MIAMI(CBS MIAMI) — New details have emerged about Samuel Little, who the FBI calls the most prolific serial killer in the history of the United States, and his murderous spree in South Floria.
Veteran Miami-Dade Police detective David Denmark told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the Little, 79, has confessed to taking the lives of five women in Miami-Dade. Denmark and his partner Detective Lester Aguilar flew to Texas a year ago to interview Little in his jail cell.
As seen on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Little reportedly confessed to 93 murders in 19 states between 1970 and 2005 including 12 murders in Florida. He was sentenced to life behind bars for three murders in California and Texas.
Little was asked by “60 Minutes” where he killed the most to which he replied, “Oh that’s easy, Florida and California.”
When he was asked what city he killed the most in, he said “Miami and Los Angeles.”
Denmark said Little lured his victims by charming women.
“He was, in my opinion, a good looking guy,” he said. “He was very muscular. He would just woo them over and he had a nice car and he would flash them with money.”
It’s not clear how long he lived in South Florida.
“He worked for the Sanitation Department in Coconut Grove and at some point he was a truck driver and a boxer,” said Denmark.
Little was known to frequent the Everglades and its alligator-filled waters. Not for pleasure or as a tourist but as a stone-cold killer. That is where he said he dumped most of the bodies of the innocent victims in South Florida.
Authorities say he preyed on prostitutes and drug addicts and “60 Minutes” noted that they were “women he believed the police wouldn’t work too hard to find.”
“He was an older gentleman with very light eyes and easy to speak to,” said Denmark who has corroborated two of the Miami-Dade murders that Little has confessed to.
One victim was 25-year-old Mariam Chapman, also known as Angela. Denmark said she suffered from mental illness and was a prostitute who frequented Liberty City’s Turf Motel.
Her body was found in a field in May 1976 near the memorable arches off Tamiami Trail just east of Krome Avenue.
“Angela Chapman. He strangled her and put her body in a body of water where she was located by the Everglades,” Denmark said.
Denmark said Little is also tied to the murder of 34-year-old Mary Brosley from Boston. He said she was separated from her family and suffered from alcoholism.
Her remains were discovered in June of 1971 in a field near northwest 107th Avenue and 162nd Street, a remote area like the Everglades.
“Mary Brosley,” he said. “We believe he choked her to death. He said he only partially buried her because the ground floor was too hard and he would never bury someone in Florida again because the ground was too hard.”
They were not among Little’s dozens of sketches of his victims but he did tell Denmark that he recognized their photos and Mary Brosley’s necklace.
Denmark says Little also claimed he murdered Air Force Nurse Karen O’Donoghue in 1966 or 1967 and showed him a painting of the victim whose body has never been found. And he painted another woman, who he said was named Sara or Donna and was from Cuba.
Denmark says Little confessed to dumping the bodies of both women in the Everglades and choking a fifth unidentified woman to death at what was then the Homestead Air Force base.
D’Oench asked, “So what was his obsession with the Everglades and why did he kill so many women?”
“That’s one of the questions we were not allowed to ask him, why did he do it,” said Denmark.
The detectives were cautioned that might make Little stop confessing. With the serial killer approaching 80 and behind bars for life and in poor health, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office released a memo saying it would not charge Little with Chapman and Brosley’s murders.
Denmark said, “It’s a no brainer to close this and bring closure to the families.”
Chapman was from Indiana. Years after her life was taken so horribly in the Everglades, Denmark has not been able to find any of her loved ones.
Brosley was from Massachusetts. Her surviving relatives chose not to comment.
Denmark though is gratified that he and his partner could close these cases.
“Our number one focus has been to bring closure to family members especially in cases this old from the 1970s,” he said.
“He said there could be more victims of Samuel Little in Miami-Dade.
He said anyone with information about him should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).