Samuel Little: The Most Deadly Serial Killer Known in American History

PHOTO: via Twitter

Editor Update: Samuel Little (aka “The Choke and Stroke Killer”) died Dec. 30, 2020, at the age of 80. This is a rerun of Winter Watch’s Nov.12, 2019, post. Since this posting, Little confessed to two more slayings in Florida for which another man is serving prison time.

Less than 13 percent of U.S. serial killers fit the profile of a 20-something white male, according to the Serial Killer Information Center, a project at Radford University that studied more than 4,700 mass murderers. In tracking serial killers during the last three decades, the project revealed that 37 percent were white and 60 percent were black. Keep in mind that blacks make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. With prisons and mental institutions being emptied by anti-white discordians, this is only getting worse.

1980s Lone Southside LA Slayer Theory Now Shown to be at Least 7 Black Serial Killers

Chicagoland’s Black Serial Killer Problem

Epidemic of Black-on-White Violence, Mental Illness in Schools and the Knockout Game

‘God put me here to do this.’ — Samuel Little, serial killer

Samuel Little in 2018 confessed to murdering 93 women across the United States between 1970 and 2005. The 78-year-old former cemetery worker was very open about it with authorities. Thus far, the FBI and law enforcement have been able to verify 50 of his confessed murders, an October announcement stated. The remaining cases are pending confirmation.

“All of his confessions are credible,” the FBI stated. So far, there is no evidence that he’s lied about any of them. In fact, when other cold cases are run by him, he will disavow involvement unless he actually did the crimes. He is now ranked as the most prolific known serial killer in U.S. history.

In his confessions, Little demonstrated his remarkable photographic memory. He’s sketched drawings of 50 of his victims with impressive skill and accuracy, which has helped close these cases. A sampling of Little’s remarkable recall of Little decades late is described in this “60 Minutes” interview from Oct. 6, 2019.

Samuel Little sketches of his victims
Texas Ranger James Holand shows ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi the sketches Samuel Littler has drawn of some of his victims. PHOTO: CBS

Though he killed nearly a hundred women, Little remembers each victims and how he murdered them in great detail. He remembers where he was, and what car he was driving. He is less reliable, however, when it comes to remembering names and dates, which isn’t uncommon among for those with a visual (photographic) memory.

In terms of victims profiles, Little’s modus operandi was similar to that of Gary Ridgway, otherwise known as “The Green River Killer.” They both preyed upon prostitutes, drug addicts and other vulnerable people whose deaths would go unnoticed. He was an equal-opportunity killer, cutting a swath among all races, although in confession he said he preferred black victims.

Texas Ranger James Holland was able to question Little “nearly daily” as the two ate pizza together and talked for more than 700 hours in prison. Little confessed to every murder he could remember.

“He was so good at what he did. The first thing I picked up on is how wicked smart he was,” Holland said. “Nothing he’s ever said has been proven to be wrong or false. We’ve been able to prove up almost everything he said.”

Little gloated about his sinister crimes and even referred to himself as an “angel of mercy.” During a series of chilling interviews, he even referred to his victims as “my babies” and that killing “felt like heaven. Felt like being in bed with Marilyn Monroe.”

Unlike Ridgway, who had a clean criminal record, Little had a rap sheet a mile long with 100 arrests, including serious violent crimes. We will discuss this later. But, unlike Ridgway, who stayed near home, Little was a nomad.

“How did you get away with it, Sammy?”

“Did the crime, left town.”

He operated from a roving automobile, and he never buried the bodies, he said in an interview. He was more focused on leaving the scene quickly.

Little had a long-term flying-monkey girlfriend in Los Angeles named Jean, now deceased. She supported them both through shoplifting for years. She was not part of his road trips or murder sprees. On the road, he supported himself with petty robbery and by fencing stolen goods.

