Samuel Little is in a California prison after spending time in in Wise County, Texas where he is cooperating with Texas Ranger James Holland to identify as many of his victims as possible through sketches and his detailed recollections.
Authorities are scrambling to identify the remaining victims as his health is ailing. Little is 79.
Little may have killed more women than any serial killer in history. He has confessed to killing 93 women, and he was convicted of killing eight of those. Little would often target women who were involved in prostitution or struggling with drug addiction. He also lived as a drifter, never staying or killing in one place for long.
The case is featured on Investigation Discovery’s Serial Killer Week in a four-hour special, “The 93 Victims of Samuel Little.” Part 1 airs at 9 p.m. EST Monday, August 31, 2020, and continues at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
The FBI compiled a database of the women Little killed, hoping to identify all of his victims. The FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) includes 49 unidentified victims, 30 with sketches. An interactive map of Little’s confessions is dotted with murders spanning 1970 to 2005, from Los Angeles, California to Miami, Florida.
Little told Journalist Jillian Lauren killing prostitutes was a part of his plan to evade capture, believing authorities did not care as much to investigate their deaths.
“I never killed no senators or governors or fancy New York journalists. Nothing like that,” he told Lauren in an profile published in New York Magazine December 24, 2018. “I killed you, it’d be all over the news the next day. I stayed in the ghettos.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Samuel Little Was Transferred to Wise County Jail so he Could Work Closely With Texas Ranger James Holland to Identify Dozens of Victims But Moved Back to California
Samuel Little maintained his innocence until 2018, when he began listing off women he killed and sketching their portraits in Los Angeles County Prison, according to the FBI.
Investigators discovered Texas Ranger James Holland had a special rapport with serial killer Samuel Little, who Little described as “some kind of cowboy from Mars” to New York Magazine. Holland first interviewed Little in Los Angeles along with FBI analysts, Los Angeles Police and a Los Angeles prosecutor. Among several of the interviewers were women, and Little seemed to forge a bond with Holland. At the time, authorities were soliciting a confession in the death of Denise Brothers, who was killed in 1994 in Odessa, Texas.
Little gave authorities their confession, and he was extradited to Texas to face his charges in Brothers’ murder. He was transferred to Wise County Jail to be close to Holland, who continues soliciting details and sketches from Little for the dozens of women he claims to have killed.
“After Holland interviewed Little, he was indicted for the Odessa homicide and extradited to Texas a few months later,” the FBI wrote. “He remains in the custody of Odessa, but has been housed in Wise County for some time to be closer to Holland, who has been conducting nearly daily interviews to create the most accurate accounting possible of Little’s crimes. [ViCAP Crime Analyst Christina] Palazzolo and [Department of Justice senior policy adviser and ViCAP liaison, Angela] Williamson have continued to gather new information from these interviews and are examining every tie they can find, from mortuary records and death certificates to cold case files.”
Samuel Little was booked into the California State Prison at Los Angeles County November 24, 2014, according to online records.
Little’s Health Is Deteriorating, & Authorities Are Scrambling to Close as Many Cases as Possible
Samuel Little is in poor health, and investigators are working hard to close as many cases as possible to bring closure to the families of victims, who span California to Florida and stretch 35 years. At age 80, he is confined to a wheelchair. He has diabetes and a heart condition. He had heart surgery in the past, according to New York Magazine.
“Little is in poor health and will likely stay in prison in Texas until his death,” the FBI wrote. “The goal now is to identify his victims and provide closure and justice in unsolved cases. ViCAP is also hoping this case will serve as a reminder to every jurisdiction of the importance of consistent violent crime reporting.”
Samuel Little was once a prize-winning boxer. He beat women to death and strangled them, leaving injuries so severe they shocked a Los Angeles Medical Examiner.
Dr. Eugene Carpenter, who performed an autopsy for Audrey Nelson in 1989, testified at Little’s trial that “these signs of force are the greatest that I have seen in a 27-year practice in a county which has its share of strangulation cases,” according to court documents.
READ NEXT: Samuel Little: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know