Samuel Little, who even outgrown predators as deadly as Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy to become the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history undetected for decades, died Wednesday in a hospital in the United States. Los Angeles area, California corrections officials said. He was 80 years old.
No cause of death had yet been determined for Mr. Little, who had been serving a life sentence in a Los Angeles County state prison since 2014 for the murder of three women in South Los Angeles in the 1980s .
There was no sign of foul play in connection with Mr. Little’s death, Vicky Waters, spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said in an email Wednesday evening. The Associated Press reported that Mr. Little suffered from diabetes, heart problems and other unspecified ailments.
Mr. Little confessed to committing 93 murders between 1970 and 2005, at least 50 of which were verified by law enforcement, the FBI said. He had been convicted of at least eight murders, some of which were solved through DNA analysis.
Many of Mr. Little’s victims were marginalized young black women, estranged from their families and struggling with poverty and drug addiction. In many cases, their deaths did not attract the same level of attention or outrage as other murders.
It was only in recent years that Mr. Little confessed to the California jail cell murders, his third stint in state prison. He said he strangled his victims, many of whom were originally declared to be overdoses or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes, the FBI said. The account of his crimes came after a Texas Ranger seeking information approached Mr. Little.
Last year, the FBI officially declared Mr. Little the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history and enlisted the public’s help in connecting him to dozens of murders he had confessed to.
The FBI has posted a series of creepy faith-based videos featuring Mr. Little on its website, along with sketches of his victims. The agency said at the time that it believed all of his confessions were credible.
“For many years Samuel Little believed he wouldn’t get caught because he thought no one was accountable for his victims,” said Christie Palazzolo, a crime analyst with the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program at the time. from the FBI. “Even though he’s already in jail, the FBI believes it’s important to seek justice for every victim – to close all possible cases.”
In one of the videos, Mr. Little became visibly excited while discussing the murders. Asked by a detective about a woman he said he killed in North Little Rock, Ark., In 1994, Mr. Little replied, “Oh, man, I loved her. I forgot his name. Oh yes. I think it was Ruth.
Prior to Mr Little’s death, prosecutors had considered whether to formally charge him with the numerous murders in at least 14 states he had described to authorities.
The number of murders Mr. Little has confessed to has far exceeded that of well-known serial killers.
Gary Ridgway, known as the Green River killer, was convicted of 49 murders in Washington state during the 1980s and 1990s, the highest number of murder convictions for an American serial killer.
Mr. Bundy had been linked to the murder of 36 young women before being executed in 1989.
Mr. Gacy, convicted of the sexual murders of 33 young men and boys, was put to death by lethal injection in 1994.