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Judge sentences serial killer for Cincinnati murders by Skype

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There is now justice for two southern Ohio women who were killed decades ago by possibly the most prolific serial killer in the country's history.

Samuel Little pleaded guilty Friday in Hamilton County to killing the women -- two of 93 women he says he's murdered. He appeared via Skype from a California state prison in Los Angeles.

He would be arraigned, plead guilty and be sentenced all in a matter of about 30 minutes, answering questions that have been left unanswered for years. Seventy-nine-years old, diabetes-stricken and hard of hearing, the man wheeled into a conference room at the state prison in Los Angeles was a far cry from the man who has admitted traversing the country for decades, strangling scores of women.

Little pleaded guilty to killing Anna Stewart, a drug-using prostitute and a mother of three, in 1981. Little says he met Stewart in the Over-the-Rhine area, strangled her, then dumped her body in Franklin County.

But it was the guilty plea for a killing a woman only known as Jane Doe sometime between 1980 and 2000 that was perhaps most interesting. Not because he came forward and drew a picture of her, but because, while appearing relatively unengaged during Friday's proceedings, he felt compelled to correct the prosecutor who was describing when Little met the woman on the stairs of a home in Mt. Adams.

"She motioned for him to come in,” explained Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier. “He went up the stairs with her. There was another female there that he identified as a heavyset Puerto Rican."

Suddenly, Piepmeier stopped as Little whispered in his ear.

"Mr. Little corrected me,” continued Piepmeier. “Said [she] was a Mexican."

It's a subtle detail but also an indication as to the acuteness of Little’s memories of the 93 women he says he killed. The prosecutor also described the single motive for all the murders.

"His actual, bare hands on the bare necks -- that's what got him sexually aroused, and that's why he did this. It wasn't for any other reason," continued Piepmeier.

Little's defense attorney explained why he came forward now to admit to the strangulations.

"He informed me at this stage in his life he would like to do what he can to make it as right as he can by cooperating on these murders," said defense attorney Timothy McKenna. Then, Hamilton County Judge Melba Marsh handed down her sentence.

"Fifteen years to life on each, running consecutive to each," said Marsh.

After sentencing, Hamilton County's prosecutor, Joe Deters, described why he wanted consecutive life sentences in Ohio, even though Little was already serving three consecutive life sentences in California:

"If they get some whacked-out governor and he terminates the sentence, we want to bring him back,” said Deters. “Because we want justice for our two victims here in Cincinnati."

The first Cincinnati victim, Anna Stewart, has a daughter in Tennessee and a sister in Ohio who did not come to Friday's hearing, but prosecutor Deters says they told him they were thankful for the sentencing. Deters says he is confident the identity of the second local victim will be found and closure will be brought to that family.


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