Until yesterday, I’d never heard of the Gilgo Beach serial killings on Long Island. I lived in New York during the time of the murders, but I guess being a medical student meant I wasn’t keeping up with local news. (Fortunately, I do remember where I was when Sully landed that plane on the Hudson, though, so I wasn’t completely shut off from the real world!)

Long story short: a group of linked cold cases has apparently been solved. Within a minute of reading about the case, though, I wondered why it had taken so long for the investigators to find their man. After all, the suspect had two features that should have narrowed the search from 1 in 1,500,000 to 1 in 5 (or maybe 10). With a little epidemiology and market research, detectives may have been able to get there.

Here’s how….