A former boxer and a big, well-built man, Little sometimes knocked his victim’s out cold with one punch and then strangled them, or he would easily handle them with an expert choke hold. He has been called the “Choke and Stroke Killer,” as he could multi-task during his crime. There should have been ample DNA evidence at most of the crime scenes.

Unlike Ridgway, who was stealthy and would quickly take his targets to his Seattle area Green River dumping grounds, Little often would literally date these women. He’d take them out to dinner, bars and clubs, go dancing and engage in standard consensual sex. But, ultimately, his real interest was personalized strangulation by hand, He would have been spotted by numerous eyewitnesses before most of the killings. Unfortunately, among the women with whom he associated, they were seen often with a wide range of men.

He gained the trust of these women by charming them with his engaging and fun personality. Then, the mask came off. To my eyes, he looks sinister. But we are dealing with a different cultural attitude here.

Samuel Little’s mug shots over the years

In these confessions, he described his routine. He would sometimes stay with his victims, go on petty crime sprees with them and even be arrested during such crime activities.

For example, Little said he encountered a black female at a crack house in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1994. He described the woman as 24 years old, 5’5” to 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.

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 Bentonville, Arkansas. When they were outside Little Rock, Little drove down a dirt road and manually strangled the woman to death. He was seen with the woman over several days, she turns up missing and nobody cares. So Little, age 54 at the time, easily controlled and dispensed with a 200-pound, 25-year-old, street-savvy woman. Incredible.

In the Audrey Nelson case for which Little was convicted, Dr. Eugene Carpenter testified the injury to her stomach and strangulation injuries were significant and showed “a sign of considerable force,” reports. He said the “signs of force are the greatest that I have seen in a 27-year practice in a county which has its share of strangulation cases.” Little was 49 when he committed this strangulation.

He said he “retired” only in 2005, at the age of 65, as he wasn’t physically up to the task anymore. He may also have immediate desisted because in 2004 California voters passed Proposition 69. It requires that DNA be collected from all felons. Ultimately, DNA evidence is what sent Little to prison.

He was arrested in Kentucky in September 2012 and extradited to California, where he was wanted on a narcotics charge. Once Little was in custody, Los Angeles Police Department detectives obtained his DNA and discovered it matched evidence on the victims of three unsolved homicides from 1987 and 1989. L.A. charged him with three counts of murder.

Here we have another confession from 1982. Despite having an extensive criminal wrap sheet by this time, he’s seen hanging out with this black woman and her friends in New Orleans. He makes murder look easy. Apparently, no one ever reported his presence with this victim or the disappearance of this victim.

When bodies were found, many of his victims’ deaths were originally ruled overdoses, accidental or undetermined causes. One would think that there would be autopsies on younger women. But, once again, it seems no resources were expended on that — exactly as Little suggested.

My research points to an indifferent and even lousy law enforcement culture. This, combined with how low-life underbelly culture functioned, opened the way for his lethal and unstoppable method. One obstacle is that the prostitute or street community didn’t or couldn’t interact (were dismissed) with police.

Little said they met in a night 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 toward the canal, where he killed her by drowning and left the body. He describes her as 5’9″, 150 pounds and “well put together,” but seems to kill her with ease. And he is as casual about this as other men might be about picking up a woman for sex.

There are a few survivors of his attacks.

Former sex worker Lelia Johnson gave her testimony in court, recalling how she was attacked by Little in November 1981.

“He got his big hands around my neck, but I’m a fighter and I was scratching him in the eyeballs, kicking and fighting, fighting, fighting. He was evil. You could tell he hated women and he liked having control,” she said.

She managed to escape with her life but failed to report the attack at the time. She assumed nobody would believe her.

Little’s arrest history begins in 1956 with the theft of a bicycle, for which he was sent to the brutal Boys’ Industrial School in Lancaster, Ohio.

Over the next six decades, he was repeatedly arrested in Ohio, Maryland, Florida, Maine, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, California, etc. The list goes on and on.

