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America's Most Prolific Serial Killer Samuel Little Dies At 80 In Hospital

Samuel Little on '60 Minutes.'
Source: 60 Minutes

Dec. 31 2020, Updated 1:42 p.m. ET

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America’s most prolific serial killer Samuel Little has died at the age of 80. 

Little passed away on Wednesday, December 30, and had confessed to killing 93 people between 1970 and 2005, although only 60 murders have been confirmed. 

According to the State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Little died at a hospital in California and had multiple health ailments, including heart issues and diabetes. Spokeswoman Vicky Waters said that the cause of death has yet to be determined by a coroner, but there was no sign of foul play

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Little’s killings vastly surpass infamous serial killers such as Ted Bundy, who killed 36 women, Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 boys and men and the "Killer Clown" Wayne Gacy, who killed 33 people. 

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"I don't think there was another person who did what I liked to do," Little said on 60 Minutes. "I think I'm the only one in the world. And that's not an honor, that is a curse."

The vast majority of Little’s victims were women who were on the edge of society such as sex workers, drug addicts and people living in poverty. Little choose victims he did not think people would notice were gone or did not have any connections that would be traced back to him. In fact, many of Little’s victims’ deaths had been ruled as accidents, overdoses or left as unknown. 

Little used to be a boxer and strangled most of his victims with his bare hands but drowned one women he met in 1982. 

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Most of Little's killings took place in Southern California and Florida, but he also murdered in other states, including Ohio, Texas and Tennessee. He began in Miami on New Year’s Eve 1970 and told Texas Ranger James Holland "it was like drugs. I came to like it."

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Little was sentenced to life after he was found guilty of multiple counts of murder in 2014 but was only caught when he was arrested in Kentucky in 2012 for drug charges, and his DNA connected him to three deaths in California. 

While Little spent decades denying that he had murdered anyone, he gave his confession to Holland in 2018. Little even showed Holland drawings of his victims, some of which had their names if he knew them and the murder details, such as the year and location the killing took place and where he dumped the body. 

Authorities are still investigating the remaining 33 victims but do not have a reason to doubt that he did not commit the crimes. Holland told CBS that nothing "he’s ever said has been proven to be wrong or false." Little is believed to have finally opened up about his past as he was growing old and his health was failing, but Holland also assured Little that he would not be given the death sentence if he did confess. 

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"I say if I can help get somebody out of jail, you know, then God might smile a little bit more on me," Little once said after he confessed.

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