Ask ANIMAL: Why Were Police Allowed To Test The Serial Killer’s Pizza Crust for DNA

July 17, 2023 | Bucky Turco

Police tracking down a high profile murder suspect by collecting DNA from a piece of half-eaten pizza crust in a pizza box that was discarded into a public trash can on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, is one of the craziest (and most New York) details to emerge out of the highly publicized arrest of Rex Heuermann, the otherwise normie-architect who’s believed to be the Long Island Serial Killer.

One of our more criminally-minded readers sent a DM asking: “Can they legally test for DNA just cuz it was thrown out in public?”

The answer is yes, and it has to do with the limitations to the protections provided by the 4th Amendment, which covers unreasonable search and seizures. According to civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby, because the suspect tossed his food out in public, there are “no 4th amendments rights in abandoned property.” That means the authorities didn’t need a search warrant to collect the evidence and send it to a Long Island crime lab to be tested. From there, they matched it to a single hair found in the bottom of one of the burlap bags Heuermann used to dispose of his victims, thereby cracking the case. The more you know!