The Botched Investigation of Samuel Little

Truer Crime
Truer Crime
The Botched Investigation of Samuel Little

Prior to his death in 2020, Samuel Little confessed to 93 different murders between the years of 1970 and 2005. And over 50 of them have been confirmed by investigators. It makes Little the most prolific serial killer in US history. So why then, have you never heard of him? Today’s episode explores who is looked for, who is seen, and who is forgotten.

Today’s episode contains references to sexual assault, opioid addiction, and physical abuse. Please take care while listening.

Below you will find photos of Samuel Little, the victims mentioned in today’s episode, and a few of Samuel Little’s sketches. You can find a full list of Samuel Little’s sketches and unidentified confessions here.

A full transcript of this episode is available here.

previous arrow
next arrow

Additional Resources and Action Items:

National Harm Reduction Coalition

Vox: The movement to decriminalize sex work, explained, by Anna North 

ACLU: To Protect Black Trans Lives, Decriminalize Sex Work, by Kaniya Walker 

Sex Workers Outreach Project USA

Key Research Mentioned:

The Washington Post: Indifferent Justice Part 1 The Perfect Victim, by Wesley Lowery, Hannah Knowles, and Mark Berman

The Washington Post: Indifferent Justice Part 2 Through the Cracks, by Mark Berman, Wesley Lowery, and Hannah Knowles

The Washington Post: Indifferent Justice Part 3 Still Unsolved, by Hannah Knowles, Wesley Lowery, and Mark Berman

Sources Used:

The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice: African American Serial Killers: Over-Represented Yet Underacknowledged, by Allan Branson

Wikipedia, Samuel Little*

FBI: FBI Seeking Assistance Connecting Victims to Samuel Little’s Confessions

The Cut: The Serial Killer and the ‘Less Dead,’ by Jillian Lauren

The New York Times: He Says He Got Away With 90 Murders. Now He’s Confessing to Them All, by Timothy Williams

Fox News: Timeline retraces the whereabouts of a career criminal, alleged serial killer, by the Associated Press

Clarion Ledger: Who is she? Samuel Little admits to killing Jackson woman whose body was never found, by Margaret Baker

Los Angeles Police Department: Man LInked to Three Cold Case Murders

The Appeal: The Enduring, Pernicious Whiteness of True Crime, by Elon Green

A&E: Why Are Sex Workers Often a Serial Killer’s Victim of Choice? by Adam Janos

Contexts: Serial killers & their easy prey, by Jooyoung Lee and Sasha Reid

Homicide Studies: Prostitutes as Victims of Serial Homicide: Trends and Case Characteristics, 1970-2009, by Kenna Quinet

U.S. Department of Justice: “Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012-14, by Rachel E. Morgan, Ph.D

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting: Table 43, Arrests by Race and Ethnicity, 2015

The Journal of Pediatrics: Homicidal Ideation among Children and Adolescents: Evidence from the 2012-2016 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, by Michael G. Vaughn, PhD, Jason Carbone, PhD, Matt Delisi, PhD, and Katherine J Holzer, MSW

The Washington Post: It’s time to get rid of reform schools, by Amber Armstrong

Quarterly Journal of Economics: Juvenile Incarceration, Human Capital and Future Crime: Evidence from Randomly-Assigned Judges, by Anna Aizer and Joseph J. Doyle

*Indicates a source that is speculative and/or otherwise unofficial. These sources are used for gathering general information related to the story and are then independently verified by our team. We want to give credit to these sources for pointing us in the right direction of more official sources and/or being the first source to present us with information. With any source, it’s always important to fact-check the information.

Follow Along