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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Serial Killer Samuel Little

     In 2012, FBI agents arrested 72-year-old Samuel Little at a Kentucky homeless shelter on narcotic charges that had been filed in Los Angeles. DNA samples taken from Little in Los Angeles linked him to three unsolved murders committed from 1987 to 1989. The three female victims had been beaten then strangled, their bodies dumped in an alley, a dumpster, and a garage. Convicted of these murders in 2014, Little, with a history of crime going back to 1956, was sentenced to three consecutive life terms with no possibility of parole.

     Following Samuel Little's DNA matches in Los Angeles, authorities in LA asked the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) to work up a full criminal profile of him. This background inquiry linked Little to several more murders of women.

     In early 2018, Samuel Little revealed to his FBI interrogators that between 1970 and 2005, he had murdered 90 women. He confessed to killing these victims in California, Kentucky, Florida, and Ohio. These women were marginalized, vulnerable prostitutes addicted to drugs. He said his M.O. involved knocking out the victim then strangling them to death. The woman's body would then be dumped in alleys and other hidden places.

     Because this serial killer's victims were not shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death, many of their deaths went into the books as drug overdoses, accidents, or natural causes. Some of the bodies remained unidentified, and most of these sudden violent deaths did not generate a criminal investigation.

     The Samuel Little case illustrates that serial killers, due to who they kill, how they kill, and where they kill, often escape detection. While DNA science has helped connect multiple homicides to a single killer, without confessions, these cases often remain unsolved. 

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