Charges include burglary, breaking and entering, assault and battery, assault with the intent to rob, assault with a firearm, armed robbery, assault on a police officer, solicitation of prostitution, DUI, shoplifting, theft, grand theft, possession of marijuana, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, resisting arrest, battery, false imprisonment, assault with great bodily injury, robbery, rape, and sodomy.

Collectively, for all of these crimes, he served just 10 years – and no time after 1987 until his final arrest in 2012.

In 1961, Little was sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into a furniture store in Lorain. He was released in 1964, reports. By 1975, he had been arrested 26 more times in 11 states for crimes that included theft, assault, attempted rape, fraud and attacks on government officials.

In September 1976, Little was arrested in Sunset Hills, Missouri, for the rape, assault with great bodily injury, and robbery of Pamela K. Smith. She’d shown up hysterical on a stranger’s doorstep after escaping Little’s car and running nearly naked through the night, her hands bound behind her with cloth and electrical cord. Little had strangled, bitten, beaten and sodomized her. He was convicted of the lesser charge of assault with attempted rape and served three months.

So at this point around 1977, society had an extremely dangerous serial predatory criminal on its hands and would for the next 28 years until his old age “retirement”.  In fact, Little says in his confessions that he learned that unfinished murders that he might be caught for were treated as petty crimes if street women were involved.

Unbeknownst to the sistema, Little had already committed the following 16 slayings before the Smith conviction, according to the FBI.

  • Homestead, Florida – Unmatched Confession: White female killed in 1970 or 1971.
  • Kendall, Florida – Confession Matched: Jane Doe, white female, possibly of Cuban descent, between 25 and 35 years old. Killed in 1971. Victim possibly called “Sarah” or “Donna.”
  • Miami, Florida – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 22, killed in 1971. Victim possibly called “Linda.”
  • Miami, Florida – Unmatched Confession: Transgender female, age 18, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly called “Mary Ann” or “Marianne.”
  • Florida – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 28, killed in 1971 or 1972. Victim possibly worked on Homestead Air Force Base.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland – Confession Matched: Jane Doe, white female between 20 and 25 years old, killed in 1972.
  • Savannah, Georgia – Unmatched Confession: Black female between 22 and 23 years old, killed in 1974.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio – Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1974.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 25, killed in 1975. Update: now matched to Martha Cunningham.
  • Florida – Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23 and 24 years old, killed in the mid 1970s. Victim possibly called “Emily.” Victim possibly worked at the University of Miami.
  • Plant City, Florida – Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1977 or 1978. Met victim in Clearwater, Florida.
  • Pascagoula, Mississippi – Confession Matched: Jane Doe, black female between 35 and 45 years old, killed in 1977. Met the victim in Gulfport, Mississippi. Victim possibly from Pascagoula. Victim possibly worked at Ingalls Shipyard.
  • Macon, Georgia – Confession Matched: Jane Doe, black female between 30 and 40 years old, killed in 1977.

After serving his three-month jail stint in 1977, Little went on another rampage.

He confessed to killing another Cleveland woman in 1977 or 1978. She was found on March 18, 1983, in Willoughby Hills.

On Nov. 21, 2018, Richland County, South Carolina, authorities announced that Little had confessed to murdering 19-year-old Evelyn Weston, whose body was found near Fort Jackson in 1978.

In December 2018, Little was indicted for strangling Linda Sue Boards, 23, to death in May 1981 in Warren County, Kentucky.

On Nov. 15, 2018, the Russell County, Alabama, district attorney announced that Little had confessed to the 1979 murder of 23-year-old Brenda Alexander.

On Nov. 19, 2018, Harrison County, Mississippi, sheriff Troy Peterson said that Little had confessed to strangling 36-year-old Julia Critchfield in the Gulfport area in 1978 and dumping her body off a cliff.

