Samuel Little confessed to killing 93 women in murders spanning 25 years, from Los Angeles, California to Miami, Florida.
Many of the murders remain unsolved, and the victims remain unidentified. He is providing sketches to authorities, which they hope will help them to identify the victims and close cold cases across the country. He was convicted of killing 8 women: three in Los Angeles, 1 in Texas, and four in Ohio.
Many of his victims were vulnerable and marginalized women. They were often involved in prostitution or addicted to drugs. His method of killing – beating and strangulation – did not leave obvious signs of homicide. Sometimes, the murders were ruled as drug overdoses, accidental or natural, and the cases were closed. Many of the victims were never identified and their deaths were not thoroughly investigated. The majority of the murders occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, before DNA profiling was available. Once DNA evidence became a part of the law enforcement practice, the women’s work as prostitutes often complicated the DNA profiles, according to the FBI.
Little began confessing to the murders in 2018, giving authorities a list of 93 victims.
The FBI is cataloging Little’s sketches of unknown victims. FBI analysts, working with Texas Rangers, compiled a database and an interactive map which matches his confessions to sketches, locations, dates, and known information about the victims in attempts to identify them. The “unmatched confessions” are removed as the information is corroborated. The data set was last updated October 1, 2019. You can view the data here.
The map points stretch from Los Angeles to Miami and include 49 victims, 30 of those which include sketches. The level of detail associated with each victim varies. All of them include some basic biographical information: race and approximate age, along with the year (or an estimated year) of their death and a location. Some are listed with possible names, or other cursory details.
“Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 50, killed in 1987. Victim possibly called ‘Granny,'” one says.
“Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 28, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly worked on Homestead Air Force Base,” says another, accompanying a sketch that could serve as a glamour shot.
Another is paired with a woman with pleading eyes. She appears to be wearing red lipstick, and her lips are slightly parted, perhaps trembling.
“Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-25 years old killed in 1996. Victim possibly called ‘Sheila,'” it says.
“The biggest lesson in this case is the power of information sharing,” Kevin Fitzsimmons, ViCAP’s Supervisory Crime Analyst, said in the FBI article. “These connections all started in our database of violent crime.”
To report potential case links to Samuel Little, contact the FBI tipline through tips.fbi.gov or 800-CALL-FBI.
Here are the victims Samuel Little was convicted of killing:
Denise Brothers was killed at age 38 in Odessa, Texas in 1994. She was a mother of two boys, Dustin and Damien, who were 9 and 12 at the time of her death. Brothers was married at age 15, and the marriage was abusive. She escaped that marriage to marry another man, who was addicted to drugs. Brothers eventually became addicted to drugs as well, and later became involved in prostitution, according to a profile published in New York Magazine.
Carol Linda Alford
Carol Alford was 41 years old when she was murdered by Little in Los Angeles. Authorities found the first DNA match to Little under her fingernails and on her bra.
Her body was found July 13, 1987 in an alley in Los Angeles. She was nude from the waist down. Her body was identified by her daughter. An autopsy revealed she was manually strangled to death. She had other injuries, including a blunt injury to her head indicative of a punch. DNA linked Little to the murder, according to an appeal filed in his case.
Nelson fought for her life against Little, leaving his DNA under her fingernails. She had multiple tattoos, including on the knuckles of both hands. The tattoo spelled “True Love,” according to a New York Magazine profile.
Nelson’s body was left in a dumpster behind a night club and restaurant in Los Angeles, according to an appeal filed in Little’s case. The body, which was nude from the waist down, was found August 14, 1989. She had no identification or other items that could be used to identify her. DNA linked Little to the crime. An autopsy revealed she had been punched repeatedly in the head and then manually strangled. She also had a crushed spinal bone and bruises to her abdomen, which were also indicative of punching, and “road burns” that indicated she had been dragged on a hard surface, probably before she died, according to Little’s appeal filed in California.
Dr. Eugene Carpenter testified the injury to her stomach and strangulation injuries were significant and showed “a sign of considerable force.”
He added, “these signs of force are the greatest that I have seen in a 27-year practice in a county which has its share of strangulation cases.”
Apodaca’s body was found September 3, 1989 at an abandoned auto repair shop in Los Angeles. A boy was kicking a soccer ball against the building when he peered into the windows and spotted her body, according to a New York Magazine profile.
Authorities believe Little knelt on her chest while strangling her with his hands, and that she suffered a seizure in the process. Blood was also found in her anal cavity, and she was nude from the waist down. DNA linked Little to the crime, according to the appeal filed in Little’s case.
Anna Stewart was murdered at age 32. Her body was found in a field near Queen Ann Place in Grove City, Ohio October 12, 1981. It would be 37 years before the murder was solved. Little was convicted in June of 2019, according to the Scioto Post.
Mary Jo Peyton
Mary Jo Peyton was only 21 years old when she encountered Little at a bar in Cleveland in 1984. Peyton and Little left the bar together and he drove her to an abandoned factory. There, he strangled her and tossed her body down a basement stairwell. Her body was found several weeks later on July 3, 1984, by two employees of a nearby business. Little was convicted of the murder in May, 2019, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.
Little encountered Rose Evans on or around August 24, 1991, in Cleveland and offered her a ride. He drove her to a vacant lot where he strangled her in his car. He left her body under two tires in the lot. She was 32. He was convicted of the murder in May, 2019, according to Fox 8 Cleveland.
During his Ohio murder trial, Little was also accused of killing a “Jane Doe,” in Cleveland, who has not been identified and whose body was never found. She died in 1982. In Little’s confession, he described her as a black female between 20 and 35 years old.
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