Aileen Wuornos

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Aileen Wuornos
Wuornos.jpg
Aileen Wuornos mug shot
Background information
Birth name Aileen Carol Pittman
An aw kent as [1] Sandra Kretsch
Susan Lynn Blahovec
Lee Blahovec
Cammie Marsh Greene
Lori Kristine Grody
Born Februar 29, 1956(1956-02-29)[1]
Rochester, Michigan
Dee'd October 9, 2002(2002-10-09) (agit 46)
Florida State Prison, Bradford Coonty,
Florida, Unitit States
Cause o daith Lethal injection
Conviction 6 coonts o 1st degree murther
Penalty Daith
Spoose(s) Lewis Gratz Bell (divorcit)
Childer 1
Killings
Nummer o victims 7
Kintra Unitit States
State(s) Florida
Date apprehendit 9 January 1991

Aileen Carol Wuornos (29 Februar 1956 – 9 October 2002) wis an American serial killer who killed seiven men in Florida in 1989 an 1990. Wuornos claimit that her victims haed either rapit or attemptit tae rape her while she wis wirkin as a prostitute, an that aw o the killins wur committit in sel-defense. She wis convictit an sentencit tae daith for sax o the murthers an haed her sentence carriet oot bi the state in the wey o lethal injection on 9 October 2002.

Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Childhuid[eedit | eedit soorce]

Wuornos wis born as Aileen Carol Pittman in Rochester, Michigan, on 29 Februar 1956.[2] Her mither, Diane Wuornos, wis 15 years auld when she marriet Aileen's father, Leo Dale Pittman, on 3 Juin 1954. Less than twa years later, an twa months afore Aileen wis born, Diane filed for divorce. Aileen haed an aulder brither namit Keith, who wis born in Februar 1955.

Wuornos niver met her faither, Leo Pittman. He wis in preeson for the rape an attemptit murther o a seiven-year-auld girl[2] when she wis born. He wis considered tae be a schizophrenic, wis convictit o sex creemes against childer,[3] wis in an oot o preeson, an hanged hissel in preeson in 1969.[1][4] In Januar 1960, when Aileen wis amaist fower years auld, Diane abandoned her childer, leavin them wi their maternal grandparents, Lauri an Britta Wuornos, who legally adoptit Keith an Aileen on 18 Mairch 1960.[4]

At age 11, Wuornos engagit in sexual activities in schuil in exchynge for cigarettes, drugs, an fuid. She haed engagit in sexual activities wi her awn brither an aw.[3] Wuornos claimit that she wis sexually assaultit an beaten as a child bi her grandfaither, an alcoholic. Accordin tae her accusations, afore beatin her, he wad force her tae strip oot o her clothes.[3] In 1970, at age 14, she became pregnant,[5] having been raped by a friend of her grandfather.[3] Wuornos gave birth at a hame for unwed mithers, an the child wis placit for adoption.[4] A few months efter her baby wis born, Wuornos droppit oot o school[3] at aboot the time that her grandmither dee'd o liver failur; Wuornos and her brother subsequently became wards of the court. When she was 15, her grandfaither threw her oot o the hoose, an she began supportin hersel as a prostitute an livin in the firths near her auld hame.[4]

Early creeminal career[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 27 Mey 1974, Wuornos wis arrestit in Jefferson Coonty, Colorado, for drivin unner the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, an firin a .22-caliber pistol frae a muivin vehicle. She wis later chairgit wi failur tae appear (FTA).[6]

In 1976, Wuornos hitchhikit tae Florida, whaur she met 69-year-auld yacht club preses Lewis Gratz Fell. They marriet that same year, an the annooncement o their nuptials wis printit in the society pages o the local newspaper. However, Wuornos continually involved hersel in confrontations at their local bar an eventually went tae jail for assault. She hit Fell wi his awn cane an aw, leadin him tae get a restrainin order against her. She returned tae Michigan[7][8] whaur, on 14 Julie 1976, she wis arrestit in Antrim Coonty, Michigan, an charged wi assault an disturbing the peace for throwin a cue baw at a bartender's heid.[9] On Julie 17, her brither Keith dee'd o esophageal cancer an Wuornos receivit $10,000 frae his life insurance. Wuornos an Fell annulled their marriage on Julie 21 efter anerlie nine weeks.[10]

On 20 Mey 1981, Wuornos wis arrestit in Edgewater, Florida, for the airmit robbery o a convenience store, where she stole $35 an twa packs o cigarettes. She wis sentencit tae preeson on 4 Mey 1982, an released on 30 June 1983.[11] On 1 May 1984, Wuornos wis arrestit for attemptin tae pass forged checks at a bank in Key West. On 30 November 1985, she wis namit as a suspect in the theft o a revolver an ammunition in Pasco Coonty.[11]

