Serial killer Samuel Little is drawing sketches of his victims for the FBI

Image: Sam Little drawings
(Left) Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: White female between 20-25 years old killed in 1972. Victim possibly from Massachusetts. (Right) Unmatched Confession: Black female between 35-40 years old killed in 1981.. Copyright FBI
Copyright FBI
By Elisha Fieldstadt with NBC News U.S. News
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

The FBI has been trying to connect Little's confessions with unsolved deaths in more than a dozen states between 1970 and 2005.


A serial killer who has confessed to 90 murders has drawn 16 of his alleged victims as the FBI works to connect him to decades-old cold cases around the country.

Samuel Little was convicted in 2014 of killing three women in California in 1987 and 1989. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.

Wise County Sheriff\'s Office
Samuel LittleWise County Sheriff\'s Office

He had always maintained his innocence in those three cases, but last year, in exchange for a prison transfer, "Little was willing to talk," according to the FBI.

Little, 78, said he killed 90 women, and the FBI has been trying to line up those admissions with unsolved deaths in more than a dozen states between 1970 and 2005.

Recently, Little drew sketches of 15 women claims he killed. One of the victims he sketched has been identified as a man killed in Miami, called "Mary Ann" or "Marianne," according to the FBI.

(Left) Confession Matched to a Jane Doe: Black female between 28-29 years old killed in 1984. Victim picked up in Memphis, Tennessee. (Right) Unmatched Confession: Black male, age 18, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly called "Mary Ann" or "Marianne."FBI

Shortly after Little's confessions in November, the FBI was quickly able to confirm he had killed 34 people. Recently, eight more of his confessions were confirmed or matched to open cases, the FBI said Tuesday.

But more than half of the confessions remain unconfirmed.

"Little chose to kill marginalized and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs. Their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated," the FBI previously said.

Because Little, once a competitive boxer, usually knocked out his victims, there weren't obvious signs the victims had been murdered.

(Left) Unmatched Confession: Black female between 25-28 years old killed between 1976 and 1979 or in 1993.(Right) Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1984. Met victim in Columbus, Ohio. Body disposed of somewhere in Northern Kentucky (city unspecified).FBI

Another challenge facing investigators is that while Little can describe his victims and how and where he killed them in great detail, he is foggy on dates.

"Little's uncertain timeline has created a verification challenge ... along with the issues stemming from the victims Little targeted, his methods, and how much he moved around—features of his crimes that begin to explain how he got away with murder for decades," said an FBI statement.

Little pleaded guilty in December to the 1994 strangulation of Denise Christie Brothers in Texas.

He "is in poor health and will likely stay in prison in Texas until his death," the FBI said in November. Their goal "is to identify his victims and provide closure and justice in unsolved cases."

But local officials in the places where Little murdered his victims have the choice to bring charges against him, an FBI spokesman has said.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Looking for an online article from 2013? It may have disappeared, new study says

UN assembly approves resolution granting Palestine new rights

US President Joe Biden calls Japan and India 'xenophobic' countries in latest gaffe