A 74-year-old man described by prosecutors as a serial killer who preyed on victims down on their luck was convicted Tuesday of murdering three women in South Los Angeles in the late 1980s.
The defendant, Samuel Little, leaned back in his wheelchair and smiled as the verdicts were read in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
The case went to trial after cold-case homicide detectives made a breakthrough in 2012 to match Little to the 1987 and 1989 deaths through DNA evidence left at the crime scenes.
The half-naked bodies of the victims were dumped amid filth and debris. One of the dead women was dumped in a back alley. Another was in a parking lot dumpster. A third was in an abandoned commercial garage.
All were found within a few miles of each other in South Los Angeles. Their necks were said to display tell-tale signs of slow, painful strangulation. At the time, Little was living with his girlfriend five to eight miles from the crime scenes, a prosecutor told jurors during the trial.
Prosecutors argued that Little began a trail of assaults in Mississippi nearly a decade before the South L.A. murders and presented several women who identified him as a man who had attacked them years ago.
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