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America's Most Prolific Serial Killer Is Dead

Samuel Little dies at 80
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2020 12:07 AM CST
Updated Jan 3, 2021 9:10 AM CST
America's Worst Serial Killer Is Dead
This Sept. 24, 2018, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows Samuel Little.   (California Department of Corrections via AP)

(Newser) – Samuel Little, America's deadliest serial killer, died early Wednesday at a California hospital. Little, who was serving multiple life sentences at a California state prison, was 80. No cause of death was immediately released, but the AP reports he suffered from various ailments including diabetes and heart problems. Little was convicted of three murders in 2014, but in recent years he started confessing to dozens more slayings—he claimed to have killed 93 people across 19 states between 1970 and 2005, in many cases recalling details so specific that authorities have definitively tied him to 60 murders so far.

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In many cases, he even drew pictures of his victims for authorities, and could often recall where their bodies had been dumped. With his death, they fear the victims that are as yet unidentified may remain so for even longer, the Washington Post reports. Little targeted victims who would not be missed; many of their deaths were initially attributed to accidents or drug overdoses. He was a career criminal in and out of prison for decades and denied murdering anyone until 2018. (The Post recently took a long look at how Little got away with it for so long.)

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