• Deputies: Serial killer confesses to Marion County murder 36 years later

    By: James Tutten , Jason Kelly

    Updated:

    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A suspect who said he has committed more than 90 murders has confessed to the 1982 slaying of Rosie Hill in Ocala, according to detectives with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

    Deputies said 78-year-old Samuel Little, also known as Samuel McDowell, gave information allowing them to consider the murder case of Hill closed.

    Hills' remains were found near a hop pen in a wooded area off County Road 326 in August 1982, detectives said. Investigators at the time determined her cause of death to be from strangulation or suffocation by an attacker.

    A witness in Hill’s murder case described seeing a suspect who matched Little’s description, detectives said.

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    Detectives said Little was arrested in Mississippi on suspicion of attempted murder, aggravated assault and rape in December 1982.

    While behind bars, Little was questioned by Marion County deputies about the death of Hill, but Little denied any involvement and detectives did not have enough evidence at the time to charge him, investigators said.

    Little was also arrested in 1983 in Alachua County in connection with the homicide of Patricia Mounts but was later acquitted, deputies said.

    Detectives said Little continued killing before being arrested in California in 2012 in connection with three homicides committed during the late 1980s.

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    Little received three life sentences after his murder trials in California, and Marion County deputies joined several law enforcement agencies from around the country to discuss unsolved homicides that are possibly linked to Little, investigators said.

    Marion County detectives said they spoke with Little in October at Texas' Wise County Jail, where he confessed to killing Hill.

    Deputies said Little told detectives he killed Hill because “God put him on this Earth to do it.”

    "God didn't put him up to do that. That's something he wanted to do," Minnie Hill, the victim's mother, told Channel 9 on Thursday.

    Hill said she was so grateful to learn that Little had confessed to her daughter's murder.

    "I was shedding tears, but they were happy tears, rejoicing tears," she said. "He was not reluctant at all to talk. It was almost like he was reminiscing."

    Hill said her daughter left behind a 2-year-old daughter, whom she raised.

    "I always wonder, what would her mother say, what would mother do?" she said.

    Due to Little's three life sentences and a recent indictment on murder charges in Texas, Marion County deputies and the state attorney’s office said they will not pursue murder charges against Little in connection with Hill's death.

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