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Serial killer draws haunting portraits of his victims in Texas jail cell

One of the 90 victims Samuel Little claims he killed was a young Houston woman who was never identified.

ODESSA, Texas — Samuel Little, who claims he killed 90 women nationwide and got away with it, is now drawing portraits of some victims while he sits in an Odessa jail.

The FBI released sixteen portraits in hopes the women can be identified.

One of them is a Houston woman killed in the late 70s or in 1993. She was an unidentified black female between 25 and 28 years old.

Little, now 78 and in a wheelchair, may be among the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, according to the FBI.

Samuel Little, 78, spent almost two months in the Wise County jail may be responsible for more than 90 murders, according to the Wise County Sheriff's Office.

Texas Rangers and the FBI are working with state and local agencies to match Little’s confessions with evidence from women who turned up dead in states from California to Florida between 1970 and 2005.

Little wasn’t arrested until 2014 when DNA linked him to the murders of three women in southern California. He was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.

Little was extradited to Wise County in Texas last July because of possible links to unsolved cases there.

Wise County Chief Deputy Craig Johnson said Little may very well be one of the most dangerous men to ever set foot in the county.

"That's a scary number [90]. That's more than the BTK killer and the Green River killer," Johnson said.

The chief deputy said detectives from across the country visited Little during October and early November, after it became clear he was ready to open up about dozens of cold cases.

"It was a steady stream of investigators," Johnson said. "We kept him in a cell by himself."

Wise County investigators eventually determined Little wasn’t connected to cold cases there, so he was moved to Ector County last July to face a murder charge.

Little would later confess to the February 1994 murder of Denise Christie Brothers of Odessa. She was strangled and left in a field. Her body wasn’t found until a month after she disappeared.

Little, who also went by Samuel McDowell, agreed to talk about his other victims if he could remain at the Ector County Jail instead of going to prison.

Two cold cases were in Houston back in the 70s and 80s.

Investigators say Little knows details about the cases that were never made public, so they’re convinced he’s not lying.

Credit: FBI

“Little remembers his victims and the killings in great detail,” according to the FBI. “He remembers where he was, and what car he was driving.”

So far, they’ve been able to link 34 murders to Little.

They hope his confessions will help bring closure to the families of those victims.

"Closure is a big deal for those families. Tragedy is a big deal for those families. Anything we can do to help them out, we're more than happy to," said Johnson.

Little moved around a lot after dropping out of high school in Ohio in the late 1950s. His nomadic lifestyle helps explain how he got away with so many murders.

When his murder spree began, Little often targeted women who were prostitutes or drug addicts. Their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated.

The one-time competitive boxer usually knocked his victims out with powerful punches and then strangled them, according to the FBI. With no stab marks or bullet wounds, many of these deaths were not classified as homicides but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents or natural causes.

In the 70s, DNA evidence was often unavailable or not advanced enough to link back to Little.