When Grove City Division of Police Detective Matt Ryan interviewed Samuel Little about his involvement in the murder of a woman whose body was discovered in 1981 in a wooded area in Grove City, he was struck by the man's matter-of-fact manner.
"He had a great memory about the details," said Ryan, who interviewed Little with Grove City Detective Teri Ruslander in November 2018 in an Odessa, Texas, prison.
"He was able to give us all of the details -- what clothes she was wearing, where he picked her up, where he dumped her body, the car he was driving -- that helped us to confirm he was the one involved in this murder," Ryan said.
Little talked about the details of murdering Anna Stewart "the way you or I would talk about a car repair we got done the other day," he said.
"He showed no remorse," Ryan said. "It was just another day in his life."
The Hamilton and Franklin county prosecutors' offices announced June 7 that Little, who is in prison in California, has been indicted for Stewart's murder and the killing of another woman, an unidentified former Cincinnati resident. The indictments against Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, were announced by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien on Little's 79th birthday.
Little is charged with one count of murder in the Oct. 11, 1981, death of Stewart, who was six days away from turning 33 when she was killed, according to the Franklin County announcement. If convicted of the charge, Little would face 15 years to life in prison.
Stewart's body was found Oct. 12, 1981, in a woods toward the rear of apartments off Queen Anne Place in Grove City. The coroner ruled Stewart was strangled, according to the announcement.
In the second case, Little is charged with killing a second unidentified victim named as Jane Doe in the indictment. Investigators are working with the Hamilton County Coroner's Office to review old autopsies and find any that may fit the description of Jane Doe and the location where it is believed her body would have been found. Little would face 15 years to life in prison if convicted on that charge.
Investigators believe Jane Doe's body might have been found within a 20-minute drive of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati on a hillside under a billboard, according to the prosecutor's news release. She is described as a black woman, slender, dark-skinned, with short hair (wearing a wig at the time of death) and wearing glasses.
Anyone with information should contact Cincinnati Police Department Homicide Detective Kelly Best at 513-352-1970 or Kellyanne.Best@ cincinnati-oh.gov.
When Grove City detectives talked to Little in November 2018, "one of the things he told us was that he began to feel the urge to strangle people, especially women, at a very young age," Ryan said
Little is serving three life sentences in the California State Prison in Lancaster, California, for the murders of three women in that state, the press release stated. Authorities believe he is responsible for 93 murders, which would make him the most prolific serial killer in the United States, according to the release.
Best and Texas Ranger James Holland interviewed Little May 23 at the California State Prison about the Ohio cases.
Because Stewart's body was found in Grove City, the Grove City Division of Police and O'Brien's office resumed working on the case when Holland identified Little as a person of interest. The Hamilton County prosecutor's office was informed when it was determined Stewart's murder had occurred in Cincinnati.
"There were a lot of people around, so he didn't dispose of her body immediately," Ryan said.
Instead, Little said he put Stewart's body in his car and began driving to Cleveland, Ryan said.
"He was getting concerned about getting stopped by the police, so he just decided it was time to get rid of the body and that was when he was in the Grove City area," he said.
"Little victimized vulnerable women and strangled his victims to death for pleasure," O'Brien said in the statement.
Stewart's murder occurred during a time when Ohio did not have a death penalty, he said.