me to improve my English.


Can't remember when I've rolled my eyes that hard during a podcast. I think it's clear where Russ is coming from. Glad you decided to follow up those logic loopholes.

Konstantin Pinaev

Great episode.
My favourite bit was his conspiracy theory about ripperologists trying to keep the name secret! You can see their dilemma - make millions now or make it into history forever as someone who solved the biggest crime mystery on Earth. Sounds like Russ was trying to do both.


Great podcast today. It seems there is an answer for everything whatever the question may be… a tough one to sort out the chaff from the wheat so to speak. Altogether a fascinating episode and well done for following through the next day. Great stuff.

James Creedy

Best pod so far IMO. Can't believe we were left hanging like that at the end though. I thought I'd not downloaded all of it. Thanks for going back with the follow-up.

Did he say why the bodily fluids didn't make the dye run in the garment?

Chris Phillips

The real problem with the DNA evidence is that the matches may be "100%", but they are only for "small segments", which represent a tiny percentage of the whole mitochondrial DNA sequence. Depending on the segment, the commonest such sequences can be shared by more than a quarter of the population. Unless the sequence is rare, a match like this is worthless for identification purposes. In the case of the "Catherine Eddowes" match, Edwards and Louhelainen mistakenly thought the sequence was extremely rare. That mistake was pointed out to them within a few weeks of publication, but for months they refused to comment on it. Finally they have acknowledged the error, and the erroneous information has been silently removed from the paperback edition. But no information about the rarity of the sequence has been put in its place. Without that information, the claimed matches are absolutely meaningless.