A jailed murderer is under investigation after confessing to killing 90 people over four decades in the United States.
The FBI believes that 78-year-old Samuel Little could be among the most prolific serial killers in US criminal history.
State and federal agencies are now using to match his confession with the deaths of dozens of women across the country between 1970 and 2005.
Investigators say that they have already linked to 34 murders and are working to corroborate a lot of others.
Few are currently serving life sentences after being sentenced in 2014 for the murder of three women.
He has been in custody since September 2012, when he was arrested at a homeless shelter in Kentucky and extradited to California, where he was wanted for drug trafficking.
DNA samples taken from Little were then linked to the unresolved deaths of three women in Los Angeles County in 1987 and 1989.
The three victims were beaten and strangled before their bodies were thrown separately.
He pleaded not guilty to the trial, but was eventually sentenced to three consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.
Before that, he already had a criminal record with offenses including rape and armed robbery.
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The murder convictions led Little to be referred to the FBI's Criminal Violence Awareness Program (ViCAP), a program that allows for the analysis of serial violent and sexual offenders and the sharing of information. information with local law enforcement officials to refer to unresolved crimes.
The program officials say they then discovered an "alarming pattern" and "compelling connections" with many other murders across the United States.
An unsolved murder in Odessa, Texas, of a woman named Denise Christie Brothers was then sued by local authorities.
A local ranger, James Holland, then went to California with members of the ViCAP team earlier this year to interview Little.
They say that Little agreed to talk to them because he hoped to move prisons.
The FBI said Little had confessed to more than 90 murders in total, spreading across several US states, from California to Maryland.
The ViCap team said in a press release earlier this week that it had already established links with 34 dead, with many others appearing to be waiting for confirmation.
During this interview in May, he toured the cities and states and told Ranger Holland how many people he had killed at each location: Jackson, Mississippi – A, Cincinnati, Ohio – one; Phoenix, Arizona – Three, Las Vegas, Nevada – one, "said Christina Palazzolo, crime analyst at ViCAP, in the report.
They believe that few particularly marginalized and vulnerable women involved in prostitution or drug addicts were particularly targeted.
Investigators say their bodies have often been left unidentified and their deaths have not been investigated by the authorities.
"The murder method of Little also did not leave any obvious signs of homicide." The long-time competitive boxer has usually stunned or stunned his victims with powerful blows, then strangled them, "according to the FBI report. .
"In the absence of stabbing or gunshot wounds, many of these deaths were not classified as homicides, but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents or causes. natural resources, "he continued.
Many of these would have occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s, before DNA technology was available to the police.
Beth Silverman, the Los Angeles County Attorney who helped to convict Little in 2014, told the New York Times that "many agencies across the country … have dropped the ball in this case."
"He went down again and again," she told the newspaper.
According to the FBI, the 78-year-old is "in poor health" and is expected to remain in Texas prison until his death. He was transferred from California after confessing the murder of Odessa.
The office said he was continuing to work alongside Ranger Holland, who would have interviewed Little "almost every day," to help draw an accurate and complete picture of his crimes.
"The biggest lesson to be learned from this case is the power of information sharing," said Kevin Fitzsimmons, crime analyst and supervisor of ViCAP in the FBI report.
"A Jane Doe [unidentified victim] those found dead in an alley in New Orleans may look like an isolated event, but patterns appear when entered into the ViCAP database and examined with other dead or missing persons. That is the value of ViCAP. "