Convicted Murderer Linked to 90 Murders Via FBI Program

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has had a major and disturbing breakthrough on a series of crimes dating back nearly 50 years, thanks to its Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP). This week, the agency announced that it had successfully connected 34 murders to Samuel Little, a 78-year-old man currently imprisoned in Texas.

According to the release, Little “may be among the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history,” responsible for attacks that spanned nearly five decades, from 1970 through 2005. Little has confessed to 90 confirmed murders, to date.

Little was initially detained in 2012 in a Kentucky homeless shelter, where he was ultimately extradited to California on a narcotics charge, at which time a DNA sample provided a “match to Little on the victims in three unsolved homicides from 1987 and 1989.” He was subsequently convicted and faces three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The FBI notes that Little had been charged with killing women in Mississippi and Florida in the early 1980’s, but that he “escaped indictment in Mississippi and conviction in Florida,” also serving time “for assaulting a woman in Missouri and for the assault and false imprisonment of a woman in San Diego.”

Little’s success in evading numerous law enforcement organizations over multiple decades is attributed in part to his targeting vulnerable women involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs, with many of the deaths dismissed as overdoses, only being classified as homicides when later investigations reopened the matters for closer examination.

However, according to Kevin Fitzsimmon’s, ViCAP’s Supervisory Crime Analyst, “The biggest lesson in this case is the power of information sharing. These connections all started in our database of violent crime.”

ViCAP tracks four primary categories relating to violent crimes, notes the FBI:

  • Homicides and attempts that are known or suspected to be part of a series or are apparently random, motiveless, or sexually oriented

  • Sexual assaults that are known or suspected to be part of series and/or are committed by a stranger

  • Missing persons where the circumstance indicate a strong possibility of foul play and the victim is still missing

  • Unidentified human remains where the manner of death is known or suspected to be homicide

The agency’s services include “crime analysis; the creation of maps, timelines, and matrices; information dissemination; the facilitation and coordination of communications between agencies; task force assistance; and the development and maintenance of ViCAP Web.”

Posted in The Takedown

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