Man indicted for 1981 Kentucky murder named nation's most prolific serial killer  

Samuel Little

GLASGOW — A man indicted for the 1981 murder of a Smiths Grove woman has been labeled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.

According to an FBI news release, Samuel Little, 79, has confessed to 93 murders that he said occurred between 1970 and 2005. According to the FBI, law enforcement has verified 50 of those slayings "with many more pending final confirmation."

"For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims," said Christie Palazzolo, an analyst for the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, in the news release.

"Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim — to close every case possible."

Little was indicted by a Warren County grand jury in December at the age of 78 for the 1981 killing of Linda Sue Boards. Her body was found on a Smiths Grove farm.

The investigation into Little for the Smiths Grove murder launched when the FBI contacted the Kentucky State Police after they had matched the method used by Little in a California case to the slaying of Boards.

Little was already suspected at the time of a murder in Texas and he later pleaded guilty to strangling a woman there in 1994. In the news release, the FBI credited the work of the Texas Rangers in eliciting "a breathtaking number of confessions" from Little.

Little was arrested at a homeless shelter in Kentucky in 2012 and transported to California where he was wanted on drug charges. He was charged with murder there after detectives matched his DNA to three unsolved murders. Little received three consecutive life sentences for the murders.

The FBI was asked to prepare a background analysis on Little, and during the process, agents discovered a connection between him and an open murder case in Texas. According to the FBI, Little was willing to speak with the Texas Rangers in exchange for moving prisons. He eventually admitted to the Texas murder and was extradited there in 2018.

According to the news release, Little claimed to have strangled his victims, who were mostly women, however many of the deaths "were originally ruled overdoses or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes."

The FBI is attempting to garner more information about some of Little's unmatched confessions including the killing of a woman in Covington in 1984. More information about the case is available on the website

React to this story:


Recommended for you