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  • 78-year old Samuel Little sits across a table from a Texas Ranger matter-of-factly describing

  • how he took the lives of his many victims.

  • He's frail, wheelchair-bound, has heart disease and diabetes.

  • With armed guards around him, he talks about how he got away with over 90 murders in 19

  • states over a period of decades.

  • He doesn't seem to have a care in the world, which is why he's been described aspure

  • evil.”

  • From 1970 to 2005 this man traveled from state to state, covering much of the US, in search

  • of vulnerable women that would satisfy his deranged needs.

  • In 1971, in Kendall, Florida, there wasSarahorDonna.”

  • Little describes thisJane Doeperfectly and then sketches her face for investigators.

  • He does the same for a 25-year-old woman he says he met outside a strip club in 1984 when

  • driving to Cincinnati.

  • Slight of frame, short blond hair, blues eyes, and with the look of what he says is a “hippie”,

  • her fate was sealed when she got in his car.

  • These confessions with their detailed descriptions - and it has to be said, fairly accomplished

  • sketches - not only surprised investigators but rocked the USA.

  • The authorities knew very well that Little wasn't making it up.

  • Not all of his confessions have been confirmed, but enough of them have for the FBI to announce

  • that Mr. Little is the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

  • Before we get into some of those cases, and how on Earth he got away with his crimes,

  • what do we know about Samuel Little the child?

  • We know he was born on June 7, 1940, in the small town of Reynolds, Georgia.

  • This is a place that right now only has a population of just over a thousand, with almost

  • a quarter of those people living below the poverty line.

  • According to Little, he wasn't exactly born with a silver spoon in his mouth, describing

  • his mother's job as being a “lady of the night”.

  • It's thought he was born in prison after his teenage mother had been arrested for plying

  • what some people have called the oldest trade in the world.

  • At one point she gave up trying to look after her son and ditched him at the side of the

  • road.

  • That's one reason why while growing up Little spent a good deal of time living with his

  • grandmother in Lorain, Ohio.

  • He attended Hawthorne Junior High School in Ohio, but it seems his grades were poor and

  • his behavior even poorer.

  • He soon dropped out and set in motion what would become a lifetime of crime.

  • At age 16 in 1956 he was convicted of the crime of breaking and entering and spent some

  • time in a juvenile detention center.

  • Five years later, he was sent to adult prison after being arrested for breaking into a Lorain

  • furniture store.

  • For the rest of his free life he moved from state to state, occasionally holding down

  • jobs, but always committing crimes.

  • It's believed that before the man hit 35-years old he was arrested at least 26 times in 11

  • states.

  • Those crimes included assault, theft, fraud, DUIs, breaking and entering, solicitation,

  • armed robbery, shoplifting, aggravated assault on a police officer, and more.

  • Little did the police know, though, by this time he'd already started killing.

  • By the time the mid-70s rolled around, stealing through the day and going out looking for

  • women at night was how he spent many of his days.

  • Those women were almost always African Americans living on the fringes of society.

  • They were women who worked as prostitutes, or were addicted to drugs, or were homeless

  • or living in shelters, or all of those things.

  • Little once commented, “They was broke and homeless, and they walked right into my spider

  • web.”

  • His modus operandi didn't often change in that he went to the places where the most

  • vulnerable people could be found, and there he befriended women.

  • Sometimes he'd offer them a ride in his car.

  • Sometimes he'd ask them to go for a drink with him.

  • At other times, he tempted them with the promise of drugs.

  • Once they had gotten in his car, they had little chance of surviving.

  • This was a strong man, a muscular man who'd fought as a light-heavyweight boxer.

  • He would often knock his victims clean out before strangling them, an act which gratified

  • his perverse desires.

  • Sometimes he'd stroke their necks, feigning intimacy, kindness, and then his powerful

  • hands would tighten around them.

  • His crimes shouldn't have gone on for as long as they did, but as you'll find out

  • later, his choice of victim was very likely the reason why he could do what he did and

  • get away with it.

  • He almost came unstuck at the start, though.

  • On September 11, 1976, a woman named Pamela Kay Smith was found half-naked, her hands

  • tied behind her with electrical cord.

  • Pounding on a stranger's house door, she screamed and shouted until someone came to

  • help her.

  • This woman, a drug addict, said Little had picked her up in the city of St Louis.

