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A woman has revealed how she managed to get a serial killer to confess to countless murders after befriending him and gaining his trust, explaining in her new book how the ‘floodgates opened’.
Journalist Jillian Lauren, 48, started writing to murderer Samuel Little when he was serving three life sentences for murder at California State Prison.
In August 2018, however, she actually met him in person – marking the beginning of an extraordinary friendship that would lead to him opening up about his murderous past.
Lauren has written about her encounters with Little in a forthcoming book, Behold the Monster, where she remembers the conversations they had.
When they first met, Little was suffering from heart disease and diabetes, and was in a wheelchair.
Lauren had expected to speak to him through a glass screen using a phone, but was surprised when he ‘wheeled up’ behind her.
“I almost had a heart attack,” she explains in the book, according to The Sun.
“When he grabbed me, I could feel his strength. It made my skin crawl. Those hands had strangled so many victims.”
Lauren was aware that Little was in ill health and may die soon, in turn taking his secrets to the grave.
“I told him: ‘If you tell me your story as truthfully as you can, I will not desert you. You won’t have to die alone. I’ll be your friend until the end of your life," she explained.
During their first meeting, which lasted five hours, Little continued to protest his innocence.
But Lauren returned the following day, determined to give him another chance to open up.
She continues: “We reached a point where he was talking about a woman he’d known and I could tell he was talking about a victim. He stopped, stared into the distance, and then said: ‘OK, missy, you got me. What do you want to know about the first one?’
“After that, the floodgates opened. On that one day, he told me details about 13 women he’d killed. The next weekend, he told me about 25 more. I had to call law enforcement to share what he was telling me.”
Lauren adds: “The confessions never stopped, but despite the horrors of what Little was revealing, we developed a kind of friendship.
“I felt disgust at what he’d done and hated him for it, but during the times we were talking about ordinary things, he could be good-humoured.
"Sometimes he’d get wistful and say: ‘If only I’d met a woman like you.’ And I’d say: ‘If you’d met a woman like me, you would have killed me.’ And he would say: ‘Yeah, probably.’
“He told me that he killed his victims for sexual gratification. The control he had over them as he choked them turned him on.”
As the meetings went on, Lauren’s husband – Weezer bassist Scott Shriner – and sons became ‘concerned’ for her mental health.
“Scott hated it,” she writes.
“He was supportive, but concerned. It was worst in lockdown when we were all stuck in the house together and I would run to the garage when Sam called, so my kids didn’t have to hear him talking about his crimes.”
But her work has helped solve the murders of many of Little’s victims – at one point even locating the place where he’d dumped a body in Long Beach, California, as she retraced his steps while he directed her on the phone. Police later matched the location to the unsolved murder of Alice Denise Duvall, who was killed in 1991.
Lauren says: “Many people said I shouldn’t go back to see him, but I made a vow. I treated him with dignity because I have dignity, not because he did.”
Behold the Monster is out on 24 November 2022.
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Police handout/Jillian Lauren
Topics: True Crime
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