On 4 Januar 1986, Wuornos wis arrestit in Miami an chairgit wi grand theft auto, resisting arrest, an obstruction o juistice for providin identification wi her aunt's name. Miami polis officers foond a .38-caliber revolver an a box o ammunition in the stolen caur.[12] On 2 June 1986, Volusia Coonty, Florida, deputy sheriffs detained Wuornos for questionin efter a male companion accused her o pullin a gun, in his caur, an demandin $200. Wuornos wis foond tae be carryin spare ammunition, an a .22 pistol wis discovered unner the passenger seat she haed occupeed.[13]

Aroond this time, Wuornos met Tyria Moore, a hotel maid, at a Daytona gay bar. They muivit in thegither, an Wuornos supportit them wi her prostitution earnins.[14] On 4 Julie 1987, Daytona Beach polis detained Wuornos an Moore at a bar for questionin regardin an incident in which they wur accused o assault an battery wi a beer bottle.[15] On 12 Mairch 1988, Wuornos accused a Daytona Beach bus driver o assault. She claimed that he pushed her aff the bus follaein a confrontation. Moore wis leetit as a witness tae the incident.[15]

Murthers[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Richard Mallory,[1] age 51, 30 November 1989—Electronics store owner in Clearwater, Florida. Wuornos' first victim wis a convictit rapist whom she claimit tae hae killed in sel-defense. Twa days later, a Volusia Coonty, Florida, Deputy Sheriff foond Mallory's abandoned vehicle. On 13 December, Mallory's body wis foond several miles awa in a firthit aurie. He haed been shot several times, but twa bullets tae the left lung wur foond tae hae been the cause o daith. It wis on this murder that Wuornos wad eventually be condemned.
  • David Spears,[1] age 43—Construction wirker in Winter Garden, Florida. On 1 Juin 1990, his nude body wos foond alang Highway 19 in Citrus Coonty, Florida. He haed been shot sax times.
  • Charles Carskaddon,[1] age 40, 31 Mey 1990—Pairt-time rodeo wirker. On 6 Juin 1990, his body wis foond in Pasco Coonty, Florida. He haed been shot nine times wi a small-caliber weapon.
  • Peter Siems,[1] age 65—In June 1990, Siems left Jupiter, Florida, for New Jersey. On 4 July 1990, his caur wis foond in Orange Springs, Florida. Moore an Wuornos wur seen abandonin the caur, an Wuornos' palm print wis foond on the interior door handle. His body wis niver foond.
  • Troy Burress,[1] age 50—Sausage salesman frae Ocala, Florida. On 31 Julie 1990, he wis reportit missin. On 4 August 1990, his body wis foond in a firthit aurie alang State Road 19 in Marion Coonty, Florida. He haed been shot twice.
  • Charles "Dick" Humphreys,[1] age 56, 11 September 1990—Retired U.S. Air Force Major, umwhile State Child Abuis Investigator, an umwhile Chief o Polis. On 12 September 1990, his body wis foond in Marion Coonty, Florida. He wis fully clothed an haed been shot sax times in the heid an torso. His caur wis foond in Suwannee Coonty, Florida.
  • Walter Jeno Antonio,[1] age 62—Police Reservist.[16][page needit] On 19 November 1990,[16][page needit] Antonio's nearly nude body was foond near a remote loggin road in Dixie Coonty, Florida. He haed been shot fower times. Five days later, his caur wis foond in Brevard Coonty, Florida.

Juistice seestem[eedit | eedit soorce]

Apprehension an sentencin[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 4 July 1990, Wuornos an Moore abandoned Peter Siems's caur efter they wur involvit in an accident. Witnesses who haed seen the weemen drivin the victims' caurs providit polis wi their names an descriptions, resultin in a media campaign tae locate them. Police foond some o the victims' belongins in pawnshops an retrievit fingerprints matchin those foond in the victims' caurs. Wuornos haed a creeminal juistice record in Florida, an her fingerprints wur on file.[4]

On 9 Januar 1991, Wuornos wis arrestit on an ootstaundin warrant at The Last Resort, a biker bar in Volusia Coonty.[17] Polis locatit Moore the next day in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She agreed tae elicit a confession frae Wuornos in excyange for prosecutorial immunity.[18] Moore returned wi polis tae Florida, whaur she wis put up in a motel. Unner polis guidance, Moore made numerous telephone caws tae Wuornos, pleadin for help in clearin her name. Three days later, on 16 Januar 1991, Wuornos confessed tae the murthers. She claimed the men haed tree'd tae rape her an she killed them in sel-defense.[19][20]

