78-year-old prisoner confesses to the murder of 90 people
Samuel Little, a 78-year-old man who has been incarcerated since 2014, was known to be a dangerous individual - but some recent revelations have shown that he may have committed far more crimes than was initially believed.
Little has been convicted of strangling three Californian women to death, for which he was convicted in 2014. He was known for preying on vulnerable women, targeting sex workers and drug addicts. He would knock them unconscious, strangle them while touching himself, then dump their bodies and move on to a new town.
Captain Jason Whitten, who interrogated Little, told the Ledger Enquirer that the culprit was an "intelligent" man who "gave off a calming presence". During their interview, they spoke of the murder of a 23-year-old woman in 1979, and Little detailed how he left the club with the victim and took her to his car.
"He wringed his hands together, smiled and said, 'I knew she was mine'," Whitten said.
Earlier this year, Little was charged with the 1994 of a woman from Texas, and was extradited from California to assist with the investigation. Once there, he opened up further, and has now claimed involvement in roughly 90 murders during his lifetime.
"They're able to match up over 30 cases so far," Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said, while others are yet to be confirmed.
With these numbers, it looks as if Little could become the worst serial killer in the history of the US. If he is telling the truth, his tally would surpass Ted Bundy's, who admitted to the rape and murder of 30 women, John Wayne Gacy, who sexually assaulted, tortured and killed at least 33 boys and young men, and Gary Ridgway, also known as The Green River Killer, who confessed to killing 71 people, and was convicted of 49.
Little's criminal record was full of signs he was capable of extreme violence, including numerous times he got away with crimes relatively scot-free. He was first arrested on a burglary charge when he was 16, then spent ten years in jail for multiple offences throughout his early years.
During this time, he told investigators he learned how to box in prison, eventually becoming a prize fighter. Police have claimed that following his release, he travelled the country, killing as he passed through various towns.
In 1976, he served three months in jail for assault with the intent to rape, after a woman escaped from him, half-naked and with her hands bound behind her back with electrical cord. In 1982, Missouri jurors failed to come to a consensus when he was accused of murdering another woman. In 1984, he was tried for the murder of a woman in Florida, but was acquitted after it was argued that the hairs found on the victim's clothes could have been transferred another way.
That same decade, he was charged with the attempted murder of two California sex workers, but pleaded guilty to lesser charges of assault with great bodily injury and false imprisonment. For this crime he served merely two and a half years in prison, before he was released on parole.
"It's the craziest rap sheet I've ever seen," Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told USA Today in 2013. "He's gotten break after break after break."
While many of the 90 murders he claims to be a part of are as-of-yet unconfirmed, investigations are continuing to match him to them.