Elderly prison prize-fighter and career criminal Samuel Little has made headlines in recent days claiming to have committed up to 90 unsolved murders, in a campaign of violence spanning several decades. Samuel Little’s confirmed victims are Carol Alford, Audrey Nelson, and Guadalupe Abodacha, the three women he was convicted of killing in his 2014 trial. Samuel Little murdered the vulnerable cocaine addicts and dumped their bodies on the streets of Los Angeles between 1987-1989.
On September 5, 2012 Samuel Little was arrested at Kentucky homeless shelter where he was resident. The 78-year-old is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the three cold-case murders, after DNA evidence tied him to the 30-year-old crimes in 2012. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in relation to these cases.
Samuel Little’s Confirmed Victims:
Carol Alford was 41-years-old when she was became the first of Samuel Little’s confirmed victims in 1987. She is survived by her daughter Brenda Gordon, who was eight-months pregnant with her first child at the time of her mother’s death.
Despite the case remaining cold for almost 30 years, Gordon never gave up hope that her mother’s killing would be solved. She suspected that her mother, who was a vulnerable cocaine addict at the time her murder, may have been a victim of the infamous ‘Grim Sleeper’, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a serial killer who targeted black women involved in the sex trade on LA’s Southside in the 1980s.
When Samuel Little was convicted of her mother’s murder in 2014, Brenda Gordon was effusive as she expressed her gratitude to the detectives who brought Alford’s killer to justice, telling reporters; “I was really, really excited, I was happy, I was disgusted. I thought they had given up, but I do thank them from the bottom of my heart,“I was really, really excited, I was happy, I was disgusted. I thought they had given up, but I do thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
35-year-old Audrey Nelson had lived a life of great hardship when she was targeted by Samuel Little in 1989.
Her sister, Sherri Nelson, described the former cosmetology student as a ‘hardy soul’ and a born rebel, who left her LA home at the age of 19 for the promise of a new life in New York.
Tragically, on arriving in the city she was forced into prostitution and became dependent of drugs. Nelson gave birth to a daughter, Pearl, but her chaotic lifestyle left the young mother unable to raise her alone. Nelson’s parents stepped in to raise the child, and Pearl was sent to live with her grandparents in Los Angeles, while her mother remained in New York as a sex worker.
Audrey Nelson suffered yet more tragedy, when she was badly burned in a New York apartment fire. But at the time of her death in August 1989, she had returned to LA and was beginning to get her life back on track with the hope of reuniting with her daughter.
Guadalupe Abodacha (reported elsewhere as Guadalupe Apodaca), was 46-years-old when she became the last of Samuel Little’s confirmed victims in September 1989
Based on the testimony of those who survived attacks at the hands of Samuel Little, it is likely that the killer lured Ms. Abodacha with the promise of drugs, before strangling her to death and leaving her body in an abandoned building.
She is survived by her niece Diana Flores, 60, and her son, Tony Zanbrano, 54, who has spoken eloquently about the ways in which his life has been blighted by the loss of his mother, which remained unsolved for a quarter of a century.
When Samuel Little was finally convicted of his mother’s slaying in 2014, Zanbrano told reporters; “I was totally happy, grateful that this nightmare is ended, knowing that he won’t be on the streets to hurt somebody else. He was a monster. He’d thrive on killing mothers.”