FORT MYERS, Fla. — During a coast-to-coast murder spree that lasted more than four decades the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, Samuel Little, claims to have killed 93 women, including one in Fort Myers.
The FBI has confirmed Little, who died in late 2020, killed as many as 50 women. Investigations are ongoing across the country in the other 43 unconfirmed, including the alleged murder in Fort Myers and several others in Florida.
Little, who often drew pictures of his victims, claims to have met a young African American woman on Nelson Street, not far from U.S. Hwy 41, in 1984, or possibly 1990 or 1991.
The details aren’t always precise, but experts in the field believe they should be taken seriously.
“I absolutely believe he’s telling the truth,” said Dr. David Thomas, a professor of Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University.
“But the other part of that is we can’t corroborate them because they can’t find the bodies.”
In December of 2021, a year after Little died, Fort Myers Police released two drawings Little claimed to be of his local victim.
Little described the woman as being 26 to 28 years old, standing 5’6” to 5’7” tall, and weighing between 130-160 lbs.
On the day he allegedly killed her, Little, says she was “mad about her husband or somebody.”
Little stated the woman got in his car and he drove her to an “island” in the road, a wooded tract of land near some railroad tracks by a little section of cleared grass.
Little strangled the black female to death and then left her body in the short grass with the woods right next to it.
Little claims to have left the woman’s body in a “grass isle,” that he describes as being outside the city.
“Wasn’t that far outside the city though, the railroad tracks, the train ran by there,” Little told investigators.
“I think I got back on, what’s that highway that runs from Naples all the way up to Tampa, Fort Myers? That main highway? I think it might have been 75,” Little confessed.
Fort Myers police said they discovered the body of a black woman in May of 1985, but she has never been identified.
The Georgia-born little says he committed his first murder in 1970.
In 1984, he was tried but acquitted for killing a woman in Gainesville.
30 years later, he was finally taken off the streets for good.
Little, who claims to have been a former prizefighter, used his hands as his weapon of choice.
He would often knock the women unconscious, often with a single punch, and then strangle them to death.
Without any clear signs of homicide, like stab marks or bullet wounds, the FBI says the deaths were often mislabeled as being drug overdoses or natural causes.
In many of his Florida killings, Little claims to have left the victims in the Everglades.
“I got her out of the car, pulled her out, and drug her into the growth back there,” Little told investigators about a Miami victim named “Marianne.”
“It’s the Everglades.”
Of the 12 Florida confessions, eight of them, including the one in Fort Myers, remain unconfirmed.
Dr. Thomas believes the Florida climate plays a big role.
“If you look at our weather, where it does not preserve a body and it doesn’t take long for a body to decompose,” said Dr. Thomas, a retired Gainesville Police Officer.
“You’re going to have very little.”