A man linked to dozens of killings over nearly four decades has been charged with murder in the 1981 death of a Warren County woman.
A Warren County grand jury indicted Samuel Little, 78, on a count of murder.
Little is accused of strangling Linda Sue Boards, 23, of Smiths Grove at some point between May 12-15, 1981. Boards’ body was found May 15, 1981, in a field on a Hydro-Pondsville Road farm off U.S. 68, according to a 1981 Daily News article.
Then-Warren County Coroner J.C. Kirby told the Daily News that it was likely that Boards was killed in another location and her body brought to the field.
She was last seen alive May 11, 1981, when she traveled with her sister and brother-in-law to a Bowling Green nightclub, according to a May 17, 1981, Daily News report.
“(Boards) reportedly decided to stay in town rather than leave with her relatives,” the report said, attributing the information to Kirby.
Kentucky State Police Detective Gary Travis testified this week before the grand jury.
“We’ve had a lot of luck through the years on some cold cases and any time you can hopefully give some measure of closure to a victim’s family, especially in a violent crime, it means a lot to everybody involved in law enforcement,” Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron said.
KSP Post 3 in Bowling Green was contacted in September by Investigator Carolyn Nunn of the KSP Central Forensic Laboratory regarding a lead in the case that had been received by the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, a unit of the FBI that analyzes serial violent and sexual crimes.
Nunn informed Post 3 Lt. Chad Winn and Capt. Tim Adams that the federal database identified a person who had committed crimes in California that matched the method in which Boards was killed, KSP said.
The investigation led KSP to Texas, where a member of the Texas Rangers had interviewed Little regarding crimes committed there.
Ranger Jim Holland told KSP that Little could be connected to Boards’ death, and KSP investigators traveled to Texas in October to interview Little. The information provided in the interview led to the case being presented to the grand jury.
Little is serving multiple life sentences for his 2014 conviction in the case of three women who were killed in California between 1987 and 1989.
He was arrested at a Louisville homeless shelter in 2012 to face unrelated charges in California, and DNA evidence linked him to the cold cases there.
Little was suspected in the 1980s with killing two women in Mississippi and Florida but escaped indictment in one case and was acquitted in the other.
Little lived a nomadic life, spending little time in one location and surviving on thefts and robberies as he roamed from state to state, according to news reports.
Though arrested dozens of times, Little spent relatively little time behind bars.
Little’s name surfaced in the news last month when investigators said he had confessed in a series of interviews to more than 90 murders across 16 states stretching back to the 1970s, which if true would make him one of history’s most prolific serial killers.
The confessions began through interviews with Holland, and investigators from other agencies have also spoken with Little over the past several months.
He pleaded guilty this week to murder in connection with the 1994 death of a Texas woman, receiving another life sentence.
Reports indicate that Little was willing to talk in exchange for being transferred out of the California prison where he had been serving the life sentences.
The indictment lists Little’s address as Wise County Jail in Texas.
Cohron said his office will coordinate with officials in Texas to see if and when Little can be brought to Kentucky to face this newest murder charge.
An FBI investigative team has confirmed 34 killings, with more pending.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.