On 14 Januar 1992, Wuornos went tae trial for the murder of Richard Mallory. Prior bad acts are normally inadmissible in creeminal trials, but unner Florida's Williams Rule, the prosecution wis allouit tae introduce evidence relatit tae her ither creemes tae show a pattern o illegal activity.[1] On 27 Januar 1992, Wuornos wis convictit o Richard Mallory's murther wi help frae Moore's testimony. At her sentencin, psychiatrists for the defense testifeed that Wuornos wis mentally unstable an haed been diagnosed wi borderline personality disorder an antisocial personality disorder.[21] Fower days later, she wis sentencit tae daith.[20][22]

On 31 Mairch 1992, Wuornos pleadit nae contest tae the murthers o Dick Humphreys, Troy Burress, an David Spears, sayin she wantit tae "get right with God".[1] In her statement tae the court, she statit, "I wanted to confess to you that Richard Mallory did violently rape me as I've told you; but these others did not. [They] only began to start to."[1] On 15 Mey 1992, Wuornos wis given three mair daith sentences.[1]

In Juin 1992, Wuornos pleadit guilty tae the murther o Charles Carskaddon; in November 1992, she receivit her fift daith sentence.[1] The defense made efforts durin the trial tae introduce evidence that Mallory haed been tree'd for intent tae commit rape in Maryland an that he haed been committit tae a maximum security correctional facility in Maryland that providit remediation tae sexual affenders.[23] Records obtained from that institution reflectit that, frae 1958 tae 1962, Mallory wis committit for treatment an observation resulting from a creeminal chairge o assault wi intent tae rape an receivit an ower-aw aicht years o treatment frae the facility. In 1961, "it was observed of Mr. Mallory that he possessed strang sociopathic trends".[23] The judge refused to allow this to be admitted in court as evidence and denied Wuornos' request for a retrial.[20][23][24]

In Februar 1993, Wuornos pleadit guilty tae the murther o Walter Jeno Antonio an wis sentencit tae daith again. Nae chairges wur brocht against her for the murther o Peter Siems, as his body wis niver foond. In aw, she receivit sax daith sentences.[1]

Wuornos tauld several inconsistent stories aboot the killins. She claimed initially that aw seiven men haed rapit her while she was wirkin as a prostitute but later recantit the claim o sel-defense. Durin an interview wi filmmaker Nick Broomfield, when she thocht the cameras wur aff, she tauld him that it wis, in fact, sel-defense, but she coud no staund being on daith row—whaur she haed been for 12 years at that point—an wantit tae dee.[25]

Execution[eedit | eedit soorce]

Wuornos' appeal tae the U.S. Supreme Court wis denee'd in 1996. In 2001, she annooncit that she wad no issue ony further appeals against her daith sentence. She petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the richt tae fire her legal coonsel an stop aw appeals, sayin, "I killed those men, robbed them as cold as ice. And I'd do it again, too. There's no chance in keeping me alive or anything, because I'd kill again. I have hate crawling through my system...I am so sick of hearing this 'she's crazy' stuff. I've been evaluated so many times. I'm competent, sane, and I'm trying to tell the truth. I'm one who seriously hates human life and would kill again."[26] A defense attorney argued that she wis in nae state for them tae honor such a request.[27]

Florida Gorernor Jeb Bush instructit three psychiatrists tae give Wuornos a 15-minute interview. The test for competency requires the psychiatrist(s) tae be convinced that the condemned person unnerstaunds that she will dee an for which creeme(s) she is being executit. Aw three judgit her mentally fit tae be executit.

Wuornos later stairtit accusin the preeson matrons o abuisin her. She accused them o taintin her fuid, spittin on it, servin her potatoes ceukit in dirt, an her fuid arrivin wi urine. She claimit overhearin conversations an aw aboot "trying to get me so pushed over the brink by them I'd wind up committing suicide before the [execution]" an "wishing to rape me before execution". She complained o strip searches an aw, being handcuffed so tichtly that her wrists bruisit ony time she left her cell, door kickin, frequent windae checks bi matrons, law watter pressur, mildew on her mattress an "cat calling ... in distaste and a pure hatred towards me". Wuornos threatened tae boycott shouers an fuid trays when specific officers wur on duty. "In the meantime, my stomach's growling away and I'm taking showers through the sink of my cell."

