A serial killer convicted in the deaths of three women, and believed to be behind the murders of dozens more, has been charged in the cold case killing of a Texas woman found dead more than two decades ago, officials said.
Denise Christie Brothers was 38 years old when she vanished in the winter of 1994. She had last been seen alive in a motel parking lot in Odessa and was reported missing on Jan. 1. Her body was discovered a month later in a vacant lot only blocks away, authorities said. She had been strangled.
While serving three consecutive life sentences for three other murders, Samuel Little allegedly said he killed Brothers during several interviews with a Texas Ranger in May. Little, now 78, had “intimate knowledge of the crime and about the victim that was never released to the public,” Odessa police said. He also was able to show he was in Odessa at the time of Brothers’ murder.
Little was convicted in September 2014 of killing three women in California in the ‘80s. Little, who also was known as Samuel McDowell, was arrested in Kentucky after DNA linked him to deaths in 1987 and 1989.
Investigators have since learned he was likely behind many more murders.
“Little has provided details of more than 90 murders committed in multiple states,” the Wise County Sheriff’s Office said. Authorities have reportedly already confirmed his being linked to 30 of those cases.
“As a result of this investigation, not only did the family of Denise Brothers get answers, but so will hundreds of family members know the truth after decades of questions. Justice for the victims of Samuel Little may have been delayed, but because of these efforts, justice is no longer denied,” the Ector County District Attorney’s office said in a statement to OA Online.
Little has been interviewed to discuss his potential involvement in cold cases from 1970 to 2005 by authorities from Texas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, California, Indiana, Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Justice Department. He is now believed to be one of, if not the most, prolific serial killers in U.S. history.