How A Slice Of Pizza Helped Catch A Serial Killer

Pizza often enjoys the reputation of being one of America's favorite cuisines. We love it for its crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings. Whether you prefer deep dish or New York style, pizza is always pizza. On average, people consume about 46 slices in a single year.

Even though it is a classic, it's still extremely versatile. You can dress pizza up with fancy toppings, have it at a backyard birthday party, or even eat it cold after a long night of bar hopping. Pizza is both filling and satisfying. The Washington Post says our love for this food is part of our chemical makeup because we tend to gravitate towards foods that are fatty, sweet, and rich.

The science of pizza goes a lot further than this. In 2010, a slice of pizza helped police catch a serial killer nicknamed the "Grim Sleeper." We knew pizza was powerful, but this takes it to a whole new level, right?

A half-eaten pizza slice was key evidence

According to Rolling Stone, the Grim Sleeper got his nickname because of the 25 (or so) murders he committed over three decades. The Grim Sleeper went after women who were less likely to be missed (women of color, prostitutes, addicts) and the Los Angeles police did very little investigating until the early 2000s.

Although the DNA collected from the murders did not match anyone in the California felon system, there was a close familiar match — the Grim Sleeper's son. Mental Floss says an undercover officer followed the Grim Sleeper to a birthday party, where a half-eaten slice of pizza was collected as evidence. This slice of pizza provided investigators with enough DNA to charge and convict the Grim Sleeper.

After sitting on death row for 10 years, the Grim Sleeper died in prison. We may never know the full extent of his crimes, but his victims will always be remembered.