CALIFORNIA — Samuel Little, 79, confessed to strangling 93 victims between 1970 and 2005 last year — triple the number of victims that Ted Bundy confessed to killing. Now, the FBI is asking the public to help identify more victims of the man they say is America’s most prolific serial killer.
Little targeted women, often of marginalized and vulnerable groups, many who were involved in prostitution or suffering from drug addiction. Their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated.
The FBI is hoping to change that.
“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” said ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo 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.”
That’s where the public comes in. FBI crime analysts believe all of Little’s 93 confessions are credible, but so far they’ve only been able to verify 50 of them.
They’ve released information about five more cases on the agency’s website, “in hopes that someone may remember a detail that could further the investigation.” One of the cases centers around a woman that Little reportedly met in Little Rock, Arkansas between 1992 and 1994. He described the woman he called Ruth as being about 24 years old and 200 pounds.
He claimed they shoplifted together and one day he drove her outside the city limits and down a dirt road where he strangled her. He said he placed the woman’s body on some branches.
Each case presented is accompanied by a video of Little explaining the incident and a hand-drawn photo by Little of the woman.
The FBI has used this strategy before, releasing 16 victim portraits Little drew in February. Little told investigators that one of those 16 he met right here in Memphis between 1990 and 1997. He said they engaged in talk of prostitution at which time he strangled her, killed her, put her in the back of his car, drove her across the bridge to the Arkansas side of the Mississippi river and put her body in the river.”
After the release of that picture to the public, at least two families came forward claiming it could be their missing loved one.
In July 2019, authorities in Pine Bluff, Arkansas said they were also investigating whether Little was connected to the murder of Jolanda Jones in 1994.
Little is currently serving three life sentences in California. Before FBI agents knew about his connection to these dozens of murders, Little was already imprisoned for beating and strangling three women.
Then, in 2018, agents noticed his name popping up in connection to other unsolved murders across the country — especially to one in Odessa, Texas. Texas Ranger James Holland and two FBI crime analysts traveled to California to interview Little over the course of May 2018.
Eventually, Little confessed to killing about 90 people.
CNN emailed the FBI for comment, as well as information on whether his charges are being updated, but we have not received a reply.