Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Samuel Little, 78, serving prison time in Texas for killing three people, confessed this spring to 90 killings, 34 of which the FBI has now confirmed.
The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or ViCAP, unit of the FBI confirmed 34 killings while the rest are pending confirmation, an FBI statement shows.
The FBI is working with the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Texas Rangers, and dozens of state and local agencies to match Little's confessions with evidence from women found dead between 1970 and 2005 in states from California to Florida, the statement said.
If all his confessions are confirmed, Little "may be among the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history," FBI crime analysts report. His confession came up in a spring interview while he hoped to move prisons in exchange for talking.
"Over the course of that interview in May, he went through city and state and gave Ranger [James] Holland the number of people he killed in each place. Jackson, Mississippi-one; Cincinnati, Ohio-one; Phoenix, Arizona-three; Las Vegas, Nevada-one," VicCAP crime analyst Christina Palazzolo said.
The former competitive boxer who "usually stunned or knocked out his victims," before strangling them, according to the FBI statement, preyed on vulnerable women often involved in prostitution and drugs. Their deaths sometimes went unidentified or were not investigated.
He was charged in the 1980s with killing women in Mississippi and Florida but was not indicted in Mississippi and was not convicted in Florida. Little previously served time for assaulting a woman in Missouri in the 1970s and for assaulting and kidnapping a woman in San Diego in the 1980s.
Little was arrested in 2012 at a homeless shelter in Kentucky and extradited to California on a narcotics charge. Once in custody, Los Angeles detectives obtained a DNA match to Little on three unsolved homicides from 1987 to 1989 that led to the murder charges for which he is currently serving prison time.
He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole in 2014 for killing three people.
"Little's run-ins with the law date back to 1956, and there are clear signs of a dark, violent streak among his many shoplifting, fraud, drug, solicitation, and breaking and entering charges," the FBI statement said. "But law enforcement has only recently begun unraveling the true extent of his crimes."