Convicted serial killer Samuel Little dies in California prison

LOS ANGELES — Samuel Little, a serial killer with nearly 60 confirmed victims since the 1970s, died Wednesday in California, corrections officials said.” He was 80.

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The California Department of Corrections said Little died at a hospital in Los Angeles County on Wednesday morning, KGET reported. The cause of death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, the television station reported.

California corrections department spokeswoman Vicky Waters said there is no sign of foul play, The Associated Press reported.

“He was linked to the murders through DNA that was matched to evidence found in the crime scenes,” the CDC said in a news release. “He was convicted of first-degree murder by a Los Angeles County jury on Sept. 25, 2014, and was admitted to state prison on Nov. 24, 2014.”

Little, who was born in Georgia’s Taylor County, has claimed responsibility for at least 93 slayings across the United States from 1970 to 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported. He has been jailed in California since 2012, serving multiple life sentences. While in prison, he has drawn color portraits of at least 30 of his victims, WSB-TV reported in October.

The FBI called Little the nation’s most prolific serial killer.

Corrections officials said Little had been serving three consecutive life sentences for the deaths of three women in the late 1980s, KGET reported. He was convicted in 2014 through DNA evidence found at the crime scenes, the television station reported.

Little admitted to the trio of strangulation murders in a “60 Minutes” interview in October 2019, CBS News reported.

“Probably be numerous people who are -- been convicted and sent to penitentiary on my behalf,” Little said. “I say, if I can help get somebody out of jail, you know, God might smile a little bit more on me.”

In June 2019, Little was indicted for murder in the deaths of two women in the Cleveland, Ohio, area.

“There are no words to describe the pure evil that exists within Samuel Little,” Michael C. O’Malley, the prosecutor in the Cleveland case, said in a statement published by USA Today. “His heinous disregard for human life is incomprehensible.”

Little said his last killing came in 2005 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He said he also killed people in Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, Nevada, Florida, Arkansas and other states.

Kentucky authorities caught up to Little in 2012 after he was arrested on drug charges and his DNA linked him to three California homicides, the AP reported.

One killing was solved after Little remembered that his victim wore dentures, the AP reported. Another case was cracked after Little said he had killed a woman near an unusual set of arches in Florida. Little called one victim he met outside a Miami strip club in 1984 as being 25 years old with short blond hair, blue eyes and a “hippie look,” according to the AP.

Little told “60 Minutes” that he was raised by his grandmother in Lorain, Ohio. Authorities said he often went by the name of Samuel McDowell, adding that he was married once and involved in two long-term relationships.

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” Violent Criminal Apprehension Program crime analyst Christie Palazzolo said in an FBI’s report. “Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim -- to close every case possible.”

“I don’t think there was another person who did what I liked to do,” Little told “60 Minutes.” “I think I’m the only one in the world. And that’s not an honor, that is a curse.”