Little’s Times Aren’t So Little

Staff writer: Grace Dembickie

When any American hears a name like Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy, the thought comes to mind that there will never be another person that could hurt as many people as they did. For years and years, America has viewed its most prolific monsters as the ones that committed their crimes in the 70’s or 80’s.

This could be because those crimes are so unheard of or it could be because so much happens now compared to then that Americans are used to seeing killings happen every day. Either way, America was under the impression that its biggest monsters had already been discovered, convicted, and written about for everyone to see… until recently.

On Sunday, October 6, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that Samuel Little is the new most prolific serial killer in United States history, unbelievably surpassing Gary Ridgeway who was thought to be the most prolific serial killer.

While Samuel Little’s name is not completely new to law enforcement, the FBI’s most recent findings have given his name an entirely new meaning. Little was arrested in 2012 on drug charges and when DNA was taken while he was in custody, law enforcement was able to connect Little to three homicides considered unsolved.

By 2014, Little was serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole, but this was only the beginning of a string of murders Little was about to be linked to thanks to the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. By August he had confessed to four murders in Ohio, one murder in Texas, and was convicted of three murders in California.

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Samuel Little confesses to a Texas woman’s death from 1994. Photo credit- oxygen.com

Once Little started confessing to the deaths, he was supposedly linked to around 18 months ago, tons of cold cases were suddenly solved. In exchange for a prison transfer, Little admitted to his murders dating back to the 70’s at this point.

When told about how easily Little talked of his gruesome crimes, sophomore Emma Dembickie shared, “It shocks me how a human being can talk about all of the murders they have committed all while smiling and showing no remorse whatsoever.”

Part of the reason that Little was not discovered for as long as he was, as well as, why he thought he would never be caught was his victim of choice. Little’s victim of choice was women that were low risk, meaning he chose women that were into drugs and prostitution.

Since these types of women were already low on the priority list in any given crime, they were not on the priority list in this case either. Any time one of these women went missing and it was reported, their death would usually be written off as a drug overdose, an accidental death, or an undetermined cause of death. Some of his victims bodily remains were not ever even found.

This made it easy for Little to commit his crimes, he got what he wanted, and the world did not care enough to follow up enough on evidence of his vicious acts of strangulation, and even in one case, drowning.

Senior Itzel Franco said of the case of Samuel Little, “This entire story sent chills down my spine. It’s crazy that human beings are capable of such horrific acts.”

When it came to his confessions, Little was very detailed and specific. He could describe what she looked like, hair color, skin color, shape, if and where they had met, and especially how he murdered her. He could recount where he took and left her body, her age, and if he thinks her body was ever found.

Little even provided the FBI with thirty portraits of some of his victims to give to law enforcement agencies just in case some of their unsolved cases happen to be his victims. Each portrait was drawn with insane amounts of detail no matter how long ago the murder took place.

Sophomore Natalia Kraft explains, “It is interesting that this man killed this many people without getting caught, especially in the ways that he did.”

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During the first news release of the case of Samuel Little, the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided details for viewers about five cases in different states, hoping for help in identifying any of the victims in those cases.

This actually led authorities in Tennessee to conclude that a woman that was found by a pair of hunters in 1975 could be a victim Little called “Martha”. When Martha was found it appeared that she also had some belongings missing including her purse and some jewelry that she was wearing.

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One of Samuel Little’s earlier mugshots from 1988. Photo credit- foxnews.com

As more details come out about Little and his horrendous crimes, it seems easy to lump him in with the rest of societies monsters, but as America has learned, he is now the most prolific serial killer in United States history.

While this is a scary title, a lot of people do not really know why he is considered the most prolific. What gives him this title is the fact that he has currently been convicted of eight murders, linked to 61, and has claimed to have committed upwards of 90. Not only has he been convicted of eight as of now, but investigators have been able to confirm fifty of his confessions so far.

Unfortunately, this means that the 50 confirmed will most likely not even be all of them as investigators work to get justice for every one of Little’s victims.

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