Michael Connelly On Murder Book Podcast: Season Two
Wiretaps, witness interviews, court recordings and detective recollections piece together this true crime podcast hosted by best-selling author Michael Connelly that explores real homicide cases not covered by mainstream media. Murder Book Season One: The Tell-Tale Bullet. The season dives into a thirty-year-old Hollywood carjacking gone wrong that tests the limits of the American criminal justice system. Murder Book Season Two: The Women Who Stopped Sam Little. In this season, we go behind the headlines and track the investigation that uncovered the man the FBI has called the most prolific serial killer in American history.
An Exclusive Word from Michael Connelly On Murder Book Podcast: Season Two
About 8 years ago I was living in Tampa part-time and two detectives I knew from the Los Angeles Police Department came through town. They were Mitzi Roberts and Rick Jackson, two detectives I admired and who had worked with me on my Harry Bosch novels, giving me the details of homicide investigation that bring at least a veneer of accuracy to my stories.
We went out to dinner and I casually tried to learn what they were doing 3,000 miles from L.A. They were circumspect in their answers because it was an ongoing case. They told me they were backgrounding a murder suspect who had spent time in Florida and had a history in the state of arrests. They were trying to learn everything they could about him.
We left it at that but I knew the case – whatever it was — had a high degree of significance if detectives were being sent out across the country to background a suspect. A few months later that suspicion was confirmed when the LAPD announced the charging of Sam Little in three cold case homicides in Los Angeles in the late 1980s.
Mitzi Roberts was lead detective on the case and the following year it went to trial with Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman at the prosecution’s helm. Little was convicted on all counts and sentenced to life in prison, but the case didn’t end there. Roberts told me she believed the three murders Little was convicted of might only be a drop in the bucket. She was continuing to put the word out about Little to law enforcement agencies across the country. And soon there was a groundswell interest from the FBI and other agencies. Facing the rest of his life in prison, Little soon decided to confess. And confess. And confess.
Little admitted to 93 murders of women over a four-decade span and the FBI named him the most prolific American serial killer in history. Eight years after that dinner with the detectives in Tampa I had a podcast called Murder Book. I thought this was a story I could and should tell. Not so much about the numbers. The numbers are awful, yes. But I wanted to tell the story about the detective who pursued this evil man across the country. And the prosecutor who got the conviction before Little made everything easy by confessing. The story about Little when he denied all the charges and was still trying to game the system. How did they finally get him? How did they crack the case? And that was the moment that The Women Who Stopped Sam Little was born.
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