Man called most prolific serial killer in US history dies

This Sept. 24, 2018, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows Samuel Little. Little, the man authorities say was the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, has died. He was 80. California corrections department spokeswoman Vicky Waters said Little died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. He had been serving a life sentence at a California prison since being convicted of three counts of murder in 2013. (California Department of Corrections via AP)
This Sept. 24, 2018, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows Samuel Little. Little, the man authorities say was the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, has died. He was 80. California corrections department spokeswoman Vicky Waters said Little died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. He had been serving a life sentence at a California prison since being convicted of three counts of murder in 2013. (California Department of Corrections via AP)

LOS ANGELES – The man authorities say was the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, with nearly 60 confirmed victims, died Wednesday in California. He was 80.

Samuel Little, who had diabetes, heart trouble and other ailments, died at a California hospital, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was serving a life sentence for multiple counts of murder.

California corrections department spokeswoman Vicky Waters said there was no sign of foul play, and his cause of death will be determined by a coroner.

A career criminal who had been in and out jail for decades, Little denied for years he’d ever killed anyone.

Then, in 2018, he opened up to Texas Ranger James Holland, who had been asked to question him about a killing it turned out Little didn’t commit. During approximately 700 hours of interviews, however, Little provided details of scores of slayings only the killer would know.

A skilled artist, he even provided Holland with dozens of paintings and drawings of his victims, sometimes scribbling their names when he could remember them, as well as details such as the year and location of the murder and where he’d dumped the body.

By the time of his death, Little had confessed to killing 93 people between 1970 and 2005. Most of the slayings took place in Florida and Southern California.

Authorities, who continue to investigate his claims, said they have confirmed nearly 60 killings and have no reason to doubt the others.