Samuel Little Biography, Wiki, Age, Net Worth
Samuel Little was jailed in 2014 for killing three women and later admitted killing a total of 93 people. Little died in a California hospital on Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.
America’s deadliest serial killer, Samuel Little, who confessed to strangling 93 people, has died in California aged 80 with the identity of almost half of his victims still unknown.
He was serving a life sentence for the murder of three women. But by the time of his death, he had confessed to killing 93 women between 1970 and 2005.
Little targeted vulnerable individuals, many of whom were sex workers or drug users, officials say.
Little said he targeted disadvantaged and mostly black women, including sex workers, in the belief that this would draw less attention from a disjointed law enforcement system that had little apparent interest in such victims – a calculation that proved grimly correct. His death means families of many of the victims may never have closure.
He was serving three consecutive sentences of life without parole for the killing of three women in Los Angeles County during the late 1980s, crimes to which he was linked through DNA matches. He was convicted of first-degree murder by a Los Angeles County jury on 25 September 2014 and began serving his prison sentence about two months later.
A former competitive boxer, Little would knock his victims out with punches before strangling them – meaning that there were not always obvious signs, like stab or bullet wounds, the person had been murdered.
Instead many deaths were incorrectly determined to be overdoses or accidental and were never investigated. Some bodies have never been found, the agency said.
Last year, the FBI said its analysts believed all of his confessions were “credible”.
They also released images of the victims he drew while in prison in an attempt to trace those he killed.
Little was arrested in 2012 on a drugs charge in Kentucky and extradited to California, where officers carried out DNA testing on him.
He already had an extensive criminal record, with offences from armed robbery to rape across the US.
The DNA results linked him to three unsolved murders from 1987 and 1989 in Los Angeles County. He pleaded not guilty at trial, but was eventually convicted and sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, with no chance of parole.
According to the FBI, Little began confessing to additional murders to a Texas Ranger who interviewed him in his California prison cell in 2018, and ultimately admitted to killing 93 people across the country by strangulation between 1970 and 2005.
The FBI said investigators had since verified 50 of those confessions, with many more pending final confirmation, making Little the deadliest US serial killer on record.
Authorities have said he appears to have targeted mostly vulnerable young black women, many of them sex workers or addicted to drugs, whose deaths were not well publicized at the time and in some cases were not recorded as homicides.
Describing how he killed with impunity for years, Little boasted to investigators of avoiding “people who would be immediately missed”, in an interview acquired by the Washington Post, which examined the repeated failures to catch Little. “I’d go back to the same city sometimes and pluck me another grape,” he said. “How many grapes do you all got on the vine here? “I’m not going to go over there into the white neighborhood and pick out a little teenage girl.”
Many of his killings were initially recorded as overdoses or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes, and some bodies were never recovered, according to an FBI profile of the killer.
Before his convictions in 2014, Little was linked to at least eight sexual assaults, attempted murders or killings, but he repeatedly escaped serious punishment.
Little served two prior sentences in a California state prison, including a four-year term ending in 1987 for assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment, and a stint of about 14 months ending in April 2014.
FBI video recordings of his jailhouse confessions showed Little sitting in front of a cinder-block wall in blue prison scrubs and a gray knit cap, sometimes appearing bemused or smiling as he recounted the circumstances of the killings.
He was incarcerated at a state prison in Lancaster, California, north of Los Angeles, and died early on Wednesday morning at an outside hospital, the state department of corrections said. It said an official cause of death would be determined by the county medical examiner’s office.