Sometimes criminals are caught because of their own greed. Sometimes it is because of hard evidence. And sometimes it’s all about the cheese… These intruders were brought to justice because of their love of pizza.
- The case of a serial killer
In 2010, detectives in Los Angeles began to suspect that a serial killer nicknamed Grim Sleeper, which can be roughly translated as the Grim Sleeper, is Lonnie Franklin Jr., a black American born in 1952. Between 1985 and 2007, he killed at least 10 women.
He was brought to the police by DNA analysis, which showed that the killer probably belongs to the Franklin family. However, it was the DNA of the killer that they needed to prove their guilt.
The DNA was obtained when Lonnie Franklin stopped at an Orange County pizzeria. After the killer had finished his pizza, the undercover detective took a plate with the leftovers of food and a napkin, allegedly to throw away, while in fact sent for examination.
The judge found the collected evidence admissible, as a result, Franklin was sentenced to death in 2016.
- The case of the vegan fugitive
Restaurant Sarma Melnhaylis was the owner of a vegan place in New York called Pure Food and Wine. However, together with her husband, they unwisely disposed of investors’ money. Thus, about 2 million dollars the couple spent on travel and gambling.
In 2014, Melngailis withdrew $1.6 million from her working account and transferred it to her personal account without paying her employees’ salaries. About a year she and her husband spent on the run until they were caught in the state of Tennessee in 2016 at the order of Domino’s pizza in their real name. The pizza, by the way, was not vegetarian, the order also included chicken wings.
Melngailis, who subsequently claimed that she did not eat any meat dishes from this order, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months for theft in large amounts and tax evasion. Her husband also pleaded guilty and spent a year behind bars. In 2018, the couple divorced.
- The case of robbery of a pizza delivery guy
One Friday night in July 2016, the driver of Papa John’s pizzeria got out of his car in Odenton, Maryland. An armed man approached him immediately and, threatening with a gun, demanded that the courier give him the cash and pizza.
The police, who arrived at the scene, found an empty pizza box and sent it for examination. Already on Wednesday, as a result of the evidence obtained and the examination of eyewitnesses, the perpetrator was identified – 19-year-old Berschon Bertram Elijah Wheeler. He was charged with armed robbery, assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, use of firearms and theft of up to $100. Wheeler admitted his guilt.
- Alimentists case
In 2006, Cynthia Brown, the then head of the Child Support Agency in Butler County, Ohio, ordered pizza and noticed that several coupons were attached to the box. This led her to believe that if pizzerias could attach coupons, why not do the same with pictures of parents not paying child support?
Brown agreed with three pizzerias and asked them to place ads on the 10 most evil child support defaulters. Soon the first of them was caught hiding from the authorities.
- The case of abduction of the head of a hedge fund
In January 2003, the president of ESL Investments, Edward Lampert, spent about 30 hours as hostages of three kidnappers who demanded ransom for him. He was held at a hotel in Hamden, Connecticut, until Lampert managed to convince them to release him by promising to pay $5 million for the ransom.
Meanwhile, one of the kidnappers took Lampert’s credit cards and gave them away to his friends. One of them eventually ordered a pizza, and shortly after that FBI agents broke into the place and detained the criminals. Renaldo Rose, the gang leader, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. After his early release, he returned to his homeland – Jamaica.