PASCAGOULA, Ms. (WKRG) — A national story has ties here to the Gulf Coast.
Investigators say Samuel Little, also known as Sam McDowell, confessed to 90 murders. Two of those are in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Pictured above is Little’s mugshot from 1977, where he was arrested in Pascagoula for selling stolen clothes out of the trunk of his car. It’s the same car investigators say he admitted to killing several women inside.
The 78-year old is serving a life prison sentence in California for three murders. But this week, authorities brought him to Texas for an investigation there. That’s where he was indicted for a 1994 murder of a Texas woman.
But after confessing to dozens of additional murders, investigators across the country are looking into old cases.
“He has confessed to two cases in the city of Pascagoula,” said Lieutenant Darren Versiga of Pascagoula Police.
One of those two women is Malinda Lapree, killed in 1982. Investigators say she left her Pascagoula Housing project in September and never came home. “She was taken from there and ultimately strangled to death and dumped in Gautier, Mississippi.”
Little was never charged for Lapree’s murder because of a lack of evidence.
Versiaga says Little does not know the name of the other Pascagoula woman he claims to have killed.
Now investigators are working to figure out who she was. “Light-skinned black female believed to be from the Jackson Mississippi area, 120 pounds, in her 30’s. She worked at Ingalls.”
Lieutenant Versiga even flew to California to testify against Little. He was joined by a former Pascagoula prostitute, Lelia Johnson, who is now deceased. Versiga says Johnson testified about how Little tried to strangle her in his car after beating her. She fought back and managed to get away.
If convicted of all 90 murders, Little would be one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Prosecutors in Texas say they have already corroborated about a third of those murders.