Incarcerated serial killer linked to 60 additional homicides

An incarcerated serial killer has incredibly been linked to another five dozen homicides. A Texas prosecutor said Friday that investigators have connected more than 60 murders in at least 14 states to a 79-year-old California inmate who may be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

Ector County Dist. Atty. Bobby Bland said Samuel Little continues to cooperate with investigators from around the country who interrogate him in prison about cold case killings dating to the 1970s. Among those who spoke to him were investigators from Ohio, where Little grew up and where he’s suspected of killing at least five women, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Little was convicted of killing three Los Angeles-area women and pleaded guilty to killing a Texas woman. As a result, he’s serving multiple life sentences in California. Furthermore, Little claims to have killed 93 women as he lived a nomadic lifestyle over the years.

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Bland said Little is in failing health and has exhausted his appeals. Consequently, he has been rather forthcoming with detectives.

“At this point in his life, I think he’s determined to make sure that his victims are found,” he said.

During Little’s 2014 trial in Los Angeles, prosecutors said he was likely responsible for at least 40 killings since 1980. Authorities at the time were looking for possible links to deaths in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Texas.

But Little guarded condemning information at the time. Bland credits Texas Ranger James Holland with gaining Little’s trust and eventually eliciting a series of confessions.

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Samuel Little is perhaps the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. (Wise County Police)

Holland traveled to California last year to speak with Little about cold cases in Texas. That led Little to be extradited to Texas and his guilty plea in December in the 1994 strangulation death of Denise Christie Brothers in the West Texas city of Odessa. Yet Holland’s conversations with Little have continued, even after Little was returned to California to serve his sentences. Moreover, it was Holland who determined that Little was responsible for 93 deaths, said Bland, who received an update from Holland this week.

Information provided to Holland was relayed to law enforcement agencies in several states, leading to a revolving door of investigators who traveled to California to corroborate decades-old deaths.

Among them were detectives from Ohio. Subsequently, prosecutors on Friday announced charges against Little in the 1981 killing of a Cincinnati woman as well as the deaths of two women in Cleveland. The serial killer previously was charged in a second Cincinnati killing and confessed to another one in Cleveland, though investigators are still trying to identify the victim in that case, according to the Times report.

Little’s victims often were suffocated or strangled, in many cases leaving few physical marks and leading investigators to determine the women died of overdoses or of natural causes, authorities said.

“There’s still been no false information given,” Bland said. “Nothing has been proven to be false.”

Gary Ridgway, the so-called Green River Killer, pleaded guilty to killing 49 women and girls, making him the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history in terms of confirmed victims, though he said he killed 71.

 

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