FBI Names Samuel Little Most Prolific Serial Killer in U.S. History - Rolling Stone
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FBI Looks to ID More Victims of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer

The agency released videos this weekend of Samuel Little speaking about his undiscovered victims

In this Nov. 26, 2018 file photo, Samuel Little, who often went by the name Samuel McDowell, leaves the Ector County Courthouse after attending a pre-trial hearing in Odessa, Texas.

In this Nov. 26, 2018 file photo, Samuel Little, who often went by the name Samuel McDowell, leaves the Ector County Courthouse after attending a pre-trial hearing in Odessa, Texas.

Mark Rogers/Odessa American/AP

Samuel Little, 79, has been named the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, the FBI confirmed on Sunday. Little has confessed to 93 murders, 50 of which FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) can confirm. Now, the FBI is looking to verify five more of Little’s confessions, providing the public with a collection of videos in which the man details his victims.

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo said in a statement. “Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim — to close every case possible.”

Little was initially sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for three murders in Southern California between 1986 and 1989. A few years later, he began confessing to scores more crimes — nearly one hundred murders across a dozen states between 1970 and 2005. He was able to stay under the radar because many of his victims’ deaths were ruled overdoses or accidental, according to the FBI — some bodies were never found. Little also preyed on the homeless, drug users, and sex workers.

Earlier this year, the FBI released a collection of 16 vivid drawings to the public depicting Little’s likely undiscovered victims. He drew them all from memory in his Texas prison cell.

“We are hoping that someone — family member, former neighbor, friend — might recognize the victim and provide that crucial clue in helping authorities make an identification,” FBI spokeswoman Shayne Buchwald said in a statement. “We want to give these women their names back and their family some long-awaited answers. It’s the least we can do.”

Now, the FBI is upping the ante with confessions in the killer’s own words. According to a release, Little’s timelines are not always 100% accurate.

Marianne or Mary Ann
Little details meeting a teenage transgender woman at a bar in Miami, Florida, in the early Seventies. They met up at another bar a few days later, and Little killed the woman along Highway 27 and disposed of her body in the Everglades.

Little met Ruth in a transient area of Little Rock, Arkansas, sometime between 1992 and 1994. They stayed together for three days, shoplifting and selling the goods. Little was arrested briefly, then returned to the woman and drove her outside of Little Rock, where he strangled her. He said he left her in or near a cornfield.

In 1984, Little met an unnamed woman outside a strip club while on the road from Loraine, Ohio, to Cincinnati. She asked him for a ride to Miami, Florida, to see her mother and he agreed. When they reached Kentucky, he drove to a hilly area near I-75 and strangled the woman. He left her body on top of a small hill.

Little met a woman in Las Vegas in the early Nineties and took her to his motel room. He strangled her and put her in his trunk, then drove to the outskirts of Vegas, where he rolled the body down a steep slope.


In the early Nineties, Little met this victim in New Orleans at a club where she was attending a birthday party. He left the party with the woman, then took her to the Little Woods off I-10, where he killed her and left her body.

In This Article: FBI, Samuel Little, serial killer


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