Los Angeles News

Man, 72, suspected in multiple cold-case murders

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A 72-year-old man is in custody on suspicion of killing at least three Los Angeles women. But authorities say his crimes may spread from coast to coast.

Los Angeles Police Department investigators were stunned by Samuel Little's rap sheet. Little is linked to crimes in 24 states, starting at age 15, but he served less than 10 years behind bars and kept on moving. Detectives said Little has been criminally active for 55 years of his life.

LAPD cold case detectives are discovering more, what they believe is the trail of a serial killer who traveled coast to coast.

"It was theft by day and murder by night," LAPD Det. Mitzi Roberts said.

It began with evidence gathered in the 1989 murders of Carol Alford, Audrey Nelson and Guadalupe Apodaca. The victims were strangled and raped in an unusual way. DNA was left behind, but not necessarily on the victims' bodies. It was on their clothing. Detectives shared details to police agencies across the nation earlier this week, asking them to look at their cold case murders.

There was a quick response from Mississippi. Little had been arrested for the murder of 20-year-old Melinda Dupree in 1982, but there was not enough evidence then to hold him. Mississippi authorities say there are strong similarities between their case and the ones in Los Angeles.

In Macon, Ga., the victim linked to Little was Kimberly Kessinger in 1982.

Today, even more calls are coming into LAPD.

"People that are calling me saying, 'Hey, he was arrest in my state. I don't know why it doesn't show up on his rap sheet, but he was,'" Roberts said.

With LAPD's outreach, agencies nationwide now hope to solve their cold cases and bring closure to victim's loved ones.

In several cases, the LAPD said Little left his victims for dead, but they survived. Investigators suspect there may be other women who were attacked, but never reported it. They want those victims to come forward and contact police where the assault happened.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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arrest, homicide investigation, murder, los angeles news, miriam hernandez
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