05:20 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Samuel Little, who has confessed to 93 murders between 1970 and 2005, is believed to be America's worst serial killer

    Meet America's Worst Serial Killer: Samuel Little Confesses to Strangling 90 Women Over Four Decades

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    The United States has been home to many of the world’s worst serial killer - the Boston Strangler, the Night Stalker, the BTK Killer, the Southside Slayer, the Grim Sleeper and of course the still unidentified Zodiac Killer. But Samuel Little might top them all.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to identify dozens of women victims of America’s worst ever serial killer, a previously low-profile inmate at a prison in California.

    Samuel Little, who is now 79, has been spilling the beans on the trail of misery he left behind in several US states between 1970 and 2005.

    Little has admitted to 93 killings in Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Ohio, California and Louisiana and the FBI have verified 50 of those confessions.

    He says he strangled all but one of his victims, who he drowned.

    ​In a video confession, Little described meeting the woman he drowned in New Orleans in 1982 and taking her out to the bayou in a Lincoln car: "She was pretty. Light coloured, honey brown skin. She was tall for a woman. Beautiful shape. And, uh, friendly."

    Most of the victims were black women, although at least one -  known as Little Mary, who he killed near Miami in 1971 or 1972 - was a transgender women.

    Little said he deliberately targeted people whose disappearances or deaths would not be a surprise - drug addicts, grifters and prostitutes.

    Some of his victims’ bodies have never been found but Little himself has drawn colour portraits of 30 of the women and the FBI are hoping their relatives or friends may be able to connect them to Little.

    Little, who is serving multiple life sentences, has been extremely co-operative with the FBI.

    ​He was convicted in California of three murder in 2013, pleaded guilty to another killing last year in Texas and in August this year he pleaded guilty to murdering four women in Ohio.

    Little, who sometimes used the surname McDowell, grew up in Lorain, Ohio but spent his life travelling the country, making a living by boxing or crime.

    Only a handful of his victims have been publicly identified.

    The authorities in Knox County, Tennesse, say Martha Cunningham - whose body was found in woods in January 1975 - was almost certainly a victim of Little.

    At the time of her death detectives attributed it to natural causes, despite her being bruised and naked from the waist down.

    Social media critics have said many of Little’s victims’ deaths were not properly investigated because of apathetic and even racist attitudes of detectives, especially in southern states.

    Although US serial killers tend to be white, there have been several black serial killers - including Alton Coleman, Maurey Travis and Lonnie Franklin, who was dubbed the Grim Sleeper because his crimes included a gap where he did not claim any victims.

    But one of the most notorious black serial killers - Wayne Williams, who was convicted of murdering several African-American boys in Atlanta in the 1970s, continues to protest his innocence amid claims the Ku Klux Klan were actually responsible.

    The world’s most prolific serial killer is believed to be the “Monster of the Andes”, Pedro Lopez, who raped and murdered 300 girls in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, while British doctor Harold Shipman is thought to have killed 250 patients. He hanged himself in prison in 2004, four years after being convicted of 15 murders.

    killing, murder, Louisiana, California, United States, serial killer
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