Lauren Fruen, Daily Mail, November 19, 2020
America’s most prolific serial killer has confessed to killing two more women, including one where another man served 22 years before he was exonerated.
Samuel Little, who is now 80-years-old, is said to have murdered both Karen O’Donoghue and Dorothy Gibson in Florida in the 1970s.
Jerry Frank Townsend, who has an IQ of just 58, had confessed to Gibson’s slaying before the case was dismissed and he was released in 2001.
Last year, the FBI declared Little the most prolific serial killer in the US. He confessed to 93 murders – mostly of women – across the country between 1970 and 2005.
Now authorities say they have enough corroborating evidence to link him to the deaths of O’Donoghue and Gibson following his admissions. He will not be charged as he is already serving a life sentence in California.
The Miami Herald reports how the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has said Little officially killed four women in the area; he is suspected of murdering many more.
Little was not only willing to confess his crimes but had a vivid memory of what his victims looked like and sufficient artistic ability to reproduce their faces.
O’Donoghue’s body has never been found after she was killed in the early 1970s; Gibson was found strangled outside a hotel in Miami in 1977.
Little is said to have remembered specific details relating to the Gibson case that indicate he was the killer and drew a picture of her. Arrest records also place him in Miami at that time.
With O’Donoghue, Little again remembered details about his victim. He again drew a picture which closely resembled an image her family had circulated when she went missing.
Wrongly convicted Townsend, now 69, confessed to Gibson’s murder, as well as other killings and rapes, after five days of questioning.
But after DNA cleared him of two murders in 2001 his confession was called into question and he was released from prison.
He now lives with his daughter in Georgia after receiving two $2million settlements from the city of Miami and Broward County.
His former attorney, Barbara Heyer, said: ‘It is outrageous these officers and everyone supported this garbage conviction. They used his frailty to just close cases.’
Former Miami homicide detective Confesor Gonzalez said: ‘It’s a relief to know the actual killer is behind bars and is no longer a danger to the community.’
Last month a mother who disappeared from a Tennessee nightclub in 1981 was identified as another victim of Little. Patricia Parker, who was 30-years-old at the time of her death, was identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Last year, the FBI released several of Little’s chilling videotaped confessions.
Christie Palazzolo, an FBI crime analyst, said last year: ‘For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims.
‘Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim — to close every case possible.’
Authorities began unraveling his serial killing spree after he was arrested at a homeless shelter in Kentucky in 2012 and extradited to California to face drug charges.
The killer was not only willing to confess his crimes but had a vivid memory of what his victims looked like and sufficient artistic ability to reproduce their faces. A Texas ranger who interviewed Little noticed he liked to draw and gave him art supplies behind bars.
Little went on to produce more than 30 color portraits, which the FBI hoped will help law enforcement match Little’s confessions to victims who, in many cases, have yet to be identified.
When he was in custody, authorities found DNA evidence that linked Little to three cold case murders in Los Angeles between 1987 and 1989.
The three women had all been beaten and strangled with their bodies dumped in an alley, a dumpster and a garage.
Police around the country have confirmed about 50 of his confessions so far and consider the rest credible.
As Little detailed his crimes, he showed no remorse, talked candidly, almost proudly, and seemed to be enjoying himself, detectives said.
Little, a 6ft 3in former boxer, was sentenced in 2014 to life in prison for the three murders.
The FBI had been working on a full background check of Little and found links to other murders that he may have committed.
Little grew up in Ohio, dropped out of high school and lived a ‘nomadic life,’ shoplifting or stealing to buy alcohol and drugs.
He was accused of murdering women in Mississippi and Florida in the early 1980s but was not convicted.
The FBI said the deaths of many of the victims Little confessed to killing were originally ruled overdoses or were attributed to accidental or undetermined causes.
Some of the bodies Little said he dumped have never been found.
‘For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,’ said FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program crime analyst Palazzolo.