  • They'd driven around for a while and then when parked in a quiet area, Little attacked

  • her.

  • She managed to escape and soon the cops found Little still in his car.

  • He denied any kind of sexual motive for the attack and said, in his own words, I “only

  • beat her.”

  • For that crime, he spent just three months in the county jail.

  • Had the woman not escaped, that could have been a murder.

  • Had she not been in trouble with the law in the past for her heroin addiction and failing

  • to turn up to court on occasions, Little might have been scrutinized some more.

  • In 1982, a mentally disabled woman named Patricia Ann Mount was found in Forest Grove, Florida.

  • This woman, who had an IQ of just 40, was last seen dancing with a man in a tavern.

  • That man was Samuel Little.

  • He was acquitted of the crime, with the defense attorney stating, “There is more doubt than

  • there is fact.”

  • Many years later, Little would let the authorities know that indeed he had committed the murder.

  • She wasn't his only victim in Florida, either.

  • Then there was Melinda Rose LaPree.

  • Her body was found in 1982 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

  • She'd been dead a long time so the body was in a state of advanced decomposition,

  • which didn't help investigators.

  • The night she went missing she'd been working as a prostitute.

  • When she left the streets in a station wagon the other women on the street saw the man

  • who was driving the car.

  • They gave a description of him to the police, and so when six weeks later Little was picked

  • up in a traffic stop, he was taken in for questioning.

  • Not only did one of those women pick out his image in a photo line-up, but another woman

  • came forward and said the same man had assaulted her in the past.

  • The problem was, prosecutors said there was no physical evidence to link Little with the

  • murder.

  • They said a positive ID wasn't enough to take the case to trial, so Little was allowed

  • to go.

  • An even worse blemish on the justice system is the fact the district attorney's office

  • said it wasn't happy about prosecuting a man when the only witnesses were prostitutes.

  • Investigator Darren Versiga later said that police back then werehesitant to believe

  • assault claims from black prostitutes.”

  • Such discrimination is of course sad and patently unethical, but it's not that unusual, and

  • certainly wasn't so unusual in the past.

  • You see, there's a term in the world of crime called theless deadpeople.

  • These are the folks that serial killers often prey on.

  • They are the poorest, most disenfranchised citizens, folks who can go missing and no

  • one even reports it.

  • Sometimes they end up as Jane or John Does.

  • Even if the police do have an ID, due to their low socioeconomic status, and in some cases

  • their rap sheet, they might not exactly drum up a lot of sympathy from the public or be

  • the most pressing cases for homicide detectives.

  • They were seen as less alive, less valued before they died, and so when they did die

  • they became less dead, even though you'd think they'd elicit the most sympathy given

  • their difficult circumstances.

  • This is how one person described how law enforcement sometimes treats the less dead, “A great

  • deal less pressure is felt by the police when victims of crime come from the marginal elements.”

  • Samuel Little knew what he was doing by targeting society's most vulnerable.

  • He talked about it once in an interview, saying, “I never killed no senators or governors

  • or fancy New York journalists.

  • Nothing like that.

  • I kill a journalist, it'd be all over the news the next day.

  • I stayed in the ghettos.”

  • The FBI has since said that many of his victims didn't look as though they'd been murdered.

  • Since he punched and strangled the women, police often thought the cause of death was

  • a drug overdose or an accident or death from natural causes.

  • Still, others have written that police didn't look hard enough and that's because of the

  • lives the women had led.

  • Perhaps rather than rigorously scrutinize the cause of death, a death of a woman with

  • a history of petty crime or drug use was sometimes overlooked.

  • If you look at Little's many victims, almost every single one of them fits into the less

  • dead category.

  • We'll get around to them soon, but first, let's see how he Little was caught.

  • In 1984, he was arrested in San Diego.

  • He'd kidnapped one prostitute and left her for dead on a dirt road, and then a month

  • after that he was found on the same dirt road with an unconscious woman in his car.

  • Both women had been hit hard and then choked, but both of them survived the ordeal.

  • A jury couldn't reach a verdict and Little in the end pleaded guilty to the crimes of

  • false imprisonment and assault with great bodily injury.

  • He was out after two and half years and then moved to Los Angeles.

  • During his time in the City of Angels, it's thought he killed at least another 10 women

  • and at one point was arrested for possession of cocaine.

