Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- U.S. Marshals say they found a 72-year-old suspected serial killer hiding out in a Louisville homeless shelter. Samuel Little is charged with three cold case murders out of Los Angeles that date back to the 1980s.
Marshals say Little is a career criminal who went by several other names and that his criminal rap sheet spans 24 states.
He was arrested in September at Wayside Christian Mission on an old narcotics charge and sent back to Los Angeles. New DNA test results have linked him to the cold cases.
Workers at Wayside Christian Mission thought Samuel Little was a just sickly old man when he arrived at the emergency shelter last fall. Detectives say he was sick, but in much different way," as Mitzi Roberts of the Los Angeles Police Dept. explains: "I think Samuel McDowell is a monster who preyed on vulnerable people."
U.S. Marshal Service Chief Deputy Brian Parrish says, "The methodology of the murder, which was strangulation, has every cold case detective in those 24 states canvassing for similar homicides."
Detectives in Los Angeles called U.S. Marshals in Louisville, saying Little was a career criminal going by several different names and had a criminal rap sheet in 24 states. Marshal Service Chief Deputy Brian Parrish says, "When we received the info, we took it as a high priority. We felt like potentially there was this individual in the Louisville area that was still continuing to commit these types of crimes."
Marshals found the 72-year old man trying to get his disability benefits transferred to Kentucky.
Authorities say Little was hard to track because he lived life on the run, and it's easy to hide at places like Wayside. All you need is a government issued ID, a clean TB screen, and not be a sex offender to stay at Wayside and leaders say they can't afford to have it any other way. They say with 350 people in the emergency shelter every night, to go a background check on each one takes several weeks and costs $20 apiece, which they don't consider feasible.