FBI confirms Samuel Little is the most prolific US Serial Killer ever

News Release, FBI

Five years after analysts with the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) began linking cases to convicted murderer Samuel Little—and nearly 18 months after a Texas Ranger began to elicit from him a breathtaking number of confessions—the FBI has confirmed Little to be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

Little has confessed to 93 murders, and FBI crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible. Law enforcement has been able to verify 50 confessions, with many more pending final confirmation.

Little says he strangled his 93 victims between 1970 and 2005. Many of his victims’ deaths, however, were originally ruled overdoses or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes. Some bodies were never found.

“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. “Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim—to close every case possible.”

The FBI is asking for the public’s help in matching the remaining unconfirmed confessions. ViCAP, with the support of the Texas Rangers, has provided additional information and details about five cases in hopes that someone may remember a detail that could further the investigation.

If you have any information linked to Little’s confessions, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit at tip online at tips.fbi.gov.


“The FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim—to close every case possible.”

Christie Palazzolo, ViCAP crime analyst

In the Words of a Killer: Video Confessions and Case Details 

Please note: Samuel Little’s recollection of dates is not always accurate. He also sometimes struggles to remember the exact clothing worn by a victim. Any potential links should not be dismissed based on these two factors alone. The videos of Little contain references to violent acts. Viewer discretion is encouraged. Each video is accompanied by Little’s drawing of the victim.

Unmatched Confession: Miami, Florida, 1971 or 1972

Little recounted that in 1971 or 1972 he met a good-looking, 18- to 19-year-old black male in Miami, Florida. Little said the male presented himself as a woman and was known to Little as Marianne or Mary Ann.

Little said Marianne was between 5’6” – 5’7” tall and approximately 140 pounds. Little first met Marianne at a bar known as The Pool or Pool Palace near 17th Avenue in Miami. A few days later, they met again at a bar in Overtown, where Little offered to give her a ride home.

Little stated Marianne lived with several other roommates between Brownsville and Liberty City. When they arrived there, one of Marianne’s roommates asked them to buy a can of shaving cream, so they returned to Little’s car—a gold 4-door Pontiac LeMans. Little drove Marianne north on Highway 27 and killed her on a driveway, possibly near a sugarcane field. He then drove further down Highway 27, into the Everglades, and turned down a dirt road that led to a river or a swamp. Little dragged Marianne’s body approximately 200 yards into the thick, muddy water. He does not believe the body was ever found.

Unmatched Confession: North Little Rock, Arkansas, 1992–1994

Little said he encountered a black female in a transient area of Little Rock, Arkansas, between 1992 and 1994. He remembered it was cold and possibly snowing when they met. He described the woman as 24 years old, 5’5” – 5’7” tall, and approximately 200 pounds.

Little stayed with her on and off for about three days. He reportedly shoplifted with the woman, then she sold the merchandise. Little remembers being arrested for shoplifting in a North Little Rock Kroger grocery store. (Records indicate that Little was in fact arrested by North Little Rock Police Department for shoplifting from a Kroger on April 20, 1994.) According to Little, he was released after approximately three hours so that he could move his vehicle, a 1978 yellow Cadillac El Dorado (or possibly a yellow Dodge), off the grocery store’s property.

Little stated that when he returned to his vehicle, the woman was sleeping inside. He first drove the woman to meet her ex-boyfriend, a man called “Bear” (Little believes Bear is now deceased), then drove her back to her residence. He returned the following day and drove with her toward Benton or Bentonville, Arkansas. When they were outside Little Rock, Little drove down a dirt road and manually strangled the woman to death. Little stated he placed the woman’s body on a pile of branches and old cornstalks in or near a cornfield. He believes the woman’s name may have been Ruth and that her mother lived in North Little Rock.

Unmatched Confession: Covington, Kentucky, 1984

Little stated that in approximately 1984, possibly in the summertime, he was driving his Lincoln Continental Mark III from Loraine, Ohio, to Cincinnati.

While en route, he met a 25-year-old white female outside a strip club. He remembers her as being 5’6” – 5’7” tall and 130-170 pounds. Little describes her as having short blonde hair and blue eyes with a “hippie” appearance. She approached him and asked for a ride to Miami, Florida, saying her mother lived there. Little said he and the woman drove south on Interstate 75. When they reached Cincinnati, the two of them spent time downtown on Vine Street.

They continued driving together, across the river into northern Kentucky. Little described driving to a hilly area not far from I-75. He drove up a small dirt road to the top of a “little round hill,” where he strangled the woman in the backseat of his car. He left her body on the top of the hill.

Unmatched Confession: Las Vegas, Nevada, 1993

In 1993, Little was driving a 1978 yellow Cadillac Eldorado to Los Angeles when he met a black woman on Owens Avenue or Jackson Street in Las Vegas.

He described her as a thin, dark-skinned woman who was approximately 40 years old. She was about 5’5” tall and 110-120 pounds. Little believed the woman had naturally short hair but wore a long-haired wig (as depicted in his drawing). He remembered the woman pointing out her son, a black male who was approximately 19-23 years old. Little confessed to taking her to a motel room, where he strangled her to death. He said he then placed the woman’s body in the trunk of his car and drove to the outskirts of Las Vegas.

He pulled off on a remote road and rolled the woman’s body down a steep slope. He then threw her clothes out further down the road. It is highly likely that her body was never found.

Unmatched Confession: New Orleans, Louisiana, 1982

Little stated that in approximately 1982, possibly in the autumn, he met a black female in New Orleans. He described the woman as approximately 30-40 years old, 5’8”-5’9” tall, weighing 160 pounds, with “honey-colored” brown skin and medium-length straight hair. He remembers that she was wearing a pretty dress with buttons on the front.

