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"3 Pizza slices"

A girl was brutally attacked. But before she dies, the victim provides a clue written on the wall the word "MAR". The investigation leads the investigator to an escort service and the shootout between rivals. But a tiny clue found in an unlikely place exposed the real killer.

Airline customer service representatives deals with hundreds of complaints each day. Hannah enjoyed working for an airline, but when she learned that she had multiple sclerosis (A disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves.), she wanted how long she could continue. She was a real fighter and stood against all odds. One Saturday morning, Hannah's boyfriend John became concerned when he couldn't get touch with her. He was worried about her because that she had Multiple sclerosis early stages, she used to have blackouts and sometimes she wouldn't answer phone calls. So, John drove to Hannah's apartment to check up on her. He found the main door was jacked and he became concerned, went inside and he saw Hannah laying on the floor and blood everywhere. He immediately called the cops and gave the preliminary information, with in few mins paramedics came to site but they were too late.

Hannah pronounced dead at the scene, inside the apartment CSU (Crime scene unit) found a pizza box on the kitchen table, a receipt indicated that it was delivered at 8:48PM the night before murder. CSU also noticed blood on the wall next to Hannah's body and blood on the finger of her right hand. Paramedics concluded the death as homicide.

After finishing the previous case, Maya decided to spend some time alone in a ranch outside city with a lake view with fresh air. After a nice swim, Maya was relaxing by listening to music. Even though she is a tough cop, her shining body in a bikini revealed how beautiful she is. Her skin was glowing like gold under sunlight, her red curly hair made her more beautiful, waves were touching her feet like its trying to kiss her again and again, wind was playing with her hairs, sunlight occupied all over her, the nature was enjoying her more than she enjoyed that place. And then her satellite phone rang, her vacation is over.

She came to crime scene and her team was already gathered as information as possible about the crime. When Maya observing the crime scene, the letters on the wall grabber her vision, its three letters MAR, but Maya started to wonder why a dying a woman write those letters from her own blood on the wall? Is that clue? Is that the killer name?

Maya started investigation and told her team dig as information as possible about Hannah, her office, her job, her clients, phone calls, emails, calendar, medical condition, doctor prescriptions, previous charges, family, everything, Maya looking for something to connect the dots. While investigating Maya learned that Hannah had a boyfriend named Mark BENSON, the possible link to the murder.

Maya called Mark for some question and he told that Hannah and he had bitter broke up a year ago, and he was seriously addicted to drug and Hannah couldn't handle so they broke up. They had a very rocky relationship, once Hannah called police to remove Mark from her house, and a domestic violence case filed against him. After a long interrogation, Mark denied any involvement in Hannah's murder, and told he never seen her in six months. Maya was not satisfied with his statement and asked about the name on the wall, but he didn't comment on that. The door was jacked, his name was on the wall, his prints found everywhere in the house, these circumstancial evidence puts Mark in the position of suspect.

Nothing was stolen in the house, her jewellery, money, all valuable things are in place, nothing was disturbed, now Maya wants to know whats the motive in this case? In the search for Hannah's killer, now Maya was waiting for autopsy report to know more about the killer. Thats the beauty of autopsy, its not only reveal how the victim died, but it will help in finding the real killer as well.

Medical examiner called Maya and asked her to come and see him. He told Maya tat Hannah had been stabbed 17 times, the unusual level of violence pointed to personal relationship between Hannah and her killer. Stabbing is personal type of way to killing people, and medical examiner found skin cells found under Hannah's finger nails, unfortunately the DNA test was inconclusive. But the most important finding is about come out, three was three slice were missing from the pizza delivered to Hannah the night she was murdered, but the medical examiner couldn't find them inside Hannah's stomach. 

Maya called the delivery boy who delivered the pizza to Hannah, she showed the Hannah's photo and him and he told that he delivered the pizza to Hannah only at the door. That means the killer may have been inside when the pizza was delivered shortly afterwords. Hannah's boy friend John who discovered her body had an alibi for this time period, he was with a friend in a cabin at moon lake hotel, 20KM away. Maya cross checked his alibi and it checked out. Now again Mark is the only suspect Maya has got.

But the medical examiner found something in the autopsy report, and it started cast doubts on letter written on the wall, he explained to Maya that Hannah was suffered a severe injury to her spinal column, which damaged the 8th thoracic vertebral body, which means she would'e been partially paralysed, and stab wounds to her pectoral muscle and Aorta concluded that she was unable to write anything on the wall. She would not have had enough blood pressure, blood volume to repeatedly dip her finger and write, her finger was not bleeding and her finger was not a fountain pen, so she should dip her finger in blood repeatedly and its impossible as she was already dead when those words written.

And then came the blood spatter report, it says whoever wrote on that wall, did so long after the attack. There are some pieces of letters that are actually written over impact spatter, and the impact spatter that is underneath the letters is not disturbed. Maya knows that because the blood which spattered on the wall during that attack was dry before the letters were written. When Maya was trying to connect the dots, Hannah's brother came to meet Maya to know the investigation progress. When he was talking to Maya he observed one photo which displayed on Maya's white board. Maya said to him that she wrote three letters on the wall. The brother said that its impossible, because the blood is on the Hannah's right hand but Hannah is exclusively left handed. This one clue gave a boost to Maya’s instincts towards the case. But the question is, if Hannah didn't write the name on the wall, who did? It had to be someone who knew the name of Hannah's ex boyfriend and wanted to frame him.

