Sam Little

Samuel Little

CLEVELAND -- Samuel Little, perhaps the most prolific killer in American history, has been linked to at least 60 murders. Rick Bell, Investigations Division Chief in the Office of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, believes Little is involved with 30 more.

He was sentenced to two life terms on Aug. 22 in Cleveland for a pair of murders. He was convicted in the deaths of a 21-year-old Mary Jo Peyton in 1984 and Rose Evans, 32, in 1991.

Little, 79, has claimed to have killed people between 1970 and 2005 in 14 states from California to Florida, according to CNN. 

Bell joined Adam Fox and Noah Jones on the true crime podcast, Chalk Murder to Me to talk about his interview with the notorious killer, held in a California State Prison.

On Oct. 1, 2018, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO) was informed by a member of the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) of an ongoing investigation involving convicted serial killer Little.

In 2013, Little was sentenced in California to life in prison for the murders of three women.

In 2018, Little was extradited to Texas, where he pleaded guilty to a fourth murder, and received another life sentence. While incarcerated in Texas, authorities there were able to link Little to numerous other murders that included five Ohio women, three of which lived in the Cleveland area.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bell and Investigator Jack Bornfeld traveled to Texas and secured a detailed confession from Little.

The investigation by CCPO’s Cold Case Unit and Cleveland Bureau of the FBI learned that Little walked into a Cleveland bar one night located near East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue between May and June 1984. While at the bar, Little met a 21-year-old woman named Mary Jo Peyton.

After leaving the bar, Little drove her to what appeared to be an abandoned factory and strangled her to death. To avoid detection by law enforcement, he dragged her body out of the car and threw her down to the bottom of a basement stairwell. On July 3, 1984, two employees of a nearby business discovered her body.

On or about Aug. 24, 1991, Little was driving in the area of East 55th Street and Central Avenue, when he met a 32-year-old woman named Rose Evans. Little offered her a ride but took her to a vacant lot near East 39th Street and strangled her to death in his car. He concealed her body by covering her with two tires in the vacant lot. On the morning of Aug. 24, 1991, a bystander walking by discovered the victim’s body.

A third victim has not yet been found or identified. The case remains under investigation. Over half of Little’s suspected 93 murder victims across the United States have been confirmed by authorities. His killing spree spanned over 35 years in more than a dozen states, beginning in 1970 at age 30 and ending in 2005 at 65 years of age.

Little has been sentenced to multiple life terms without the possibility of parole and is currently incarcerated in California State Prison.

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