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US serial killer ‘confesses to 90 murders’

A recent mugshot of Little, who reportedly also went by the name Samuel McDowell

A recent mugshot of Little, who reportedly also went by the name Samuel McDowell

An imprisoned murderer is being investigated after confessing to 90 killings across four decades in the US.

The FBI believes Samuel Little, who is 78, may be among the most prolific serial killers in US criminal history.

State and federal agencies are now working to match his confessions with the deaths of dozens of women across the country from 1970 to 2005.

Investigators say they have already linked him to 34 murders and are working to corroborate many others.

Little is currently serving life in prison after being sentenced in 2014 for the murders of three women.

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He has been in custody since September 2012 when he was arrested at a Kentucky homeless shelter and transferred to California where he was wanted on a drugs charge.

DNA samples taken from Little were then linked to the unsolved deaths of three women in Los Angeles County in 1987 and 1989.

All three of those victims had been beaten and strangled before their bodies were dumped separately.

He pleaded not guilty at trial, but was eventually sentenced to three consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole.

Before that he already had an extensive criminal record, with offences including rape and armed robbery.

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The murder convictions led to Little being referred to the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Programme (ViCAP) – a scheme that works to analyse serial offenders of violent and sexual crimes, and share information with local law enforcement agencies to cross-reference unsolved crimes.

Officials from the programme say they then uncovered an “alarming pattern” and “compelling links” to many more murders across the US.

One unsolved cold-case murder in Odessa, Texas of a woman named Denise Christie Brothers was then pursued by local authorities.

A local ranger, James Holland, then travelled to California with ViCAP team members earlier this year to interview Little.

They say Little agreed to talk to them because he was hoping to move prisons.

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The FBI says that Little has confessed to 90 killings in total – stretching states across the breadth of the US, from California to Maryland.

The ViCAP team said in a news release earlier this week they had so far established his ties to 34 deaths, with many others apparently pending confirmation. –BBC

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