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‘Every Woman's Ultimate Nightmare': Serial Killer Linked to 1972 Murder in Prince George's County, Police Say

Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, is serving three life sentences for strangling three women in the Los Angeles area from 1987 to 1989

A serial killer who may have committed at least 90 murders across the country has been linked to a killing that occurred in Prince George's County, Maryland, almost 50 years ago.

Prince George's County police announced Wednesday that Samuel Little, 78, has been linked to a 1972 cold case in the county.

Little is already serving three life sentences for the slayings of three women in California. In July 2018, he was charged with the death of a woman in Texas, NBC News reported

Little gave investigators there information on the Maryland killing, as well as a "multitude" of others, authorities say. One of those cases involved a woman he said he met at the Greyhound bus station on New York Avenue in Washington, D.C., Prince George's County authorities said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators are still trying to determine who the woman was but are hopeful that clues provided by Little may finally lead to her identification.

Little and the woman are believed to have met in May or June 1972. Over a three-day period, Little and the still-unidentified woman had interactions and at one point, left the station in Little's car, Little told authorities. They drove on what investigators believe was the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, left the parkway in the area of Beltsville, Maryland, and had sex, Little told authorities.

He then strangled the victim, he said.

Detective Bernie Nelson said Little killed women "for sexual gratification."

"I can truly say that Samuel Little is a true monster," Nelson said. "He's every woman's ultimate nightmare."

The victim may have been from the Massachusetts area and recently had gotten divorced, Little told investigators. Her height was between 5'2" and 5'6". She was Caucasian and was possibly in her early twenties. She also may have had a child.

Authorities in Massachusetts are reviewing missing persons reports from the time of the killing, as well as divorce records, said Prince George's County Sgt. Gregory McDonald.

"We're trying to get some information, whether it be from Massachusetts, from this area, from anywhere. If anyone thinks that this may be their loved one who's been missing since 1972, we want to receive a phone call from those people so that we can make some DNA comparisons," Nelson said.

DNA evidence was extracted from the victim's remains in 2014 and has been uploaded into national databases.

"The main thing is that we're trying to identify who our victim is and we were hoping that Mr. Little could shed some light on ways of us accomplishing that goal," Nelson said.

The killing is believed to have happened in May or June in 1972. Her remains were found in December of that year by a hunter who was walking through a wooded area. A medical examiner concluded that the remains had been there for about six months.

Little was in the D.C. area at the time of the killing and was arrested on a handgun charge in May 1972 at the same bus station where he and the victim met, Nelson said.

When shown aerial photos, Little pointed out the area where the victim was found, Nelson said.

"He actually pointed out the dirt roads that he went on and pointed out exactly where he left her body," Nelson said.

Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, is serving three life sentences for strangling three women in the Los Angeles area from 1987 to 1989. He was convicted of those murders in 2014.

He was charged in the death of a woman in Texas in July. 

According to the Wise County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Texas, Little also gave investigators details on a "multitude" of murders he says he committed from 1970 to 2005 in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, California, Indiana, Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina.

As Little conveyed information about homicides to Texas Rangers who interviewed him, they would contact local law enforcement agencies in those areas, McDonald said.

If Little is found guilty of the murders he's provided information about, he "will be confirmed as one of, if not the most, prolific serial killers in U.S. history," according to a statement from Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland.

However, Little will not be charged in Prince George's County due to his existing sentence of three life terms in California, said Major Brian Reilly.

"We will get something called a Decline to Prosecute where it says we could charge him if we wanted to, but there is no reason to put people through that," he said.

Little told investigators that the Prince George's County victim was his only victim in the Washington, D.C., area, McDonald said.

"He was an open book," McDonald said. "But he's not remorseful."

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