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County assists with cold case murder investigations

By Brian Knox | Published Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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The Wise County Sheriff’s Office has assisted numerous criminal investigation agencies throughout the country recently by housing a suspected serial killer at the jail.

Samuel Little

For the past couple of months, the WCSO has housed 78-year-old Samuel Little, who is serving a life sentence after he was convicted in 2014 in the murder of three women in the Los Angeles area in the late 1980s. Little has also been named as a suspect in dozens of other unsolved murders across the country.

On July 16, an Ector County grand jury indicted Little in the 1994 murder of Denise Christie Brothers, 38. Little was then extradited from California and arraigned in Ector County. A mutual agreement was reached between the Ector County Sheriff’s Office and the WCSO to house Little at the Wise County Jail.

Investigators from across the country have traveled to the Wise County Jail over the past couple of months to talk with Little about various unsolved murder cases ranging from 1970 to 2005.

“Mostly we were just facilitators,” WCSO Chief Deputy Craig Johnson said. “We had a case that fit his M.O. (modus operandi), but it turns out he wasn’t responsible.”

Law enforcement officials from Texas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, California, Indiana, Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice have interviewed Little.

“To date, Little has provided details of more than 90 murders committed in multiple states,” the WCSO stated in a news release issued Tuesday.

Little was a suspect in a Wise County cold case murder from the 1980s, Johnson said. In that case, skeletal remains were found in the eastern part of the county near the Denton County line in 1987. Investigators estimated the body had been put there in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

“He was cooperative. He didn’t have trouble explaining his role in all of those cases,” Johnson said of Little, who denied he was responsible for the Wise County cold case.

The investigation was led by the Texas Rangers in coordination with the FBI, U.S. DOJ, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Florida Division of Law Enforcement, Ector County District Attorney’s Office, Odessa Police Department, Ector County Sheriff’s Office and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

Little was arrested Sept. 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ken., after DNA evidence connected him to the murder of two women in the Los Angeles area.

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