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FBI confirms Samuel Little is most prolific serial killer in US history

Of the 93 murders that 79-year-old Samuel Little has confessed to, officials have already been able to verify 50 so far. They believe each confession is credible.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the man who claims to have killed more than 90 women across the country is the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

In a news release on Sunday, the FBI said Samuel Little confessed to 93 murders. Federal crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible, and officials have been able to verify 50 confessions so far.

The 79-year-old Little is serving multiple life sentences in California. He says he strangled his 93 victims between 1970 and 2005. Three of his victims were alleged to be from Tennessee. 

RELATED: New efforts to ID Tennessee victim of serial killer Samuel Little

RELATED: Knoxville woman who died in 1975 was likely victim of serial killer

RELATED: Confessed serial killer claims to have killed 90 people, including 3 Tennessee victims

Knox County Sheriff's Office investigators said Martha Cunningham, whose body was found along a road in 1975, was likely one of Little's victims. Her death was considered to be from natural causes at the time. The FBI still lists it as an "unmatched confession" from Little.

The other alleged Tennessee victims were from Chattanooga and Memphis.

Investigators also provided new information and details this week about five cases in Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada and Louisiana.

RELATED: These drawings by a confessed serial killer could help identify some of his victims

RELATED: Man who confessed to 90 murders indicted in Ky. cold case

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” said Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo. “Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim—to close every case possible.”

Below is information on five cases where Little confessed, but the FBI has yet to identify the victim. If you have any information linked to Little’s confessions, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit at tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Samuel Little appears at Superior Court in Los Angeles in 2013. Little, now 78, has admitted to killing more than 90 people, according to the FBI.(Photo: AP file photo )

Unmatched Confession: Miami, Florida, 1971 or 1972

Little recounted that in 1971 or 1972 he met a good-looking, 18- to 19-year-old black male in Miami, Florida. Little said the male presented himself as a woman and was known to Little as Marianne or Mary Ann. Little said Marianne was between 5’6” - 5’7” tall and approximately 140 pounds. Little first met Marianne at a bar known as The Pool or Pool Palace near 17th Avenue in Miami. A few days later, they met again at a bar in Overtown, where Little offered to give her a ride home. Little stated Marianne lived with several other roommates between Brownsville and Liberty City. When they arrived there, one of Marianne’s roommates asked them to buy a can of shaving cream, so they returned to Little’s car—a gold 4-door Pontiac LeMans. Little drove Marianne north on Highway 27 and killed her on a driveway, possibly near a sugarcane field. He then drove further down Highway 27, into the Everglades, and turned down a dirt road that led to a river or a swamp. Little dragged Marianne’s body approximately 200 yards into the thick, muddy water. He does not believe the body was ever found.

Credit: FBI
The FBI is seeking the public's help in identifying some of the victims of Samuel Little, who authorities say is the most prolific serial killer in US history. One of the victims includes 'Marianne,' who was killed in either 1971 or 1972.

Unmatched Confession: North Little Rock, Arkansas, 1992–1994

Little said he encountered a black female in a transient area of Little Rock, Arkansas, between 1992 and 1994. He remembered it was cold and possibly snowing when they met. He described the woman as 24 years old, 5’5” - 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 so that he could move his vehicle, a 1978 yellow Cadillac El Dorado (or possibly a yellow Dodge), off the grocery store’s property. 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 Benton or Bentonville, Arkansas. When they were outside Little Rock, Little drove down a dirt road and manually strangled the woman to death. Little stated he placed the woman’s body on a pile of branches and old cornstalks in or near a corn field. He believes the woman’s name may have been Ruth and that her mother lived in North Little Rock.

Credit: FBI
The FBI released this sketch showing a black female who Samuel Little said he murdered in North Little Rock Arkansas, sometime between 1992-1994. He believes the woman's name may have been Ruth and that her mother lived in North Little Rock.

Unmatched Confession: Covington, Kentucky, 1984

Little stated that in approximately 1984, possibly in the summertime, he was driving his Lincoln Continental Mark III from Loraine, Ohio, to Cincinnati. While en route, he met a 25-year-old white female outside a strip club. He remembers her as being 5’6” - 5’7” tall and 130-170 pounds. Little describes her as having short blonde hair and blue eyes with a “hippie” appearance. She approached him and asked for a ride to Miami, Florida, saying her mother lived there. Little said he and the woman drove south on Interstate 75. When they reached Cincinnati, the two of them spent time downtown on Vine Street. They continued driving together, across the river into northern Kentucky. Little described driving to a hilly area not far from I-75. He drove up a small dirt road to the top of a “little round hill,” where he strangled the woman in the backseat of his car. He left her body on the top of the hill.

Credit: FBI
The FBI released this sketch of a woman, who was supposedly 25-years-old when Samuel Little says he killed her around 1984 in Covington, Kentucky.

Unmatched Confession: Las Vegas, Nevada, 1993

In 1993, Little was driving a 1978 yellow Cadillac Eldorado to Los Angeles when he met a black woman on Owens Avenue or Jackson Street in Las Vegas. He described her as a thin, dark-skinned woman who was approximately 40 years old. She was about 5'5” tall and 110-120 pounds. Little believed the woman had naturally short hair but wore a long-haired wig (as depicted in his drawing). He remembered the woman pointing out her son, a black male who was approximately 19-23 years old. Little confessed to taking her to a motel room, where he strangled her to death. He said he then placed the woman’s body in the trunk of his car and drove to the outskirts of Las Vegas. He pulled off on a remote road and rolled the woman’s body down a steep slope. He then threw her clothes out further down the road. It is highly likely that her body was never found.

Credit: FBI
The FBI has released this sketch showing a female victim, who was approximately 40 years old, when Samuel Little said he killed her in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1993.

Unmatched Confession: New Orleans, Louisiana, 1982

Little stated that in approximately 1982, possibly in the autumn, he met a black female in New Orleans. He described the woman as approximately 30-40 years old, 5’8”-5’9” tall, weighing 160 pounds, with “honey-colored” brown skin and medium-length straight hair. He remembers that she was wearing a pretty dress with buttons on the front. Little said they met in a 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 towards the canal, where he killed her and left the body. Afterward, Little drove back to the motel where he was staying in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Credit: FBI
The FBI has released this sketch showing a female victim, who was allegedly 30 to 40 years old, when Samuel Little said he murdered her in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1982.