FBI seeks help identifying victims of serial killer Samuel Little

Pictures in James Holland's office
A photo of serial killer Samuel Little and a portrait of one of his victims hang on a wall in Texas Ranger James Holland’s office.
(Del Quentin Wilber / Los Angeles Times)

Samuel Little, an elderly California prison inmate, has confessed to committing 93 stranglings of women and transgender women during a decades-long rampage from Florida to Southern California.

Authorities have verified about 60 of Little’s confessions, which he has detailed over the course of a year to a Texas police detective. The FBI said Friday it would soon release video of Little discussing five of his uncorroborated confessions in the hopes of generating tips, and asks anyone with information to call the agency at 1-800-225-5324.

Texas Ranger James Holland got Samuel Little to admit he strangled 93 women during a decades-long, coast-to-coast rampage.

Sept. 26, 2019


Here are the five cases the FBI plans to feature, with portraits of victims as painted by Little from memory:


Little said he met an 18-year-old black transgender woman in Miami in a bar known as “The Pool” or “Pool Place” in 1971 or 1972. The woman told Little her name was “Marianne,” and she had a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend named “Wes.” Marianne lived with several other transgender women somewhere near the neighborhoods of Liberty City and Brownsville.

Little drove Marianne in his gold Pontiac to get some Magic Shave. He pulled off Highway 27 into what may have been a sugarcane field and strangled her. He dumped her body off a dirt road that led to a swamp.

North Little Rock, Ark.

In the early 1990s, Little said he picked up a black woman at a soup kitchen in Little Rock. He believed the woman was 24 and named Ruth and had a husband or boyfriend named Walter or Wally. She helped him shoplift from a grocery store and fence the stolen goods.

Police records show Little was arrested for shoplifting by North Little Rock police on April 20, 1994, at a Kroger store, the FBI says. After Little was released from custody, he figured out she had informed on him to the police. Just after they drove out of Little Rock, Little pulled off the interstate onto a dirt road, strangled the woman and left her body on a pile of debris in or near a cornfield.

Northern Kentucky

Little says he killed a “hippie-like” white woman in northern Kentucky, possibly in the 1980s. He was fooling around with the trunk of his Lincoln Continental Mark II in the parking lot of a strip club in Columbus, Ohio, when the woman approached and asked him where he was going. He told her he was heading to Florida. She asked for a ride to Miami, where her mother lived.

Little said they drove for a bit. Not far from Interstate 75, he drove down a dirt road that wound up a hill. He pulled over, strangled her and left her body there.

Las Vegas

In 1993, Little says, he killed a prostitute in Las Vegas. Driving his yellow Cadillac Eldorado, he picked up the woman on Owens Avenue. She was in her 40s and her adult son was hanging out nearby.

He took the woman to his motel, where he strangled her. He dumped her body on the side of a road leading to Searchlight, Nev., and said he heard it crash through bushes down a hill.

New Orleans

In the early 1980s, Little said, he killed a black woman he had met at a birthday party for one of her friends in New Orleans. The woman mentioned that she lived with her disabled mother.

Little drove the woman to the Little Woods area, dragged her to a canal that was being dredged and choked her facedown in the water, where he left her corpse.