Alachua County Sheriff's Cold Case Detective Kevin Allen said he was lucky to be the first of 10 detectives to interview convicted serial killer Samuel Little at the Wise County jail in Decatur, Texas on Dec. 20, 2018.
On that morning, Texas Ranger James Holland had prepared breakfast for Little, who is serving three life sentences for murder and was tried and acquitted for the Sept. 12th, 1982 murder of Gainesville resident Patricia Ann Mount.
Holland advised the detectives on the best way to relate to Little and to possibly get him to confess to his crimes.
He had set ground rules for the detectives relaying that Little reacted negatively to being asked about multiple cases. It wasn't to be treated as a fishing expedition to solve every case, Holland said.
"Be light and non judgemental and upbeat," Allen recalls Holland saying. "He said, 'I have some friends here from out of state to talk to you,' " Allen said, and then Holland issued Little his Miranda warnings so that anything Little discussed could be used by law enforcement.
Allen had a letter from then Florida State Attorney Bill Cervone stating that Florida would not pursue the death penalty should Little confess to any murders that happened in Florida that would lead to prosecution.
"We all had to have letters from the state attorney stating no death penalty," Allen said. Holland walked Allen over to the interview room that was set up for audio and video at the Wise County Sheriff's Office. "It was very light hearted," Allen recalled.
"He (Holland) started with a joke about Urban Meyer because Sam Little had some feelings about SEC college football. He introduced me as his friend from Gainesville, and then he left Sam and I in the room together."
"I was excited at the opportunity to interview another serial killer," Allen said. "I found him to be warm and open, charismatic, if possible. "He was very positive and upbeat. He wanted to get right down to business. I wanted to get a little background information first," Allen said about not talking about the homicide upfront.
"I asked what brought him to Gainesville," Allen said, and Little responded that he had been traveling with a girlfriend and driver and he would go out and pick up women.
"That's what happened to our victim Patricia Mount," Allen said. Reports state that Mount was last seen at Mae’s Lounge, a bar located at the corner of Northwest Sixth Street and Fifth Avenue in Gainesville.
During the interview, Allen said he was sitting at the end of the table "as close to Little as possible."
"He was very matter-of-fact," Allen recalled. "He said he went into the bar to pick up a woman, he liked her neck," Little said to Allen.
"I knew his preference was to strangle women, that was erotic for him," Allen said, and added that Holland had warned him, "Don't be surprised if he gets excited," when he talked about his actions. "He tends to relive the moment."
Little told Allen that he offered to buy Mount and her friend drinks and that he was interested in one thing, 'Killing her and choking her.'
Little told Allen that the area off U.S. Highway 27 in northwestern Alachua County where he chose to murder and leave Mount had called to him. He pulled off on a dirt road, Little told Allen and said he, "started massaging the neck and then tightened the grip on our victim's throat until she couldn't breathe." Little told Allen that Mount's resistance was feeble.
"So he choked her right there, laid her down on something brown," Allen said. I asked him if he had any remorse. Little then told Allen that, "He was sorry, and that he had a curse or mental deficiency and that what turned him on, was strangling women. It always had and, as a result, many died at his hands."
Allen ended the interview on Little's statement that he did have remorse.
"He didn't know the victim at all," Allen said about Mount who reportedly had an IQ of 40, "As he didn't know many of his victims."
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office has a booking photo on file taken of Mount on January 29, 1982, although Allen is not sure what the arrest was for. Mount was murdered nine months later at the age of 26.
According to reports, at one time Mount was a resident of Sunland Training Center which is now Tacachale and is a state facility for developmentally disabled located on Waldo Road. According to the Tacachale website, the facility is "the oldest and largest community for Floridians with developmental disabilities. It is a progressive community dedicated to offering its residents the opportunities and services which respect and encourage their personal choices, enhance their quality of life, and maximize their individual potential."
Little is now 80 years old and is serving his sentence in a California prison. He continues to work with Holland and the FBI on his 93 cases.
Because he was acquitted of the murder of Mount, Little cannot be convicted after his admission because of the Double Jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution which prohibits anyone from being prosecuted twice for the same crime.
According to Allen, no family members of Mount have ever been discovered. In most cases, Allen works very closely with witnesses and families of victims and he wants to make sure that he shares information and in this case, for Mount, that the case is now closed with Little's confession. If he does find a family member, he will relay every detail of how the case was investigated at every level.
"Our families and our survivors have a right to know everything that was done (when the case was opened) and everything that has been done since."
Allen said that outgoing Sheriff Sadie Darnell, who serves as the chair of the Florida Sheriff's Association's Cold Case Advisory Commission, has given him the support he has needed to continue to work on the 30 cases that are still sitting on his desk.
In Allen's final line of the follow up of the Offense Report Narrative ASOFF022338 dated May 13th, 2020, he wrote, "As mentioned previously, in this report due to the double jeopardy law, no additional charges can be filed in this matter against Mr. Little as he had previously been acquitted, however, this case is now closed with the confession of Sam Little."
To see the story of Samuel Little's confession on CBS' 60 Minutes episode which aired on Sept. 6th, click here.