Man Who Strangled 3 Women in 1980s Sentenced to 3 Consecutive Life Terms: DA

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Samuel Little is pictured in August 2014, on trial in Los Angeles in the deaths of three women who were beaten and dumped in the late-1980s. (Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

A 74-year-old man who was convicted of first-degree murder in the strangulation of three women in the late 1980s in Los Angeles was sentenced Thursday to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.

Samuel Little received the maximum sentence for killing 41-year-old Carol Alford on or about July 13, 1987, 35-year-old Audrey Nelson on or about Aug. 14, 1989, and 46-year-old Guadalupe Apodaca on or about Sept. 3, 1989.

DNA evidence connected Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, to the killings in April 2012, according to the L.A. Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, which was investigating Nelson’s death.

Little, who had a history of moving state-to-state, was extradited from Kentucky.

Detectives said he had a history of drunk driving, shoplifting and burglary, but also had a more sinister side that included bursts of violence such as murders, robberies and assaults directed at those with “high-risk lifestyles” including prostitutes and substance abusers.

Before the L.A. murders, Little had committed crimes in 24 states, been accused of a two murders and two attempted murders in the Gainesville, Florida, and Pascagoula, Mississippi, areas; and served more than two years in state prison after being convicted of assault and false imprisonment of two San Diego women in separate cases.

Authorities said Little served limited prison time relative to his crimes and kept a step ahead of authorities by constantly moving among states.

“We believe he is good for many more crimes — including murders — throughout the United States,” LAPD Detective Mitzi Roberts said in January 2013. “If any law enforcement agencies have similar killings that occurred between 1960 and the present, they should contact LAPD Cold Case Detectives.”