(CNN/CBS/WJZ) — The FBI is calling him the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.
Samuel Little confessed to strangling 93 victims between 1970 and 2005 last year, including a woman in Laurel, Maryland. That’s more than were committed by Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer combined.
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.
“I can truly say that Samuel Little is a monster,” Prince George’s County Police Detective Bernie Nelson said. “He’s every woman’s ultimate nightmare.”
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 cases on the agency’s website, “in hopes that someone may remember a detail that could further the investigation.”
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 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.
Holland spoke to CBS Evening News about how he coaxed the 79-year-old into revealing his life’s work. The confessions have enabled investigators across the country to solve dozens of cold cases, but Holland needs help to match up the rest.
A year and a half ago, Holland had never heard of Samuel Little. Little was rotting away in this prison at the edge of California’s Mojave Desert, sentenced to three life terms in 2014 for strangling three women. In court, prosecutors had labeled Little a sexual predator. He denied everything and was defiant to the end.
But the FBI noted that Little had somehow skirted charges for violent crimes year after year in state after state in places where women disappeared, including Texas. That drew the interest of Ranger James Holland, a skilled interviewer who says he’s convinced dozens of killers to confess during his career.
One of Little’s alleged victims was murdered in Maryland. Last year, Little drew a sketch of the woman.
In October 2018, Holland contacted nearby law enforcement and let them know that Little had murdered someone in the DC area in the early 1970s.
Detectives with the Prince George’s County Police Cold Case Unit went to California to interview Little, who is now 78.
Little told investigators “specific and previously unreported details” about an unsolved murder in Laurel that happened in 1972.
“He was actually excited about describing how he did this murder,” Nelson said. “He described the victim in a way the medical examiner described her. Everything matched.”
For 46 years, the killer was unknown in this case. The victim’s body was found in December 1972, when a hunter found the skeletal remains in a wooded area off of Route 197 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway
The victim has still not been identified, but a medical examiner determined the victim is a Caucasian female, approximately 5’2”–5’6”, with dirty blonde or reddish hair. She was approximately 19 years old at the time of the murder.
During the interview with Little, he said he picked the victim up at a bus station on New York Ave. in D.C. Little said the victim said she was recently divorced and from the Massachusetts area. She may have also been a mother.
CNN emailed the FBI for comment, as well as information on whether his charges are being updated, but we have not received a reply.
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