Cuyahoga County

Serial Killer Samuel Little Indicted for Two Cleveland Cold Case Murders



CLEVELAND – Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Samuel Little, 78, for murdering two Cleveland women in 1984 and 1991.  Little is charged with four counts of Aggravated Murder and six counts of Kidnapping.  Little has confessed to killing 93 women across the United States, over half of which have been confirmed.  His killing spree spanned over 35 years in more than a dozen states, beginning in 1970 at 30-years-old and ending in 2005 at 65 years of age.

“There are no words to describe the pure evil that exists within Samuel Little,” said Prosecutor O’Malley.  “His heinous disregard for human life is incomprehensible.” 

On October 1st, 2018, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO) was informed by a member of the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) of an ongoing investigation involving convicted serial killer Samuel Little.  Little was serving a Life sentence in California State Prison after he was convicted in 2013 for three murders.  In 2018, Little was extradited to Texas, pled guilty to a fourth murder, and received another Life sentence.  While incarcerated in Texas State Prison, Little admitted to numerous other murders that included five Ohio women, three of which lived in the Cleveland area.  CCPO’s Special Investigations Division – Cold Case Unit was able to identify two of the three victims.

One night between May and June 1984, Little walked into a Cleveland bar located near E. 105th St. and Euclid Avenue.  While at the bar, Little met a 21-year-old woman named Mary Jo Peyton.  After leaving the bar together, Little drove her to what appeared to be an abandoned factory.  He killed her by strangling her with his hands.  He dragged her out of the car and threw her down to the bottom of a basement stairwell.  On July 3rd, 1984, two employees of a nearby business discovered the victim’s body.

On or about August 24th, 1991, Little was driving around Cleveland near E. 55th St. and Central Avenue.  While in the area, he met a 32-year-old woman named Rose Evans.  Little offered her a ride but took her to a vacant lot near E. 39th Street.  He killed her in the car by strangling her with his hands.  He concealed the body by covering her with two tires in the vacant lot.  On the morning of August 24th, 1991, a bystander walking by discovered the victim’s body.

The third victim has not yet been found or identified.  The CCPO’s Special Investigations Division – Cold Case Unit is currently investigating with law enforcement agencies.

Little has been sentenced to serve multiple Life sentences without the possibility of parole in California State Prison and is currently incarcerated in Texas.

A warrant has been issued for Little’s arrest.  He will be arraigned at a later date and faces a sentence of Life in prison without parole possibility.