A man who has confessed to nearly 100 murders and is serving multiple life sentences in a California prison is now considered the US most prolific serial killer, the FBI said.
Samuel Little, 79, has been in prison since 2012 for the murders of three women, but told detectives last year that he had killed 90 more across the US, between 1970 and 2005.
The FBI have now said that crime analysts and investigators believe all the confessions are credible, with 50 of them being verified so far – making him the most prolific serial killer in US history.
He told investigators that he strangled most of his 93 victims, many of whom were black women. Many of his victims have never been found and his crimes are still being investigated by the FBI.
Earlier in the year, detailed pictures emerged, drawn by Little, thought to be of women that he murdered. Although the exact time of when Little drew the pictures isn’t known, the FBI said they were based on his memories of some of his victims.
In videos, also released by the FBI, he described in detail a number of the women he claims to have murdered whilst he was at large, helping police link his confessions to victims.
It took years to catch Little, partly due to his nomadic lifestyle where he moved from place-to-place, targeting vulnerable women.
It is thought his victims were mostly people on the fringes of society, such as drug users or sex workers, which meant their deaths were never investigated by the FBI.
Speaking to NBC News, FBI crime analyst Christie Palazzolo said: “For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims. Even though he is already in prison, [we] believe it is important to seek justice for each victim – to close every case possible.”
Little’s confessions mean that he has overtaken Gary Ridgway, otherwise known as Green River Killer, in terms of the number of people murdered in the US.
Ridgway was convicted of 49 murders in 2004 and sentenced to life imprisonment in Washington State Penitentiary.
It also makes him more prolific than the infamous Ted Bundy, who confessed to killing more than 30 women in the 60s and 70s, before he was executed in 1989 and John Wayne Gacy, known as the Killer Clown, who also confessed to more than 30 murders, mostly young boys, before his execution in 1994.
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