The case is featured on Investigation Discovery’s Serial Killer Week in a four-hour special, “The 93 Victims of Samuel Little.” Part 1 airs at 9 p.m. EST Monday, August 31, 2020, and continues at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
Little was linked to Alford’s death through DNA in 2012. Her body was found dead in an alley in Los Angeles July 13, 1987. He was convicted of killing Alford in California in 2014, along with the deaths of Guadalupe Apodaca in 1989 and Audrey Nelson, whose body was found August 14, 1989 with Little’s DNA under her fingernails.
Here’s what you need to know:
Samuel Little Murdered Carol Alford Shortly After He Was Released From Prison for a Felony Assault Conviction
Carol Alford was the first woman Little murdered in Los Angeles, California, but women testified at his California trial they survived after he tried to kill them. The Los Angeles Times, which covered his trial, reported on a woman’s testimony, who said Little attacked her in September 1984 in San Diego. She had sometimes worked as a prostitute, but not on the night she was attacked, she said. The woman said he put his arm around her throat and pulled her into a dark-colored car, then tied her up and began choking her. He eventually pushed her out of the vehicle onto a heap of trash, she testified.
A month later, Little was arrested when San Diego police found a woman, unconscious and bleeding, in his car. He was convicted of false imprisonment and felony assault, and spent 2 1/2 years in prison. Alford was killed shortly after his release.
“He’s a serial killer, and he’s done this for years,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman told reporters outside the courthouse. “This was a verdict a long time coming…. It’s the end of an entire career of killing.”
Carol Alford Was Found Dead in an Alley With Multiple Injuries & DNA Matched Little
Carol Alford was found dead at age 41 on July 13, 1987, in an alley. She was naked from the waist down, and wearing only one sock. There were drag marks near her body, and investigators believed she was killed somewhere else and dumped in the alley, according to an appeal filed in Little’s case.
She had multiple injuries which indicated she was hit in the head and strangled to death. DNA found on Alford’s body matched Little. Little, who was a prize-winning fighter, often beat his victims and choked them with his hands. He would often target marginalized women to kill, believing their deaths would not be investigated as thoroughly by police. Many of the women worked as prostitutes or struggled with drug addiction.
Court documents filed in the case detail investigators’ findings, Alford’s murder case and her cause of death.
The details of Alford’s case filed in the appeal said:
On July 13, 1987, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Darryl Lee and his partner responded to a call about a dead body lying in an alleyway behind a residence on East 27th Street. Upon arriving at the location, the officer observed the body of an African-American woman, naked from the waist down with her shirt pulled up over her bra. She was wearing only one sock and no shoes. None of her missing clothing was found in the alley. Lee noticed “drag marks . . . in the dirt” near the woman’s feet. It appeared to Lee that the woman had been killed elsewhere and her body then dumped in the alley. The dead woman was later identified as Linda Alford by her daughter.
Dr. Irwin Golden, now retired, testified that in 1987 he was a deputy medical examiner in the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. His autopsy revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation. Alford had sustained multiple bruises near her jawline, hemorrhages in and around her eyes, and scratches and abrasions to her neck, some of which were caused by fingernails. Hemorrhaging beneath her scalp and temporal area was “characteristic of a blunt injury . . . a blow or a bump to the head,” and was consistent with Alford having been punched in the head. The autopsy revealed hemorrhaging to Alford’s voice box and hyoid bone, “the U-shaped bone at the base of the tongue which aids swallowing.” All of these injuries had been caused prior to death. A toxicology report showed that Alford had consumed alcohol and cocaine prior to her death.
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