NATIONAL NEWS

Remains of Georgia woman identified, confirmed as serial killer’s 1977 victim

May 18, 2023, 9:31 AM | Updated: 10:38 am

MACON, Ga. (AP) — The remains of a Georgia woman killed 46 years ago were identified and confirmed as a victim of Samuel Little, known as the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, authorities said Thursday.

Yvonne Pless was about 20 when Little killed her in 1977, according to a news release from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She had been dubbed “Macon Jane Doe” by The Telegraph newspaper in the city.

Little, who died in December 2020, confessed in 2018 to killing two Macon women, prompting Georgia investigators to travel to Texas in 2019 to interview him. They were able to confirm that his confessions matched the unsolved Macon cold case. They were able to notify a remaining family member of the other woman, Fredonia Smith, who was killed in 1982.

But Pless’ remains hadn’t been identified, so her family was not known. Last year, investigators used forensic genetic genealogy to identify Pless’ remains and then identified a relative who connected them with her remaining family in Macon.

By the time of his death at nearly 80 years old, Little had confessed to killing 93 people between 1970 and 2005. Most of the slayings took place in Florida and Southern California. Georgia authorities say eight of his victims were Georgia residents, and the remains of a Tennessee woman were also found in Georgia.

Little, who was in and out of jail for decades for stealing, assault, drugs or other crimes, for years denied killing anyone.

It wasn’t until he was questioned by Texas Ranger James Holland in 2018 about a killing it turned out he didn’t commit that the details began to come out. Over about 700 hours of interviews, he gave details from scores of killings that only a murderer would know.

He said he started killing in 1970, on New Year’s Eve in Miami.

“It was like drugs,” he told Holland. “I came to like it.”

His last was in 2005, he said, in Tupelo, Mississippi. He also killed people in Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, Nevada, Arkansas and other states.

Little strangled most of his victims, usually soon after meeting them during chance encounters.

Almost all of his victims were women, and he targeted people living on the edges of society, such as prostitutes or drug addicts. They were people he believed wouldn’t be looked for and wouldn’t leave much evidence for police.

He wasn’t wrong — police around the country initially classified many of the deaths as accidents, drug overdoses or the result of unknown causes.

Kentucky authorities finally caught up with him in 2012 after he was arrested on drug charges and his DNA linked him to three California killings.

When he began recounting the other slayings, authorities were astounded at how much he remembered. His paintings, they said, indicated he had a photographic memory.

“Nothing he’s ever said has been proven to be wrong or false,” Holland told the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” in 2019.

National News

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Su...

Associated Press

The Latest: RNC set to begin in the aftermath of Trump assassination attempt

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week, with delegates and officials descending on Wisconsin amid the tumult that follows a Saturday assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump as he prepares to become the GOP’s official nominee. The quadrennial event takes place not only as Trump leads a party in lockstep behind him, but […]

45 minutes ago

Work continues on the roof of Gaido's restaurant in preparation for opening for diners for the firs...

Associated Press

In beachy Galveston, locals buckle down without power after Beryl’s blow during peak tourist season

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Vacuums sucked the water out of the seaside inn run by Nick Gaido’s family in Galveston since 1911 as power was still spotty nearly one week after a resurgent Hurricane Beryl swept into Texas. Blue tarp covered much of the torn off roof. Gaido scheduled cleanup shifts for the hotel and […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Balloons are hoisted to the ceiling in the Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Conve...

Associated Press

When does a presumptive nominee become a nominee? Here’s how Donald Trump will make it official

WASHINGTON (AP) — Monday 12:01 AM Nearly 2,500 delegates are gathering in Milwaukee this week for a roll call vote to select a the Republican presidential nominee, formally ending the presidential primary. It will be a moment lacking in suspense: Former President Donald Trump has already been the presumptive nominee for months, having clinched a […]

8 hours ago

Members of the Coalition to March on the RNC speak during a news conference ahead of the 2024 Repub...

Associated Press

GOP convention protests are on despite shooting at Trump rally

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Activists gathering in Milwaukee for the start of the Republican National Convention say the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the convention site this week. A diverse range of organizations and activists is expected outside the downtown Fiserv Forum. The largest expected demonstration […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressing delegates during the Republic...

Associated Press

Floor fights, boos and a too-long kiss. How the dramatic and the bizarre define convention history

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 1948, the Republican and Democratic parties did something unthinkable in today’s climate of ferocious political animosity: They not only held their national conventions in the same city, but shared some of the props. Both gathered in Philadelphia, largely because its Municipal Auditorium had already been fitted with the wiring needed for […]

9 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, ...

Associated Press

The RNC’s first day will still focus on the economy. Here’s what to know about Trump’s plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump goes into the Republican National Convention with bold promises about the U.S. economy, but he has sketched out notably few details about how his plans would actually work. The convention’s first day is still expected to focus on the economy even after Saturday’s shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania […]

9 hours ago

Remains of Georgia woman identified, confirmed as serial killer’s 1977 victim