The man who may be America's deadliest serial killer created portraits of some of his alleged victims, which the FBI has released in hopes that they will lead to more identifications.
Samuel Little, 78, told federal authorities last year he'd committed nearly 100 murders across the country from 1970 to 2005. He'd previously been convicted in 2014 of strangling three women in Los Angeles during the 1980s and was serving a life sentence. Then, in exchange for a prison transfer, he confessed to 90 more killings.
Since then, authorities have been working to verify those claims and identify the victims. Authorities soon corroborated his involvement in 34 killings, with “many more pending confirmation,” according to the FBI. Late last year, the FBI released a map showing who Little claimed to have killed and where. Since then, eight more cases have been confirmed or matched to open cases and one formerly unmatched confession has been matched to a Jane Done, the FBI stated.
On Tuesday, the FBI updated that map with the sketches of 16 women Little claims to have killed. Accompanying each portrait are details about the victims' age, ethnicity and where they may have been killed.
Little created the eerie drawings from memory. Some bear smiles, while most look solemn. They appear to even reflect what the person was wearing.
"We are hoping that someone - family member, former neighbor, friend - might recognize the victim and provide that crucial clue in helping authorities make an identification," FBI spokeswoman Shayne Buchwald said in a statement to USA TODAY. "We want to give these women their names back and their family some long-awaited answers. It’s the least we can do."
Little has confessed to murders in 37 cities — 18 in Los Angeles alone.
The possible victims range from a 16-year-old boy killed in Jackson, Mississippi in 1984 to a 50-year-old Los Angeles woman called “Granny” in 1987.
“Little chose to kill marginalized and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs,” the FBI said last year. “Their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated.”
Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, has claimed victims in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, California, Indiana, Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina.
He has been serving three life sentences for strangling three California women from 1987 to 1989. He dumped their bodies in alleyways around the Los Angeles area.
Late last year, he pleaded guilty to the murder for the 1994 strangulation of a Texas woman.
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