A redhead with vivid emerald green eyes and downturned lips; a young woman with strong eyebrows and cherry-red earrings; a teenager with a blue hairband possibly named “Mary Ann.”
These are among the haunting portraits hand-drawn by confessed serial killer Samuel Little of his alleged victims — many of whom authorities say remain largely unidentified.
The FBI released 16 of Little’s portraits, all of which were drawn from memory, on Tuesday. The bureau told CNN they hoped “someone — family member, former neighbor, friend — might recognize the [victims] and provide the crucial clue in helping authorities make an identification.” Little’s drawings, the agency added, have “proven quite accurate.”
Little, 78, stunned investigators last year when he began confessing to almost 100 killings, carried out over the span of about 35 years. He’d already been behind bars at the time, serving three life sentences for the murders of three Los Angeles women. But starting last May, Little shared story upon story of the dozens of other vulnerable women — many of whom were involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs — who he claimed to have strangled to death, leaving a trail of bodies across the country.
In all, Little has confessed to murdering more than 90 people. Police said they’ve confirmed more than 36 of these cases so far, the Los Angeles Times reported. The grim tally makes Little one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.
Despite Little’s detailed confessions, corroboration and victim identification have proved challenging for law enforcement. Many of Little’s victims lived on the fringes of society and their deaths often went uninvestigated, the FBI said.
The bureau hopes that Little’s portraits of his alleged victims will help them crack some of these cold cases.
“We want to give these women their names back and their family some long-awaited answers. It’s the least we can do,” the FBI told CNN.
Visit the FBI’s website to see more information about each of Little’s portraits, including when and where each alleged victim may have been killed.
The bureau has urged anyone with information about the victims to contact their Violent Criminal Apprehension Program at (800) 634-4097.