Richland Co. investigators release new details on cold case possibly linked to most prolific serial killer in U.S. history

Richland Co. investigators release new details on cold case possibly linked to most prolific serial

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County investigators released new details about how the man the FBI is calling the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history might be responsible for a cold case here in the Midlands.

FBI investigators said Samuel Little confessed to murdering 93 people last year. Since then, the FBI has confirmed 50 of them. However, one that remains unverified is a murder Little said he carried out in South Carolina.

About a year ago, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said it was looking at a possible link between one of Little’s confessions and a local cold case, which occurred at the same time period in Little’s Confession.

Richland County Deputy Chief Investigator Stan Smith said that they still aren’t sure if Little is the man who murdered Evelyn Weston in 1978 in Richland County. Smith said that, even though parts of Little’s confession match Evelyn’s murder, when Little was shown a picture of Weston by investigators this year, he said she wasn’t the person he killed.

“He’s indicated that he didn’t think he killed her by her face, but we haven’t given up yet by some of the details that do match up,” Smith said.

Smith said the possible connection between Weston and Little began when Little confessed to murdering a woman near a military base near Charleston. Charleston law enforcement said last year that no homicide records matched Little’s confession.

“He’s an evil person that’s killed a lot of women. Don’t know why would lie. There might be some confusion, but we may never know,” Smith said.

Smith said Little’s confession did match significant parts of Evelyn’s murder, including the proximity to a military base and the details on the way her body was positioned at the time of the murder.

“What we have is a historical file with facts that are consistent and some that are not consistent and his memory. It’s frustrating. We would like to know for sure 100 percent,” Smith said.

However, Smith said there are a few divergences between Little’s confession and Weston’s murder.

“There is one distant difference that is troubling in this case. In our case, the victim was shot whereas most of his victims were strangled,” Smith said. “Oftentimes, there can be an aberration, one that doesn’t quite fit the pattern so we haven’t given up that he still might be good for this murder.”

However, Smith said without Little confessing to murdering Weston or new evidence, the case is at a standstill.

“Records from that far ago, over 40 years ago, it’s very difficult and we’ve come to the conclusion we might never know for sure,” Smith said.

In the wake of this new round of publicity, investigators said it’s frustrating to know that Weston’s family might never get closure on who murdered the 19-year-old almost 40 years ago.

However, Smith said that the sheriff’s department has been in contact with Weston’s family, including her son, keeping them updated on the investigation.

The 79-year-old Little was already behind bars serving three life sentences for multiple murders when he confessed to the additional 90 murders including the murder in South Carolina.

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