How Was Samuel Little Caught & Arrested?

Samuel Little Caught and Arrested

Getty The FBI has said that Samuel Little is the most prolific serial killer in American history.

In 2019, the FBI announced that Samuel Little, a serial killer who has confessed to strangling vulnerable women across the United States over a span of decades, is the most prolific serial killer in American history.

He has confessed to 93 murders, and the FBI believes that “all of his confessions are credible,” according to a New York Times report. Little is now 80 years old, and the FBI is looking for help identifying 43 of his victims.

The FBI has released over a dozen sketches drawn by Little of the women he said he killed. The sketches were accompanied by information about where the serial killer said he met the women.

Samuel Little Was Arrested in 2012 After DNA Evidence Linked Him to Two Victims

In April 2012, DNA evidence connected the murders of Audrey Nelson and Guadalupe Apodaca to Samuel Little. Little’s DNA had been collected in the 1980s in San Diego when he’d pleaded guilty to assault, according to a report by The Cut.

The match, however, did not necessarily tell investigators that Little was the one who killed those women. Instead, it really just meant that he’d been with the victims at some point leading up to their deaths and left his DNA behind. Investigators still had more work to do to arrest him for the murders.

Detectives found Little using his social security payments; he was in Louisville, Kentucky at a homeless shelter when the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force located him. He was extradited to California on an outstanding 2007 narcotics warrant, New York Magazine reported.

Later that year, Little was charged with three counts of murder and sentenced to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, according to the Los Angeles Times. He did not cooperate with investigators until 2018 when he eventually admitted to 93 murders. He has since been charged with more murders and has been sentenced to more life sentences.

He Had Been Arrested Dozens of Times Prior to Being Charged With Murder

According to People, Little had been arrested more than 75 times before being charged with the murders he now serves time in prison for. He was even acquitted of one murder that he later confessed to.

Because Little was living life as a transient, it was hard for investigators to connect his crimes or connect him to the crimes. It made it harder for authorities to track the killings or recognize a pattern, and his arrests were nearly all due to petty offenses. Police even sometimes would drop charges against him, hoping he would leave their jurisdiction, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Little was found guilty of two murders in September 2014. The FBI has since released a timeline of his life and his crimes as well as details of his unmatched confessions and sketches of his alleged victims.

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo said. “Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim–to close every case possible.”

Tips can be submitted online, or if you have any information, you can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. The FBI also urges anyone with information about the victims to call or email analysts at the FBI Violent Criminal Apprehension Program at 800-634-4097.

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