This Man Is the Most Prolific Killer in the U.S., and You Probably Don't Know His Name

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author

Apr. 18 2021, Published 2:45 p.m. ET

Samuel Little cause of death
Source: Twitter

People who love true crime will want to add Confronting a Serial Killer to their watch lists. The new Starz series unravels the murders of Samuel Little, the most prolific killers in history (he killed 93 women — far more victims than Ted Bundy, the Green River killer, and John Wayne Gacy) and how our criminal justice system let him get away with it for so long before he was caught in 2012. 

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The show is led by journalist Jillian Lauren, who was able to extrapolate key information from Little in a way we rarely see — and she was able to expose Little's motives and thought process in a way that's terrifying but also illuminating. What really goes on in the mind of a serial killer? Little ended up passing away in 2020, but Lauren was able to get a lot of confessions out of him, including his methodology.

journalist samuel little
Source: Starz
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Knowing Little is dead now is bittersweet — it's a relief such a diabolical person is gone, but didn't his victims deserve a greater justice? Plus, how exactly did he die? Lauren promised that if Little gave her the information she wanted, then he wouldn't die alone. Did she uphold the deal?

Samuel Little's cause of death:

Samuel Little was 80 years old when he passed away at a California hospital in December 2020. Although the cause of death was never revealed, he had diabetes, heart issues, and other "unspecified ailments." According to a California corrections department, there was no evidence of foul play. It's unclear if he died alone or was with a family member or partner at the time of death.

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What is tragically fascinating about Little is that he's been said to have a photographic memory. In 2018, Little opened up to Texas ranger James Holland, who, like Lauren, formed a bond with the killer. He did so in the hope of clearing other names who were convicted for Little's crimes. Little surprisingly obliged. 

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According to the AP, Little "provided Holland with dozens of paintings and drawings of his victims, sometimes scribbling their names when he could remember them, as well as details such as the year and location of the murder and where he’d dumped the body."

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So, how exactly was Little able to get away with his crimes? While Confronting a Serial Killer aims to answer that disturbing question, the short answer is that Little knew if he targeted low-income women of color who were sex workers or addicts (or both), the odds of people caring about their disappearance was unlikely. And he was sadly right. 

samuel little victim
Source: Starz
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We've learned some things about Little, such as the fact that he was married once and was in two long-term relationships. According to him, he never hurt the people he loved. And while he had a neck fetish he developed back when he was a child watching his kindergarten teacher touch her neck, he avoided looking or touching the necks of his partners. However, his neck fetish is what led to his preference to strangle most of his victims. 

“I don’t think there was another person who did what I liked to do. I think I’m the only one in the world. And that’s not an honor, that is a curse," Little told 60 Minutes

Watch the premiere of Confronting a Serial Killer tonight at 6 p.m. EST on Starz.

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