Authorities pursue deceased alleged serial killer’s cold cases

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(NewsNation Now) — Samuel Little, dubbed America’s most prolific serial killer, confessed from his prison cell to killing 93 women. Federal investigators have spent years trying to find the victims he allegedly killed. Now, they are releasing new information in the hopes of jogging the public’s memory and solving the last 31 cold cases.

Samuel Little died nearly a year ago serving a life sentence in California, his rap sheet dating back to the ’60s. In 2018, Little drew pictures of his victims from memory, confessing to 93 killings between 1970 and 2005.

The FBI says Little reliably remembered details about his victims.

The confessions leave police in the rare situation of already having the killer but only sketches of dozens of alleged victims spanning 35 years, many of whose bodies have never been found.

“We’re still working to try to identify the victims, but, as you imagine, that far back, everything’s kind of paper records, nothing’s digital, so it’s all sort of labor and manhours to do it,” said Sgt. Robert Santoro of the Savannah, Georgia Police Department.

Little said he usually targeted prostitutes and drug addicts. They often were not from the local area and were less likely to be missed.

“We don’t know where these victims were born, where they were raised,” said Meg Heap, district attorney in Chatham Country, Georgia.

Investigators are now hoping new details will shake loose a memory and maybe an identification to bring closure to the families.

“We would love to find a better way to notify them,” Heap said, “but we don’t have it. This is all we have. I’d want to know at the end what happened to my child.”

Technology can help with the daunting task of identifying finding the missing victims, according to Cairenn Binder, a forensic genealogist with the DNA Doe Project.

“Currently there are tens of thousands of John and Jane Does in databases throughout the United States, NamUs being the largest one,” Binder said. “Probably some of these victims could be matched to those remains, those unidentified remains.”

And, Binder said, the public can assist in the process.

“Some of it is an automated process, but some of it is manually submitted, so users can actually create a user account on NamUs and try to match victims to missing people, so that’s one way the public can actually help with case like this.”

Contemporary attitudes toward finding missing persons is another helpful factor.

“These days, people are more likely to report their loved ones missing,” Binder said. “Back in the time when Samuel Little was operating, not only were people not always reported missing, but we didn’t have the computers and recorded data that we have today, so, thankfully, there’s a lot more attention on missing persons cases.”

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