Friday 20 September 2019

Inmate ‘confessed to 90 killings’ so he could switch prisons

Samuel Little is expected to die in Texas after seeking a move from California State Prison.

Samuel Little, who often went by the name Samuel McDowell, leaves the Ector County Courthouse (Mark Rogers/AP)
Samuel Little, who often went by the name Samuel McDowell, leaves the Ector County Courthouse (Mark Rogers/AP)

By David Warren, Associated Press

A 78-year-old inmate who says he killed roughly 90 people as he moved around the US for nearly four decades offered his confessions as a bargaining chip to be moved from a California prison, authorities have said.

The FBI said in a statement that Samuel Little offered the deal in exchange for being moved from California State Prison in Los Angeles County, but it did not say why he requested the transfer, where he asked to go or whether his offer was accepted.

It did say that Little, in poor health and reliant on a wheelchair, will likely stay in jail until his death in Texas, where he was brought in September to face charges in the 1994 killing of a woman in Odessa.

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Samuel Little (Sheriff’s Office/AP)

Little was convicted in 2014 of killing three women in separate attacks in Los Angeles County in the 1980s.

A Texas Ranger, James Holland, travelled to California earlier this year to interview Little about the 1994 Odessa killing.

That interview resulted in a series of confessions and near daily discussions “to create the most accurate accounting possible of Little’s crimes”, according to the FBI statement.

“Little remembers his victims and the killings in great detail,” the FBI said.

“He remembers where he was, and what car he was driving.

“He draws pictures of many of the women he killed.

“He is less reliable, however, when it comes to remembering dates.”

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

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 FBI

Little, who also went by the name Samuel McDowell, targeted vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs, authorities say.

Once a competitive boxer, he usually stunned or knocked out his victims with powerful punches before he strangled them.

“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,” the FBI said.

Based on information Little has provided, authorities in several states have already confirmed his ties to 34 killings that happened between 1970 and 2005, not including the three he was convicted of in California.

Investigators in Mississippi and South Carolina recently announced that they had closed cold cases based on Little’s information.

And police in Maryland and other states are looking into whether it can help them solve their own unsolved killings, including the 1973 strangulation in Omaha, Nebraska, of Agatha White Buffalo, whose body was found upside-down in a 55-gallon drum.

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