(Reuters) – Serial killer Samuel Little, who is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted of killing three women in Los Angeles in the 1980s, appeared in Ohio court by videolink on Friday and pleaded guilty to murdering two Cincinnati women decades ago.
Little, whom authorities believe may be responsible for some 90 murders in several U.S. states over decades, was handed two sentences of 15 years to life in prison for the murders of Anna Stewart in 1981 and an unnamed woman referred to as “Jane Doe.”
The date of the Jane Doe killing is unknown but is believed to have occurred sometime between 1980 and 1999.
The 79-year-old defendant appeared in Cincinnati’s Hamilton County Court via Skype from California State Prison in Los Angeles County and sat with his hands folded in a wheelchair, responding “Yes, ma’am” when Judge Melba Marsh asked if he waived his right to a trial by jury.
Little confessed that he strangled both women to death after they willingly engaged in sex with him as prostitutes, prosecutors said.
Stewart was a 33-year-old unmarried mother of three and the other woman, like dozens of Little’s alleged victims, has only been identified by a sketch that Little drew of her and never by name.
“He said he specifically looked for people who would not be missed,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier told the judge. “He looked for people that appeared to be homeless, possibly a prostitute, people that, if they went missing for a couple of days, their family members would probably not immediately notify the authorities.”
Piepmeier said authorities have been able to corroborate 60 of Little’s claimed murders, but he had only been convicted of three before today. He is believed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history.
Police used DNA matches in 2012 to tie Samuel Little to the murders of three women, whose bodies were dumped in alleys near downtown Los Angeles and who prosecutors have described as easy targets because of their drug problems.
He was arrested in 2012 in Kentucky on an unrelated drug charge and extradited to California.
Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Tom Brown
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