  • Granite City, Illinois – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 26, killed between 1976 and 1979. Met victim in St. Louis, Missouri. Victim possibly called “Jo.”
  • Houston, Texas – Unmatched Confession: Black female between 25 and 28 years old, killed between 1976 and 1979.
  • East St. Louis, Illinois – Unmatched Confession: Black female killed between 1976 and 1979. Met victim in St. Louis, Missouri.

Little murdered women in Cincinnati as well. One was identified as Anna Stewart, 33, whose body was dumped in Grove City. Stewart was last seen on October 6, 1981.

Macon, Georgia sheriffs announced that Little had credibly confessed the 1982 strangling murder of 18-year-old Fredonia Smith.

In the fall of 2018, Little confessed to the 1982 murder of 55-year-old Dorothy Richards in Houma, Louisiana.

Little also confessed to having killed 20-year-old Rosie Hill in Marion County, Florida, in 1982.

In 1982, Little starts getting caught SEVERAL TIMES.

They have him! — Um, not so fast.

In September 1982, the nude, strangled body of 26-year-old Patricia Mount was found in Alachua County, Florida. Witnesses identified Little as the man last seen leaving with Mount in his brown Pinto station wagon. Hairs found on the victim were similar to Little’s. He was tried for the crimes; but due to a lack of definitive physical evidence, the jury acquitted.

The following month, the remains of 22-year-old Melinda LaPree were found by a groundskeeper in a cemetery near the small Gulf town of Pascagoula, Mississippi, three weeks after her boyfriend had reported her missing. A disarticulated hyoid bone and fractured cricoid cartilage indicated strangulation. Witnesses identified Little as the man with whom LaPree had been seen getting into a brown Pinto station wagon. Two prostitutes interviewed during the investigation, revealed that Little had assaulted and strangled each of them, though only Nelson had reported the crime; each provided eyewitness identification.

In 1982, Little was arrested in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and charged with the LaPree murder. A grand jury declined to indict Little for the murder of LaPree. However, while under investigation, Little was transferred to Florida to be brought to trial for the Mount murder whose body turned up in September 1982. Prosecution witnesses identified Little in court as a person who spent time with Mount on the night before her disappearance. Due to mistrust of witness testimonies, Little was acquitted in January 1984.

Incredibly, while Little was facing possible justice in these three cases, seven more murders were committed in the region.

  • Gulfport, Mississippi – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 22, killed between 1980 and 1984.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana – Confession Matched: Jane Doe, white female between 33 and 44 years old. Killed in 1982.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana- Unmatched Confession: Black female between 30-40 years old killed in 1982.
  • Tampa Bay, Florida – Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1984.
  • Fort Myers, Florida – Unmatched Confession: Black female killed in 1984.
  • Atlanta – Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23 and 25 years old killed in 1984. Victim possibly a college student.

On May 31, 2019, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, prosecutors announced indictments, with four counts of aggravated murder and six counts of kidnapping, including the murder of Mary Jo Peyton in 1984

Little Moves to New Hunting Grounds in California

In L.A., Little had distractions from his activities, as a whole cadre of serial killers were operating in the region. He lived at first in the vicinity of San Diego.

In October 1984, he was arrested for kidnapping, beating and strangling Laurie Barros, 22 years old, who survived.

Also in October 1984, Little was caught by San Diego patrol officers in the act of beating and strangling Tonya Jackson in the back seat of his black Thunderbird. He was charged with rape and assault with great bodily injury.

They have him again! Throw away the keys! Um, not so fast.

The Barros and Jackson cases were tried together, with added charges of false imprisonment. Little pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with great bodily injury and one of false imprisonment. He received a four-year prison sentence and served only two and a half years before being paroled in February 1987.  You will hear Laurie in the video above state that the jury didn’t accept the full gravity of her court testimony. 

Upon his short prison term release, he immediately moved to Los Angeles and committed at least 15 additional murders. Note that Little is well into his late 50s during this spree.

