Episode 177: Michael Harrigan – ViCAP, Serial Killer Samuel Little, Listener Q & A (Part 2)

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, retired agent Michael Harrigan reviews the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), the largest repository of serial violent crime cases in the country, and the Highway Serial Killings Initiative. He was the unit’s chief and oversaw the development of the web database which allows client law enforcement agencies direct access to conduct independent analysis. He also provides case studies of several serial murders, including those committed by Samuel Little who may be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. History.

Michael Harrigan served in the FBI for 22 years. He initially worked general criminal and terrorism cases in the Kansas City Division and was on the Attorney General’s Protection Detail and the Police Training Coordinator in the Washington Field Office (WFO).

Later in his career, Mike Harrigan was assigned as the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent in Farmington and Gallup offices of the Albuquerque Division where he conducted and supervised criminal investigations involving homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, missing persons and unidentified human remains and was responsible for all federal investigations on three Native American reservations.

After a few years, he accepted an assignment in Quantico, Virginia to be the Chief of the National Academy (NA) Program. The NA is the leading national law enforcement executive leadership institution, graduating over 1800 senior law enforcement officers from every state and more than 40 countries.

Before he retired in 2018, Harrigan was the Chief of the FBI Academy’s Firearms Training Program. He recently wrote a post on LinkedIn titled A Leadership Perspective of FBI Academy Firearms Training that is a must-read if you’re interested in applying for the FBI.

Currently, he is a subject matter expert for Eagle, a security and risk management service, for whom he provides consultation and expert testimony related to violent crime analysis, the use of force continuum, police procedures and policies, LEOSA and various issues related to policing Indian Country.

Special Agent (Retired)

Michael Harrigan

October 1996 – December 2018








“Samuel Little has confessed to over 90 killings from the early 1970s to the mid-2000s, a prolific serial offender.” — Retired Agent Michael Harrigan

The following are links to articles and videos featuring Mike Harrigan on the FBI website about the ViCAP, Highway Serial Killings Initiative, as well as news articles about serial killer Samuel Little:

FBI Website : ViCAP Fighting Violent Crime for 25 Years

FBI: Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) Brochure

VIDEO: Interview with FBI Special Agent Michael Harrigan

FBI Website: Convicted Killer Linked to 90 Murders – FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program Connects Cases to Prolific Serial Killer

GCN – 11/1/2018: A proven program, rebuilt from the ground up

Los Angeles Times – 4/5/2009: FBI makes a connection between long-haul truckers, serial killings

CNN – 6/7/2019:  Confessed serial killer Samuel Little now linked to 60 deaths of women

Washington Post – 6/8/2019: Convicted murderer now linked to more than 60 deaths may be most prolific serial killer in U.S. history

To learn more listened to these FBI Retired Case File Review episodes featuring serial murders and murderers.

ViCAP Web is the largest repository of serial violent crime cases in the country. It played a significant role in identifying victims of  Samuel Little.Learn more here.







With more than 90 plus known victims, Samuel Little may be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.








Here’s a list of the listener questions addressed by Michael Harrigan during Episode 177.

  1. How is your caseload determined and delegated?
  2. Have you ever caught a totally unsuspecting family off guard as to their loved one being murdered by a SK? That one’s tough.
  3. Victim count – which serial killer would (currently), in the US, be considered the most prolific. And if you know, do you suspect that the body count could grow or IS growing?
  4. Was this your assigned position or something you worked towards?
  5. Do you only work active or viable cases if the killer is still living? What’s the oldest case (dated back) that comes to mind where you matched a victim to the killer?
  6. Have you noticed a specific region in the US with a disproportionate amount of SK’s?
  7. Do you believe if the Federal Govt. funded states for explicitly for the testing of the backlog of rape kits, that we would see a staggering increase of SK’s? Maybe preventing the next?
  8. How effective or accurate is the confirmation of a potential victim(s) after the killer is deceased? Do the victims become categorized as death suspected by or remain as an active file/investigation?
  9. Is it true that many police depts don’t fill out the Vicap forms because they’re so lengthy?
  10. What can communities like ours do to help you out? What information is good to spread and what information isn’t?
  11. How much information do you need to start your tracking? What’s the absolute minimum amount of information?
  12. Will there ever be more public disclosure via technology & centralization of data – not only on ViCap, but on missing, murdered and unidentified remains? For example, I see 70 people on ViCap, but we have 2-5k forensic unknown DNA profiles in CODIS for SKs. There has to be more.
  13. Is it possible to determine how many SKs are currently active via Vicap stats?

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. […] 177: Michael Harrigan – ViCAP, Serial Killer Samuel Little, Listener Q & A (Part 2) […]

  2. Fred WilsonAugust 2, 2019

    Jerri, I too have retired from the Bureau. I wa the supervisory librarian at Quantico from 2012 through 2017. I enjoyed your book very much and was proud to know several of the people that you mentioned. I knew Mike Harrigan and Bill Vanderpool. In fact I just had Bill sign his book on Guns of the FBI. Even funnier is the fact that I just bought a motor home in Sewell, New Jersey. Keep up the good work.

    1. Jerri WilliamsAugust 6, 2019

      Hi Fred – Thanks for listening to the podcast! It’s a labor of love. I’m having a blast meeting so many agents I didn’t have the chance to meet before I retired. Also, small world isn’t it? I guess you just purchased one of those beautiful motor homes from Dylan’s at Five Points. I always driven by and been impressed with how great they look. Have fun on your adventures! — Jerri


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