Little said they met in a club where she was attending a birthday party with a group of friends and one of her two sisters. Little left with the woman in his vehicle, a Lincoln Continental Mark III. The woman told Little that she lived with her mother, who was sickly and possibly an invalid. The woman also gave Little the keys to her house.

Little drove the woman to the Little Woods exit off I-10, where he turned down a dirt road along a canal that was being dredged. They exited his car, then Little pulled the woman towards the canal, where he killed her and left the body. Afterward, Little drove back to the motel where he was staying in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Transcript / Download


Samuel Little: Through the Years 

Composite image of timeline of various booking photos of serial killer Samuel Little, from 1966-1995.

Samuel Little, 79, has confessed to killing 93 people, nearly all women, between 1970 and 2005. Although he avoided a murder conviction until 2014, he had numerous run-ins with law enforcement throughout the country over the years. A series of booking photos shows how the nation’s most prolific serial killer looked during the years spanning 1966 to 1995.


Samuel Little’s Confessions: Murder Locations and Victims 

Note: The below map, list of cases, and Samuel Little’s drawings of his victims were first published November 27, 2018 in a related story. The information has been moved in its entirety to this page for ease of reference.

These incidents are either linked to victims who have not yet been identified (Jane Does) or to murders described by Samuel Little that have not yet been definitively corroborated by law enforcement (unmatched confessions). The information depicted when selecting the pinpoints on the map (also available in text form below) is based on interviews with Samuel Little; they are his confessions and recollections, and dates are approximations.

October 1, 2019 Update: The continued investigation into the confessions of Samuel Little has resulted in several changes to this map. Five cases have been removed after being confirmed by law enforcement. Two new cases have been added—one in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, and an additional case in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two previously unmatched confessions have been linked to unidentified bodies or “Jane Does.” Eight new portraits have been added. Little draws the portraits based on his memories of the victims.

April 1, 2019 Update: Ten additional recent drawings by Samuel Little based on his memories of his victims have been added to the corresponding map pinpoints and in the text below. One of the original 16 images has been replaced.

February 12, 2019 Update: Since this information was first published on November 27, 2018, eight cases have been removed from this map after being confirmed or matched to open cases, and one formerly unmatched confession has been matched to a Jane Doe. Sixteen recent drawings by Samuel Little based on his memories of his victims have also been added to the corresponding map pinpoints and in the text below.

Phoenix, Arizona 
  • Unmatched Confession: Hispanic female in her 40s. Killed in 1988 or 1996. Victim possibly from Phoenix.
North Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1992 or 1993.
West Memphis, Arkansas
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 28-29 years old killed in 1984. Victim picked up in Memphis, Tennessee.
San Bernardino, California
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between the ages of 18-23 killed in 1984.
Los Angeles, California
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 19, killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 50, killed in 1987. Victim possibly called “Granny.”
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 22-23 years old killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 26-27 years old killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 40-45 years old killed in 1990 or 1991. Victim possibly called “Alice.”
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 20-22 years old killed in 1991 or 1992. Victim possibly from San Francisco.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1992.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1992 or 1993.
  • Unmatched Confession: Hispanic female between 24-25 years old killed in 1992 or 1993. Victim possibly from Phoenix.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-25 years old killed in 1996. Victim possibly called “Sheila.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-24 years old killed in 1996. Victim possibly called “T-Money.”
  • Unmatched Confession: White female between 23-25 years old killed in 1996
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female age 25 killed in 1996.
Homestead, Florida
  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1970 or 1971
Miami, Florida
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 22, killed in 1971. Victim possibly called “Linda.”
  • Unmatched Confession: Black male, age 18, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly called “Mary Ann” or “Marianne.”
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 28, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly worked on Homestead Air Force Base.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-24 years old killed in the mid-1970s. Victim possibly called “Emily.” Victim possibly worked at the University of Miami.
Kendall, Florida
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: White female, possibly of Cuban descent, between 25-35 years old. Killed in 1971. Victim possibly called “Sarah” or “Donna.”
Fort Myers, Florida
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1984.
Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1984.
Plant City, Florida
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1977 or 1978. Met victim in Clearwater, Florida.
Savannah, Georgia
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 22-23 years old killed in 1974.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female age 23 killed in 1984.
Atlanta, Georgia
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 35-40 years old killed in 1981.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23-25 years old killed in 1984. Victim possibly a college student.
Macon, Georgia
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 30-40 years old killed in 1977.
Dade County, Georgia
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 25-30 years old killed in 1980 or 1981. Met the victim in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Granite City, Illinois
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 26, killed between 1976 and 1979. Met victim in St. Louis, Missouri. Victim possibly called “Jo.”
East St. Louis, Illinois
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed between 1976 and 1979. Met victim in St. Louis, Missouri.
Covington, Kentucky
  • Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1984. Met victim in Columbus, Ohio. Body disposed of somewhere in Northern Kentucky (city unspecified).
New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: White female between 33-44 years old. Killed in 1982.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 30-40 years old killed in 1982.
Monroe, Louisiana
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 24, killed between 1987 and the early 1990s.
Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: White female between 20-25 years old killed in 1972. Victim possibly from Massachusetts.
Gulfport, Mississippi
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 22, killed between 1980 and 1984.
Pascagoula, Mississippi
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 35-45 years old killed in 1977. Met the victim in Gulfport, Mississippi. Victim possibly from Pascagoula. Victim possibly worked at Ingalls Shipyard.
Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 40, killed in 1993.
Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1974.
Willoughby Hills, Ohio
  • Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 20-35 years old killed around 1982. Victim was possibly from Cleveland, Ohio.
Charleston, South Carolina
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 28, killed between 1977 and 1982.
Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 25, killed in 1975.
Houston, Texas
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 25-28 years old killed between 1976 and 1979 or in 1993.

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