Most prolific serial killer in US history dies aged 80

Samuel Little, the man described by the authorities as the most prolific serial killer in US history and had been linked to more than 60 killings, died at the age of 80 on Wednesday.

Little, who was serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering four women, had diabetes, heart trouble and other ailments and died at a hospital in California, according to the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

Vicky Waters, a spokesperson for the California department, said there were no signs of foul play. The cause of death will be determined by a coroner.

The career criminal had confessed to 93 murders of “marginalised and vulnerable” women between 1970 and 2005. The FBI had linked him to over 60 deaths, though federal investigators believed that his proclamations were reliable.

According to the bureau, almost all his victims were “marginalised and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs”.

The agency told the court that he left little obvious sign of homicide after murdering his victims. Either the victims’ bodies were not identified or the cause of death was thought to be a result of an overdose.

According to the bureau, he was charged with the killing of a woman in the 1980s, but due to the then-limited ability to analyse DNA evidence he was let free.

In 2012 Little was arrested in Kentucky in relation to a narcotics charge. In custody, when the law enforcement agency took his DNA samples, they found that it matched with three unsolved murders in Los Angeles between 1987 and 1989. While Little pleaded not guilty, he was convicted in 2014 and handed life imprisonment.

It was in 2018 that he confessed to Texas Ranger James Holland about his scores of slayings, in exchange for a move to a different prison.

He also provided Holland with the sketches of his victims, as he described how he murdered them and where he’d dumped their bodies.

In an effort to corroborate his confessions, and identify his victims, the FBI published a site with details, sketches and video “in hopes that someone may remember a detail that could further the investigation”.

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