Sam Little said he killed 20 people in L.A. area. Here are 16 victims police haven’t identified
Before he died, Sam Little, one of the nation’s most prolific known serial killers, admitted to murdering 93 people. The revelation left authorities scrambling to match his confessions to victims in unsolved murders around the U.S.
Investigators have confirmed Little committed 62 of the murders. Of the 31 alleged killings that remain unsolved, Little said more than half took place in the city of Los Angeles or elsewhere in Los Angeles County.
This week the Texas Rangers, the law enforcement agency that has led the investigation into Little, and FBI released a bulletin detailing Little’s confessions in the hopes of getting tips to solve open cases.
Little said he killed a woman named “Sheila,” or “Shela,” in 1996. He met the Black woman, whom he described as being 5 feet 6 inches, 120 pounds and in her 20s, at a Tam’s Hamburger stand on Figueroa and Imperial avenues. Sheila, he said, was with a friend, and Little gave them both a ride in his blue Cadillac.
The next day, Little met Sheila again at Tam’s. She was wearing a black dress, and Little believed she was a member of the Bloods street gang. He strangled her in his car, threw her in the trunk and headed south on Vermont and passed a “horse ranch.” He left her body in a grass-covered vacant lot, next to a convenience store.
Little, who painted pictures of some of his victims, provided this rendering of Sheila to authorities:
Little claimed he met Linda and a friend named Christina on Figueroa Street in 1991 or 1992. Little took Linda, who he said was a prostitute, into an alley and strangled her. He said he then tossed her body over a wooden fence into a backyard near 71st Street and Hoover Avenue.
Little recalled that a child found Linda’s body, and the killing was the talk of the neighborhood. Not long after the slaying, Little said he lodged a complaint with Los Angeles police about Christina because she had sold him wax, not crack cocaine. Police arrested Christina on a warrant, Little said.
Woman in a turban
Little said he killed a woman in Compton, perhaps in 1992. He met the woman at Tam’s Hamburger stand on Figueroa and Imperial avenues. He drove the woman, who was wearing a turban, toward Compton.
It was raining, and “some type of rioting was going on,” according to the law enforcement bulletin released this week. Little strangled the woman in what he referred to as his “raggedy Cadillac,” propped her body in his car to make it seem like she was sleeping and drove behind a bank or loan company in Compton. He left the body facedown on some grass behind the building, he said.
Little met a heavyset Black prostitute, whose nickname was T-Money, in 1996 at San Pedro and Manchester streets, he said.
He took her to eat at a hamburger stand near Slauson Avenue that was across from a medical clinic, according to Little. Little strangled the woman in a parking lot and dragged her into an alley. He left the body in a pile of garbage and covered it with an old mattress, according to the account he gave investigators.
Texas Ranger James Holland got Samuel Little to admit he strangled 93 women during a decades-long, coast-to-coast rampage.
Left in a bathtub
Little claimed that after meeting a white woman in a homeless encampment near Central Avenue and Hooper Street he went with her to a “crack house” on Slauson Avenue. He said the woman was about 5 feet tall and 110 pounds.
He and the woman later walked to a nearby vacant house, said Little, adding the floor was dusty, and the woman left footprints everywhere. Little strangled the woman in the bathroom, disrobed her and placed her in a bathtub.
Granny and ‘skinny Black girl’
In January or February 1987, shortly after getting out of prison, Little claimed, he killed two women on the same day. He said he strangled a Black woman, whose nickname was, in a house with a concrete floor and no roof.
His second victim was a “” in her early 20s. He picked her up on the side of the road, strangled her and left her in an alley.
Killed in a garage
Again, in either January or February 1987, Little said, he strangled a prostitute in the garage of a vacant house on Figueroa Avenue. Inside the garage, Little noticed sawhorses, planks and paint. Little started to strangle the woman on a ledge about five feet off the ground. She fought back, and they fell to the floor. He choked her to death and left the body facedown on the concrete. A few days or weeks later, Little noticed the garage had been cordoned off by yellow police tape.
Woman in a miniskirt
Little met a Black woman in 1987 at a Tam’s Hamburger stand near 51st Street and Central Avenue. He said he strangled the woman, who lived in a nearby motel, in the back seat of his car, and placed her body on an iron railing next to a convenience store. Little said the store may have been in Long Beach.
Little strangled a woman he described as a drug addict and gang member, he said. The woman fought “vigorously” as Little strangled her in a Compton parking lot. He said he dumped the woman’s body over a tall fence in the Hollywood Hills and heard it tumble down an incline. Little believed he killed the woman in 1987.
The FBI analysts sat mutely, listening intently to the scratchy audio feed from an interview room across the hall.
In the ‘elephant grass’
Little drove a Black woman in 1992 or 1993 “way out” into Los Angeles County, he said. He recalled pulling off a side road lined with what he described as “elephant grass.” After allegedly strangling the woman, Little said, he dragged the body into the tall grass, where he left her facedown. Little claimed the woman’s body was eventually spotted by a helicopter.
Strangled near an observatory
Little said he picked up a slim Latina woman in her 20s at a liquor store on Central Avenue in 1992 or 1993. She told him she was from Phoenix, he recalled. They drove around town before heading toward what Little described as a “Coast Guard telescope or observatory.” He pulled off a driveway and headed down a road into the woods. He strangled the woman and dragged her body about 30 feet into the trees.
‘Way out in the county’
Little met a Black woman in her early 20s near the Frontier Hotel on 5th Street in 1991 or 1992. Little said he drove the woman out on Central Avenue to a “bald head hill” that had a couple of trees on it. He strangled the woman not far from the hill, and he left her body in some trees.
Left in piles of garbage
Little claimed he killed a Black woman in her 20s who had been living in a halfway house off Florence Avenue, not far from the 10 Freeway. Little took the woman, who was wearing a long dress decorated with flowers, to an automotive supply building. Little said he and the woman got into a dilapidated truck outside the building, and he started to strangle her, leaving her body in piles of garbage. Little believed the woman might have been named Helen, and that the killing took place in 1996.
In 1987, Little met a Black woman in her late 20s near Florence Avenue and Broadway. Little said he drove the woman, who had just gotten out of jail, to Griffith Park and strangled her on a dirt road. He allegedly left her body in the woods.
Little claimed he killed a Black woman near the intersection of Florence Avenue and Interstate 10 in 1984. He took her “to this slope that lays up to” the freeway and had sex with her “right there off the highway,” according to the police bulletin. He said he strangled the woman and dragged her body up the hill, leaving it by a service road.
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