The making of a serial killer: Tracing Samuel Little’s Northeast Ohio roots

Little confessed to killing 93 victims across the United States.

Tracing serial killer Samuel Little’s NEO roots: ‘They didn’t know who the hell was doing it'

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - What does it take to catch a killer? In this case, a serial killer who evaded police for decades?

By now, you’ve probably heard of Samuel Little, now called “America’s most prolific serial killer” by the FBI.

Little, 79, confessed to murdering 93 victims across the United States.

Seven of his victims were from Ohio.

Little confessed to killing Mary Jo Peyton and Rose Evans in Cleveland in the 80s and early 90s.

And those weren’t his only victims from Northeast Ohio.

Little was raised in Lorain and throughout all of the killings, he kept coming back home.

19 News is tracing his first steps into crime right here in Northeast Ohio.

Retired Detective Alan Leiby remembers Samuel Little from a 1984 shoplifting case in Elyria.
Retired Detective Alan Leiby remembers Samuel Little from a 1984 shoplifting case in Elyria. (Source: WOIO)

Investigator Sara Goldenberg tracked down one local detective who never forgot him.

“There was something about this guy that just made me tingle, I've jokingly said it made the spidey senses tingle,” he said.

We’ll also bring you inside the case file of three murders out of Los Angeles that sent Little to prison and sparked investigations at police departments nationwide.

“Once we knew what we were dealing with, which was a violent offender, a serial killer, then it became very important for us to get this guy in custody,” said LAPD Detective Mitzi Roberts.

Mary Jo Peyton, left, and Rose Evans were two of Samuel Little's Cleveland victims.
Mary Jo Peyton, left, and Rose Evans were two of Samuel Little's Cleveland victims. (Source: WOIO)

You can watch Episode 1 of TO CATCH A KILLER: SAMUEL LITTLE tonight at 11.

Our 3-part series will continue Tuesday night at 11 and Wednesday night at 11.

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