Los Angeles police said Samuel Little, who had been held in Kentucky since September on an unrelated warrant, was extradited to California to face charges in the deaths of Carol Alford, 41, found dead July 13, 1987; Audrey Nelson, 35, whose body was discovered Aug. 14, 1989; and Guadalupe Apodaca, 46, from Sept. 2, 1989, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The killings were sexually motivated strangulations, police said.
Little's criminal background includes dozens of arrests in 24 states, mostly for minor offenses. Now authorities believe his crimes were much graver.
"It was theft by day and murder by night," LAPD Detective Rick Jackson told the Times.
Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, also is suspected of murder and attempted murder in the Gainesville, Fla., and Pascagoula, Miss., areas in the 1980s, the newspaper said.
"We believe he is good for many more crimes -- including murders -- throughout the United States," LAPD Detective Mitzi Roberts said. "If any law enforcement agencies have similar killings that occurred between 1960 and the present, they should contact LAPD cold case detectives."