One possible suspect was Hannah's ex husband Jimmy. Hannah was petitioning for higher alimony payments because of her recent diagnostics of multiple sclerosis. But Jimmy had an alibi, he was 300KM away in some research program and it checked out. Maya discovered the Hannah was dating number of men at the time of her death. But someone else Hannah was dating had a violent past, the news Hannah learned just days before her murder.

When Maya did a background check on the man who found Hannah's body, 36 years old, John and Maya discovered that he had an interesting past. Hannah and John had only been dating for a couple of months, they two met when Hannah was buying a new car and John was the salesman. But a few days before her death Hannah told friends, she learned some disturbing information John. While watching TV, John told to Hannah the he had been keeping a secret, he switched on his computer and went to the website of department of corrections, he had been released from prison just a year earlier for running an illegal prostitution ring and was still on probation. While running the prostitution ring, John got angry when rival escort service took some of his business. A shootout followed, John shot and wounded his rival and was himself shot twice. He went straight from the hospital to 12-year prison sentence.

Now Maya focused her all interest towards John, she thought that Hannah had no idea what kind of man she is dating. When Hannah learned the truth, she ended their relationship and started dating other man. According to John friends, even after ending the relationship, John used to check the trash of Hannah everyday, and one day he found a used condom in Hannah's trash and got furious.

While investigation, John denied his involvement in Hannah's murder and he had an alibi for that night she was murdered. He told that he stayed overnight with his friend at a cabin in moon light hotel 20KM away. Maya's team found one important clue in John's phone record. John phone record showed that he called his friend at 09:32PM, an indication he was not yet there. And made that call from a suspicious location. Maya tracked the cell phone call by signal triangulation and found that, call was made from a cell tower near Hannah's home. Again, John denied. Now Maya need to strong clue to keep him behind the bars.

Maya thought to take break for couple of mins, while watching news, she saw the pizza advertisement, and suddenly she Called her team and asked to run prints on the pizza box found at crime scene. Forensic team now started to look more closely at the pizza delivered to Hannah's apartment at 08:48PM, three pieces were missing, yet no pizza found in Hannah's stomach. The pizza box was sprayed with NINHYDRIN (chemical used to get prints from a wooden, paper or any other absorbent surfaces) which reacts with the amino acid in sweat and expose fingerprints which developed in to purple stains.

Many people had handled the box, which created a potential problem, its very difficult to backtrack and find everybody who had access to the pizza box when it was on the shelf and the pizza delivery boy and all of the other people. Maya asked to compare the prints to people known or thought to be involved in Hannah's murder, Hannah, John, Mark and Hannah's ex husband jimmy. Maya found one print belongs to John. But to get conviction, Maya needed more because eating pizza doesn't make him a murderer.

The original DNA test of skin cells found under Hannah's fingernails were inconclusive. Maya requested the forensic to run the DNA test in more sophisticated way hoping it might yield results. A Y-STR DNA test analyses only male DNA thats present, this time it was successful. The DNA matched to John.

Now Maya knows what exactly happened on that night, she called her boss and asked to come down to interrogation room and started to explain her theory. "John went to Hannah's place and may have tried to rekindle their relationship. They ordered a pizza which arrived shortly before 09:00PM, but the evidence shows Hannah never ate any pizza. At some point things got violent, John grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her repeatedly. As Hannah fought for her life, she scratched him and got his skin under her fingernails. John probably tried to collect his thoughts and come up with an alibi while eating some pizza, leaving his fingerprint on the box. By the time, he decided to paint Hannah's ex boyfriend's name on the wall in her blood, the blood spatter from the murder had already dried. The wet blood over the dry blood told investigators this happened much later. When he put the blood on Hannah's right hand, he forgot she was left handed. He then called his friend trying to establish his alibi, his call bounced off a cell tower near Hannah' home. The next morning, John went back to Hannah's house and called police and put a performance designed to throw off investigators".

With no choice, John gave a statement and confessed his crime, John sentenced to life in prison without parole. While leaving the interrogation room Maya said to John " Next time if you want to kill someone, please carry your own food". She gave a smile and left to continue her vacation. 


  1. Hi, I work for NYPD, I have came across hundreds of homicide in my career, but the way you narrate the crime scene and using all the technical parameters and terminology is exceptionally good. I couldn't find any flaws in the entire story, I can imagine the time you spent on research for this and I know it was not easy, I really appreciate your dedication and passion. One of my colleague sent this link to me, and I took a day off to read all your articles and its worth my day off. The knowledge you have on Crime scene, blood spatter and all crime stuff is wonderful. if you take your writings seriously you can become the best crime writer. Keep up the good writings, will be waiting for next one. I do have one question for you, why did she killed her kids in your first crime story? its really bugging me..

    1. Hi Jacob, than you so much for your kind words and your feedback made my day. I will think about your advice on taking my writings seriously. And the answer for your question is " Satisfaction doesn't last long, but curiosity does". As you are NYPD, you must have got a theory!!!

  2. I just read the story. It was exceptionally good. Infact I'm new to the terminology which was used in this crime story but have gone ahead finding the word meaning and continued to complete the story. I appreciate the dedication that you put in all stories. I didn't find any flaws in the whole story. Keep up the good work. Looking forward for more stories.

  3. Detailing simple things is much appreciated.. u can do still better I felt..after reading this i felt crime story can be described beautifully 👍


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