NewsNational

Actions

Samuel Little: 78-year-old man confesses to 90 killings

Posted: 3:10 PM, Nov 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-29 16:21:34Z

TEXAS — A 78-year-old man has confessed to 90 killings -- including one in Southwest Florida -- and investigators are saying he could be one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history.

Samuel Little is currently being held in a Texas prison. Investigators have confirmed 34 cases so far, and  the FBI said  in a news release Tuesday that more are pending confirmation. 

The killings Little has claimed responsibility for include a black female in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1974 and a white female in Covington, Kentucky in 1984, according to the FBI. Little said he met that second victim in Columbus, Ohio and disposed of her body somewhere in Northern Kentucky. Neither of those confessions had been corroborated by law enforcement as of Nov. 15.

The women Little confessed to killing turned up dead between 1970 and 2005 in states from coast to coast, according to the FBI. 

Authorities arrested Little at a Kentucky homeless shelter in 2012. He was extradited to California on a narcotics charge, and then Los Angeles Police Department detectives obtained DNA matching him to three unsolved homicides from the 1980s. Little was convicted and sentenced to three life sentences with no possibility of parole.

In all three cases, the victims had been beaten and strangled, and their bodies were dumped in an alley, a dumpster and a garage. Investigators from the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program found a similar case in Odessa, Texas. When they interviewed Little, he said he was willing to talk in exchange for a move to another prison.

"Over the course of that interview in May, he went through city and state and gave [investigators] the number of people he killed in each place. Jackson, Mississippi—one; Cincinnati, Ohio—one; Phoenix, Arizona—three; Las Vegas, Nevada—one," ViCAP Crime Analyst Christina Palazzolo said.

Little is originally from northern Ohio, but left his home in the late '50s and lived a nomadic life, according to the FBI. Investigators said Little would steal in one city or town to get money for alcohol and drugs, and then would move on. His victims were marginalized and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution or addicted to drugs, and their bodies were not always identified. 

The FBI asked anyone reporting a potential case linked to Little to call ViCAP at 800-634-4097.

Samuel Little’s Confessions: Murder Locations and Victims (Credit: FBI)
Phoenix, Arizona

  • Unmatched Confession: Hispanic female in her 40s. Killed in 1988 or 1996. Victim possibly from Phoenix.
  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1997. Victim possibly called "Ann."

North Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1992 or 1993.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed between 1990 and 1997.

West Memphis, Arkansas

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 28-29 years old killed in 1984. Victim picked up in Memphis, Tennessee.

San Bernardino, California

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between the ages of 18-23 killed in 1984.

Los Angeles, California

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 19, killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 50, killed in 1987. Victim possibly called "Granny."
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 22-23 years old killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 26-27 years old killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 40-45 years old killed in 1990 or 1991. Victim possibly called "Alice."
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 20-22 years old killed in 1991 or 1992. Victim possibly from San Francisco.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1992.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1992 or 1993.
  • Unmatched Confession: Hispanic female between 24-25 years old killed in 1992 or 1993. Victim possibly from Phoenix.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-25 years old killed in 1996.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-24 years old killed in 1996. Victim possibly called "T-Money."
  • Unmatched Confession: White female between 23-25 years old killed in 1996.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female age 25 killed in 1996.

Homestead, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1970 or 1971.

Miami, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 22, killed in 1971.Victim possibly called "Linda."
  • Unmatched Confession: Black male, age 18, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly called "Mary Ann" or "Marianne."
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 28, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly worked on Homestead Air Force Base.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-24 years old killed in the mid 1970s. Victim possibly called "Emily." Victim possibly worked at the University of Miami.

Kendall, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: White female age 45 killed in 1973. Victim possibly called "Sarah." Victim possibly from Massachusetts.

Perry, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1993.

Fort Myers, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1984.

Tampa, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1984.

Plant City, Florida

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1977 or 1978. Met victim in Clearwater, Florida.

Savannah, Georgia

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 22-23 years old killed in 1974.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female age 23 killed in 1984.

Atlanta, Georgia

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 35-40 years old killed in 1981.
  • Unmatched Confession: White female, age 26, killed in 1983 or 1984. Victim possibly from Griffith, Georgia.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-25 years old killed in 1984. Victim possibly a college student.

Macon, Georgia

  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 30-40 years old killed in 1977.

Dade County, Georgia

  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 25-30 years old killed in 1980 or 1981. Met the victim in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Granite City, Illinois

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 26, killed between 1976 and 1979. Met victim in St. Louis, Missouri. Victim possibly called "Jo."

East St. Louis, Illinois

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed between 1976 and 1979. Met victim in St. Louis, Missouri.

Covington, Kentucky

  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1984. Met victim in Columbus, Ohio. Body disposed of somewhere in Northern Kentucky (city unspecified).

New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1973. Victim possibly called "Sarah." Victim possibly worked at a restaurant in New Orleans.
  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1982.

Plaquemine, Louisiana

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1978 or 1979.

Monroe, Louisiana

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 24, killed between 1987 and the early 1990s.

Prince George’s County, Maryland

  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: White female between 20-25 years old killed in 1972. Victim possibly from Massachusetts.

Jackson, Mississippi

  • Unmatched Confession: Black male, age 16, killed in 1984.

Gulfport, Mississippi

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 22, killed between 1980 and 1984.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 27-29 years old killed in 1988.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-24 years old killed in 1988.

Pascagoula, Mississippi

  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 35-45 years old killed in 1977. Met the victim in Gulfport, Mississippi. Victim possibly from Pascagoula. Victim possibly worked at Ingalls Shipyard.

Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 40, killed in 1993.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Unmatched Confession: White female, age 25, killed in 1974.

Cleveland, Ohio

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1978 or 1979.

Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1974.

Akron, Ohio

  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1991 or 1992.

Charleston, South Carolina

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 28, killed between 1977 and 1982.

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 25, killed in 1975.

Wichita Falls, Texas

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1976 or 1977. Body disposed of somewhere outside of Wichita Falls (city unspecified).

Houston, Texas

  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 25-28 years old killed between 1976 and 1979 or in 1993.