1980s Murder Suspect Arrested: Samuel Little, Cold Case Serial Killer

A serial murderer suspected in the deaths of at least three women has been arrested after more than 20 years.

Samuel Little, 72, was charged on Monday in Los Angeles on three counts of murder. Little was arrested in Kentucky last September on unrelated charges before being extradited to California.

Police believe that Little is responsible for the sexually motivated crimes of the women, who were strangled to death. Few other details about the murders have been released.

Police discovered DNA that links Little to the crimes, according to The Los Angeles Times. The three victims were listed as Carol Alford, 41, found dead on July 13, 1987; Audrey Nelson, 35, whose body was discovered Aug. 14, 1989; and Guadalupe Apodaca, 46, found Sept. 2, 1989.

"It was theft by day and murder by night," Rick Jackson, one of the detectives who investigated the case, told The LA Times.

Little has been arrested a number of other times in the past, mostly for misdemeanor crimes. But police believe that Little had a violent side and may have purposely targeted prostitutes or drug abusers.

Little was described as a transient who had frequent contact with police.

"He's a career criminal, like a wandering criminal that goes from place to place committing crimes," Detective Mitzi Roberts told the Associated Press.

Little, who once identified himself as Samuel McDowell, had been charged with two murders and two attempted murders in Florida during the early 1980s, but escaped charges. Little also served two years in a San Diego prison after being convicted of assaults on two separate women.

The criminal complaint stated that little committed the crimes with "malice and aforethought." The three felony charges were documented as a "special circumstance" case. It is uncertain whether or not the death penalty will be pursued.