Samuel Little, a 79-year-old convicted murderer who’s confessed to strangling more than 90 women, is the most prolific serial killer in American history, the FBI says.
The FBI said in a Sunday statement that it had verified at least 50 of the 93 slayings Little claims to have committed, and believed all of his confessions to be “credible.”
The astounding death toll attributed to Little surpasses that of Gary Ridgway, dubbed the Green River Killer, who was convicted of 49 murders and who confessed to about 20 more.
Like Ridgway, Little targeted vulnerable women, including sex workers and drug addicts. In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Little said of his victims: “They was broke and homeless and they walked right into my spider web.”
Little began confessing to the murders in 2018 during conversations with Texas Ranger James Holland. Little was already behind bars at the time, having been convicted in 2014 for three murders.
Until his interactions with Holland, however, Little had maintained his innocence. But over the course of several months last year, Little confessed to Holland that he had killed 93 women across the country over the span of three decades.
Little’s recall of the murders was “phenomenal,” Holland said, and the killer was able to create detailed portraits of dozens of his victims ― drawings that law enforcement has used to close cold cases, some decades old.
Little is “wicked smart” and has a “photographic memory,” Holland told “60 Minutes.”
“For example, Little remembered unusual arches close to the spot where he killed a woman outside of Miami. Sure enough, when Miami detectives investigated, they saw the arches. Little had strangled Miriam Chapman near those arches in 1976,” Holland said.
The ranger added that none of Little’s confessions had “been proven to be wrong or false. We’ve been able to prove up almost everything he said.”
Video footage released by the FBI this week shows Little ― who has expressed no remorse for the slayings ― speaking animatedly about his crimes. He speaks of the murders casually, often smiling and laughing.
“I don’t think there was another person that did what I liked to do,” Little told “60 Minutes.” “I think I’m the only one in the world. That’s not an honor. That’s a curse.”
The FBI said it’s seeking the public’s help in identifying Little’s other victims and verifying his confessions.
“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” Christie Palazzolo, an FBI crime analyst, said 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.”