Serial killer viewed for potential link to decades-old Omaha murder

Serial killer viewed for potential link to decades-old Omaha murder

Perhaps the most lethal serial killer in USA history has been revealed at a state prison in Texas, where 74-year-old Samuel Little has confessed to a total of 90 murders between 1970 and 2005.

After he was sentenced to life in 1994, Little later confessed to the 1994 murder of Denise Christie Brothers in Odessa, Texas.

This undated photo obtained November 28, 2018, courtesy of Ector County Sheriff's Office shows convicted serial killer Samuel Little.

Little also said he killed a 45-year-old woman in Kendall, Fla., in 1973.

Of some of his more recent claims to murder, police corroborated his involvement in 34 of those cases, with "many more pending confirmation", according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They said he could even draw his victims. A former boxer, he would beat his victims before strangling them, in one case punching a woman so hard in the stomach that he broke her spine.

In the early 1980s, Little was charged with killing more than one woman in MS and Florida.

Little dropped out of high school to begin a nomadic life in the late 1950s. He was charged with assaulting or killing several women in different states in the 1980s, but there wasn't enough evidence for the juries to convict him.

In the spring of 2018, Samuel Little wanted to move prisons and he was willing to talk to make it happen.

"The biggest lesson in this case is the power of information sharing", Kevin Fitzsimmons, ViCAP's supervisory crime analyst, said in the report. Investigators say he remembered the apparent killings in detail and was able to describe where he was and the vehicle he was driving.

Little, who also went by the name Samuel McDowell, targeted vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs, authorities say. At least 10 of the murders included in Little's confessions occurred in Florida, including the 1984 murder of a Tampa woman and the death of a Plant City woman in 1977 or 1978. Some of the bodies were unidentified, and numerous murders took place before DNA profiling was a reliable tool for investigators.

"Over the course of that interview in May, (Little) went through city and state and gave Ranger (James) Holland the number of people he killed in each place", Violent Criminal Apprehension Program Crime Analyst Christina Palazzolo said. "Jackson, Mississippi-one; Cincinnati, Ohio-one; Phoenix, Arizona-three; Las Vegas, Nevada-one".

Little was convicted in 2014 of killing three women in separate attacks in Los Angeles County in the 1980s, and prosecutors said during his trial that he was likely responsible for at least 40 killings since 1980. "Thus far, the team has confirmed 34 killings with many more pending confirmation".

The confessions came in a series of conversations Little had with Texas investigators that began in September, after he was granted a request to transfer from the California prison system to the Ector County Jail in Texas. But the agency released a map and an accompanying list of 60 other killings it says Little confessed to, cases in which either the victims have not yet been identified or the murders have not yet been corroborated by law enforcement.

DNA evidence is what originally connected Little to some of his victims, resulting in his life sentences. "With no stab marks or bullet wounds, many of these deaths were not classified as homicides but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents, or natural causes".

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