‘Most Prolific Serial Killer in U.S. History’ Dies in Prison

Samuel Little, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

Samuel Little, whom the FBI called the “most prolific serial killer in U.S. history,” died Wednesday.

He was 80 years old. 

Little died while serving a life sentence at a state prison in Los Angeles County. 

Authorities have no determined a cause of death, but there has been no evidence of foul play, Vicky Waters, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told The New York Times.

Convicted of at least eight murders, Little had confessed to killing 93 people, many of them struggling, young Black women, between 1970 and 2005. The FBI verified at least 50 of those murders. 

For five years, analysts have used the bureau’s Violent Crime Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to link Little to the murders.

The FBI has been urging the public to help with the unconfirmed confessions since declaring Little “the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history” last year. 

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” Christie Palazzolo, a crime analyst with the F.B.I.’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, said at the time. “Even though he is already in prison, the F.B.I. believes it is important to seek justice for each victim — to close every case possible.”

For a detailed look at Little’s murderous past, check out the FBI’s multimedia news release from last year.

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