  • 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 and 23 years old, killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 26 and 27 years old, killed in 1987.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 40 and 45 years old, killed in 1990 or 1991. Victim possibly called “Alice.”
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 20 and 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 and 25 years old, killed in 1992 or 1993. Victim possibly from Phoenix.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23 and 25 years old, killed in 1996. Victim possibly called “Sheila.”
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female between 23 and 24 years old, killed in 1996. Victim possibly called “T-Money.”
  • Unmatched Confession: White female between 23 and 25 years old, killed in 1996.
  • Unmatched Confession: Black female age 25 killed in 1996.

Even at this stage, the aging Little would leave home for road trips.

On Nov. 13, 2018, Little was charged with the 1994 murder of Denise Christie Brothers in Odessa, Texas, after having confessed the crime to a Texas Ranger in May 2018

He also confessed to the Pine Bluff, Arkansas, murder of Jolinda Jones, a black female, in 1994; and to the 1996 murder of 40-year-old Daisy McGuire. Both of their bodies were found in Houma, Louisiana.

  • 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.
  • Monroe, Louisiana – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 24, killed sometime between 1987 and the early 1990s.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – Unmatched Confession: Black female, age 40, killed in 1993.

With DNA technology available, Little’s genetic material was detected on the bra and fingernail kit of 41-year-old Carol Alford, who’d been found strangled in a residential South Central alleyway in July 1987. It was the tipping point. In January 2013, 26 years later and God know how many more murders, day-late dollar-short murder charges were finally filed. The proceeding list is by no means complete.

Winter Watch Takeaway

Advanced DNA technology has finally allowed more of these types of crimes to be solved and prevented.

When Los Angeles got the DNA hit on Little, they asked the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to work up a full background on him. The FBI found an alarming pattern and compelling links to many more murders.

The database is now widely used by state and local law enforcement agencies to compile information on:

  • Sexual assault cases
  • Solved and unsolved homicides, especially those involving a kidnapping or if they are apparently motiveless, sexual or random or suspected to be part of a series
  • Missing persons, where foul play is suspected
  • Unidentified persons, where foul play is suspected

Obviously, this would have been crucial in the case of Samuel Little. It’s not like he didn’t leave plenty of bread crumbs. Plus, he was arrested and charged several times for serious violent offenses. How would law enforcement have acted if they had run the Little rap sheet back in 1982 when he was arrested in the Mount and DePree cases? Or the 1984 Jackson and Barrios convictions?

Astonishingly, with all the effort devoted to “terrorism”, policing mean jokes on Twitter- 80 FBI Agents Monitored Jokes On Twitter Full Time!– and fictitious boogeymen, this database on the real threats wasn’t made available to all law enforcement agencies through a secure internet link until the summer of 2008. This allows investigators across the nation to populate a database and share information in real time.

What an incredible and disgusting lack of professionalism, as criminals like Little and Joseph DeAngelo (read “California’s Golden State Killer Turned Out to be a Cop — But Did He Really Act Alone?”) undertook their reign of bedlam.

Our conclusion from this Little case, and the many other stories we’ve covered, is that something just isn’t adding up.

Is the fox is guarding the hen house and, if so, is it by design?

Other true crime articles on Winter Watch:

7 Comments on Samuel Little: The Most Deadly Serial Killer Known in American History

  1. Once in awhile you are rather coherent, but mostly it is gibberish and rambling at least to my sensibilities. You have a fixation on my works and tone that is well, off. Are you a bot? AI? Or just on drugs? What else am I supposed to do with you.?

  2. Mr Winter,
    Thank you very much for the research and effort you put into this article.
    Two books on my wishlist are
    “The Rise of the Black Serial Killer” by Justin Lee Cottreel (2012)
    it doesn’t mention Samuel Little,
    “Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder” by David Mcgowan.
    The stats on black-on-white crime are astounding.
    Be safe, head on a swivel

Post a Comment

Winter Watch

Discover more from Winter Watch

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading