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Man confesses to at least 90 murders nationwide, including one in Arizona

Posted at 9:54 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-18 00:03:00-05

A serial killer who has confessed to at least 90 murders, claims to have killed at least one of his victims in Phoenix.

According to the Department of Justice, Samuel Little admitted to investigators that he killed at least 90 people in more than a dozen states over the course of 35 years.

So far the DOJ has been able to corroborate 34 of Little's confessions using DNA.

Phoenix police told ABC15 in a statement:

"Phoenix police is aware of the claims made by Samuel Little and are reviewing the information with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.  At this time, we have not spoken to Samuel Little."

If all of Little's confessions are true, he would be the worst serial killer in American history.

Little said he would travel the country and that he killed 90 people between 1970 and 2005.

He said preyed on vulnerable women and would strangle and rape them.

He was arrested a number of times, but never convicted of murder until 2014 when he was connected by DNA to the strangulation of three separate women in L.A.

"All of the mistakes are made usually in those first cases where they’ve committed a murder. Then ultimately, they just keep getting better and better at their craft," said Kelly Snyder, a retired agent with the DEA who is now a professional investigator with his company, Find Me.

"Every single police department that has open cases of homicide or missing persons...are going to want to talk to this guy," Snyder said.

Already police departments are lining up.

The DOJ has confirmed with DNA that Little killed in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

"Somehow [law enforcement] will put together this task force and they will be able to bring all of these cases before this guy, find out where the bodies are if they haven’t discovered the body yet," said Snyder.

Snyder said hopefully Little will be able to provide closure.

"That’s usually what every police department and family wants anyway," he said. "More than likely he knows where at least 80 percent of these bodies are if they haven’t been discovered."

Little was being held without bond Thursday in the Ector County jail in Texas on a murder charge relating to a woman's death. 

Little was brought to Texas for questioning in the case from California, where he was convicted in 2014 in the deaths years earlier of the three women in Los Angeles County. DNA evidence collected from old crime scenes was used to match samples of his stored in a criminal database.

Los Angeles cold-case detectives at the time suspected Little was a serial killer, a transient and former boxer who traveled the country preying on drug addicts, troubled women and others. His criminal history includes offenses committed in 24 states spread over 56 years - mostly assault, burglary, armed robbery, shoplifting and drug violations.

Those detectives determined that Little often delivered a knockout punch to women and then proceeded to strangle them while masturbating, dumping the bodies and soon after leaving town.

Little, who often went by the name Samuel McDowell, grew up with his grandmother in Lorain, Ohio. His criminal history shows his first arrest came at age 16 on burglary charges.

For years he had denied to investigators in different states that he was responsible for any killings. Bland speculates that he finally confessed after the appeals to his life sentence in California were ultimately rejected and he no longer had any reason to hide his role.