Elderly Man Convicted Of Killing Three L.A. Women, May Be Connected To Dozens More Murders

Samuel Little’s criminal record goes back decades, but investigators have only recently used DNA evidence to link him to several Los Angeles cold cases.

1. This is 74-year-old Samuel Little. On Tuesday, a jury in Los Angeles convicted him of strangling three women in the 1980s.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes,File

The women were found dead in garbage-strewn alleys between 1987 and 1989, the Associated Press reported. Their bodies were naked from the waist down.

The jury Tuesday convicted Little on three counts of first-degree murder. However, prosecutors have described him as a serial criminal who may have killed far more people.

2. Little has an extensive criminal record, but mostly managed to escape significant prison time by moving from state to state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

This map was produced by the Los Angeles Police Department last year and shows the places where Little had contact with police for one reason or another.

Much of Little’s criminal record comes from lesser crimes like theft and drunk driving. However, he actually stood trial for murder in the early 1980s after investigators linked him to two killings and two attempted murders in Florida and Mississippi. That trial ended when a jury acquitted Little and he went free.

Little then drifted from the South to California. He lived in San Diego and Los Angeles during the 1980s.

3. The first of the three murders for which Little was convicted Tuesday happened on July 13, 1987. His victim was 41-year-old Carol Alford. The second happened on Aug. 14, 1989, and left 35-year-old Audrey Nelson dead.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

This file photo from 2013 was taken on East 27th Street, near the spot where Nelson’s body was found.

4. Little’s third victim in Los Angeles was 46-year-old Guadalupe Apodaca, whose body was discovered Sept. 3, 1989.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Apodaca’s body was discovered near South Ascot Avenue, pictured above in 2013.

Detectives have said that Little was given to bursts of violence and preferred to prey on people who led a high-risk lifestyle, such as prostitutes and drug abusers.

5. Little was “almost cheerful” during his court appearance Tuesday, the AP reported.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

This image shows Little in 2013.

6. Little’s Los Angeles murders went unsolved for decades but were finally cracked when police were able to check a DNA criminal database.

This timeline from the AP follows the life of Samuel Little.

7. During Little’s trial, prosectors said he may actually have killed more than 40 people.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Little was arrested in Kentucky in late 2012 on an unrelated warrant. He was then extradited back to Los Angeles, where prosecutors charged him with murder. During his subsquent trial, prosecutors said he may have killed 40 people across the U.S. since 1980.

As a result, investigators in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio are now working to connect Little to murders in their own states.

8. Little will be sentenced Sept. 25 and could face up to life in prison.

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Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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