  • He never turned up to court and then fled LA.

  • He moved around yet again and had many brushes with the law, although because the warrant

  • for his drug possession charge was non-extraditable, he was never sent back to LA to face the charges.

  • It wasn't until September 5, 2012, when he was staying at a homeless shelter in Louisville,

  • Kentucky, that his web of crimes started to become untangled.

  • An LAPD Detective named Mitzi Roberts had been working on murder cases and she found

  • that Little's DNA could be connected to two murders.

  • He eventually was extradited to California on a narcotics charge, and it's there that

  • DNA testing linked him with a third murder.

  • Shortly after this, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was in contact with police

  • from Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

  • Los Angeles detectives were talking to these people, too, and it soon became apparent that

  • this guy they had could have killed women from one coast of the US to the other.

  • He was charged in 2013 for the murders of the three women in LA.

  • One had been found in a dumpster, another in a garage, and the third down an alleyway.

  • All three had been strangled.

  • For those brutal crimes, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility

  • of parole, all the time maintaining that he was an innocent man.

  • It wasn't until 2018 until Little started dropping confession bombs.

  • He was 78 and on the verge of death, and it's then that he started talking to law enforcement

  • from various US states.

  • These confessions solved the cases of many deaths police had deemed suspicious, as well

  • as unsolved murders.

  • Little had a good memory when it came to faces and how he'd killed each victim, although

  • he wasn't always good with dates.

  • What was surprising was the fact he was able to accurately sketch many of the people he'd

  • murdered.

  • While cops might have suspected him to be behind a lot of murders, they weren't prepared

  • for what he told them.

  • They were in fact interviewing the most prolific serial killer in American history.

  • There's such a thing as serial killers that have claimed to have killed many more people

  • than they've been convicted of killing.

  • It's said serial killer Gary Ridgway might have killed many more than the 49 people he

  • was convicted of killing, but that's not been proven.

  • Richard Cottingham, aka, The Butcher of Times Square, claimed to have killed 85 to 100 people

  • during his 13 years hunting down women, but it remains to be seen if that's true.

  • As for Little, it's now thought he killed 93 people, but the FBI has said for now they

  • can only confirm that he killed 60 women.

  • It's likely he killed his first person back in 1970.

  • The FBI had said this about Little's confessions, “He remembers where he was, and what car

  • he was driving.

  • He draws pictures of many of the women he killed.”

  • It's very likely he did kill 93 women given his honesty about the other murders and the

  • details he could recall, although corroborating his stories is still a work in progress.

  • We'll give you some examples of what he told the FBI.

  • The reason the FBI has put these examples on its website is so someone might be able

  • to help them with their investigation.

  • Maybe some of our viewers could be of help after hearing this.

  • Little said sometime between 1992 and 1994 he met an African American woman in an area

  • of Little Rock, Arkansas.

  • He said it was a cold night and it might have been snowing.

  • The two went shoplifting together and Little was arrested for that.

  • Police records corroborate the story.

  • He got out of jail and went to move his car, which he said was a Cadillac El Dorado or

  • a yellow Dodge.

  • His accomplice was sleeping in the car.

  • The next day after driving down an old dirt road he stopped the car and committed the

  • murder.

  • He told police that he dumped the body near a cornfield.

  • The problem is, Little couldn't remember her full name.

  • He said he thought her first name was Ruth, but he wasn't sure.

  • He also was able to sketch her face.

  • Then there was the African American woman who he says he met in 1982 in New Orleans.

  • He described her as being 30-40 years old, 5'8” to 5'9” tall, and weighing in

  • the region of 160 pounds.

  • He said her skin was honey-colored brown and her hair was medium length.

  • She was in a club celebrating someone's birthday when they met.

  • Little and the woman left the club in a Lincoln Continental Mark III.

  • She told him that she lived with her mom and that her mom was either very sick or an invalid

  • since the woman had to look after her.

  • Together they drove towards an area called Little Woods and took the exit off I-10.

  • He said he drove down a dirt road where a canal was being dredged.

  • He killed her and left the body next to the canal.

  • He drew a picture of her, too:

  • It was either in 1971 or 1972 when he met another one of his victims, this time in Miami,

  • Florida.

  • He said she was an 18 to 19-year-old African American transgender person named Mary Ann