A 34-year-old woman killed in Omaha in the 1970s may be among the victims of a Texas inmate who claimed responsibility for 90 killings over 35 years.
Omaha police confirmed Wednesday that they are in touch with the Texas Rangers, who met in May with 78-year-old Sam Little, who confessed to slayings from 1970 to 2005.
The FBI said Tuesday that it has corroborated 34 of the killings.
Little’s possible connection to the 1973 Omaha slaying of Agatha White Buffalo is still being investigated, said Lt. Darci Tierney, a spokeswoman for the department.
Officers are hoping to find White Buffalo’s next of kin to notify them of the investigation. Tierney said some known relatives of the woman have died.
Officials believed that White Buffalo was from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Officials there could not be reached Wednesday.
According to a World-Herald article published on Nov. 17, 1973, White Buffalo was strangled and found upside-down in a 55-gallon drum at the Sturges Hide Co. near 27th and N Streets.
A 27-year-old man found the body when he was loading barrels into a truck. A tipped barrel had covered the barrel holding White Buffalo’s body.
The then-acting Douglas County coroner said White Buffalo was strangled but was not sexually assaulted. However, she was found “partially clad,” and her clothing was nearby.
The FBI said Little, a former boxer, knocked out his victims with a punch, then strangled them. Some of the victims’ deaths were initially attributed to drug overdoses, accidents or natural causes because there were no bloody wounds, the FBI said.
Little often targeted women who were vulnerable and either involved in prostitution or addicted to drugs.
To start corroborating the confessions, officials used a FBI database of violent crimes and looked for patterns while referring to Little’s timeline.
He drifted from city to city across the United States after dropping out of his Ohio high school in the late 1950s. A Texas Ranger is conducting almost daily interviews with Little to get more information, while other rangers comb through cold case files and death certificates to confirm the confessions.
Little is serving time in prison for a 1994 murder and “will likely stay in prison until his death,” the FBI said.
Relatives or anyone who knows the relatives of White Buffalo should call the Omaha police homicide unit at 402-444-5656.