Back in 2012, police arrived at a Kentucky homeless shelter to arrest a relatively unassuming-looking middle-aged man. Samuel Little was no stranger to run-ins with the law — having been previously arrested for crimes ranging from shoplifting to fraud — so he offered no resistance as local police turned him over to California law enforcement, where his warrant had been issued.
However, once Little found himself in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department, things quickly escalated beyond the narcotics charges he was wanted for: the DNA sample police took as they processed him came back as a match for not one murder in the city of Los Angeles, but three. Putting the man responsible for the murder of three people behind bars is a red-letter day for any law enforcement agency… but according to Little, those three were just the tip of the ice berg.
The three victims Little was first linked to had each been beaten and strangled to death between 1987 and 1989 — and as any true crime aficionado will tell you, it’s unusual for those types of murders to remain an isolated incident. Killers often tend to build up toward such brutal murders over time, lending itself to Little’s history of run ins with the law, but once a troubled person crosses the line into carrying out such a brutal slaying, they tend not to stop until they’re caught.
And if you ask Little, he’ll tell you himself that those women were far from his final victims. In fact, per Little’s own testimony to police, he’s the most prolific serial killer in American history. His list of victims, according to his own statements, could climb high as 90 — placing him at the top of the American serial killer standings, beating out the likes of Gary Ridgway, the “Green River Killer,” at 49 confirmed victims by a wide margin.