Samuel Little was hoping to move prisons this past spring. The 78-year-old was spending the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of killing three people. But his name had popped up in the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, known as ViCAP, in connection with a series of unsolved murders across the country.
One killing in Odessa, Texas, appeared to be particularly relevant, so two FBI crime analysts and James Holland of the Texas Rangers went out to see Little to try to get him to talk. He was more than willing, according to the FBI. “Over the course of that interview in May,” ViCAP crime analyst Christina Palazzolo said in an FBI article, “he went through city and state and gave Ranger Holland the number of people he killed in each place. Jackson, Mississippi — one; Cincinnati, Ohio — one; Phoenix, Arizona — three; Las Vegas, Nevada — one.” In all, Little confessed to about 90 murders in that interview and in others, according to the Texas Rangers and the FBI.
The killings occurred across the country, from Los Angeles to Miami, Houston to Cleveland, all between 1970 and 2005. Investigators have confirmed 34 of the confessed killings, authorities said. Many more are pending confirmation and a number remain uncorroborated. Still, the stunning confessions could make Little the most prolific serial killer in US history if convicted, according to Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland. “There’s been a lot of cooperation for law enforcement across the country as Texas Rangers are in the process of verifying the murders,” Bland told CNN. Little targeted marginalized and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution or addicted to drugs, the FBI article said.
Palazzolo and Angela Williamson, a Justice Department senior policy advisory and ViCAP liaison, who both spoke to Little, said that he remembered great detail from the killings. He remembered where he was, what car he was driving and could even draw pictures of the women he killed, the FBI said. He was less reliable on the dates of those incidents, however, the FBI said. CNN has reached out to E.J. Leach, the attorney representing Little in the Texas case, and has not yet received a response.