Her attorney statit that "Ms. Wuornos really just wants to have proper treatment, humane treatment until the day she's executed", an "If the allegations don't have any truth to them, she's clearly delusional. She believes what she's written".[28]

Durin the feenal stages o the appeal process she gave a series o interviews tae Broomfield. In her final interview shortly afore her execution she claimit that her mynd was being controlled bi "sonic pressure" te mak her appear crazy an describit her impendin daith as being taken awa bi angels on a space ship.[29] Wuornos said tae Broomfield, "You sabotaged my ass, society, and the cops, and the system. A raped woman got executed, and was used for books and movies and shit."[30] Her feenal wirds in the on-camera interview wur "Thanks a lot, society, for railroading my ass."[31] Broomfield later met Dawn Botkins, a childhuid friend o Wuornos', who told him, "She's sorry, Nick. She didn't give you the finger. She gave the media the finger, and then the attorneys the finger. And she knew if she said much more, it could make a difference on her execution tomorrow, so she just decided not to."[32]

Wuornos wis brocht intae the daith chamber on October 9, 2002. She haed Kentucky Fried Chicken an french fries as her last meal an wis given a $20 budget. Her last wirds afore the execution wur "Yes, I would just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back, like Independence Day with Jesus. June 6, like the movie. Big mother ship and all, I'll be back, I'll be back." [1] At 9:47 a.m. EDT, Aileen Wuornos dee'd. She wis the tent wumman in the Unitit States tae be executit syne the Supreme Court liftit the ban on caipital punishment in 1976,[33] an the seicont wumman ever executit in Florida.

Legacy[eedit | eedit soorce]

Beuks[eedit | eedit soorce]

FBI profiler Robert K. Ressler mentioned Wuornos anerlie briefly in his autobiographical history o his 20 years wi the FBI. Writin in 1992, he said he aften does no discuss female serial killers acause they tend tae kill in sprees insteid o in a sequential fashion.[34] He notit Wuornos as the sole exception.[34] Ressler, who coined the phrase serial killer[35] tae describe murtherers seekin personal gratification, does no apply it tae weemen killin in postpartum psychosis or tae ony murtherer actin solely for financial gain, such as weemen who hae killed a series o boarders or spouses. In 2002, journalist Sue Russell wrote a beuk aboot Wuornos cried Lethal Intent.

Documentaries[eedit | eedit soorce]

Filmmaker Nick Broomfield directit twa documentaries aboot Wuornos:

Wuornos wis the subject o episode "Death Row Prostitute: Aileen Wuornos" o the documentary TV series American Justice.

Wuornos wis the subject o an episode o the documentary TV series Biography.[37]

Wuornos wis featured in the Deadly Women episode "Predators".

Film[eedit | eedit soorce]

The theatrical film Monster (2003) starred Charlize Theron an Christina Ricci. It tells Wuornos' story frae childhuid till her first murther conviction. The film earned Theron the 2003 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Aileen Wuornos.[38]

The TV movie Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story (1992) starred Jean Smart.

Ither media[eedit | eedit soorce]

An operatic adaptation o Wuornos' life events premiered at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on 22 Juin 2001. Entitled Wuornos, the opera wis written bi composer/librettist Carla Lucero, conductit bi Mary Chun, an producit bi the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts.[39]

The sangster Jewel wrote a song about Aileen called "Nicotine Love," the New York-based Metalcore baund, It Dies Today, wrote a sang "Sixth of June" referrin tae Aileen an the poet Doron Braunshtein dedicatit a poem tae her, cried "Aileen Wuornos" that appears in his 2011 spoken wird CD "The Obsessive Poet". The poem "Sugar Zero" bi Rima Banerji is dedicatit to Wuornos an appears in the 2005 Arsenal Pulp Press publication, "Red Light: Superheroes, Saints, and Sluts".

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 "Aileen Carol Wuornos". The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney. Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/wuornos/2.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Silvio, H., McCloskey, K., & Ramos-Grenier, J. (2006). Theoretical consideration of female sexual predator serial killers in the United States. Journal of Criminal Justice, 34(3), 251-259.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Howard, Amanda; Martin Smith (2004). River of Blood: Serial Killers and Their Victims. Universal-Publishers. p. 332. ISBN 978-1-58112-518-4. 
  5. http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/wuornos/2.html?print=yes
  6. Reynolds 2003, p. 116.
  7. Russell, Sue (2002). Lethal Intent. Pinnacle Books. p. 97. ISBN 0-7860-1518-7. 
  8. Griffin, Ayanna M.; Dr. Bruce Arrigo. "The Phenomenon of Serial Murders and Women". McNair Dispatch: An Online Research Journal. University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  9. Reynolds 2003, pp. 116–117.
  10. "Notorious Crime Profiles Aileen Wuornos". Biography.com. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Reynolds 2003, p. 117.
  12. Reynolds 2003, pp. 117–118.
  13. Reynolds 2003, p. 118.
  14. Ventura, Varla (2008). The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts and Strange Stories. Weiser. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-57863-437-8. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Reynolds 2003, p. 119.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Hickey 2010.
  17. Kennedy, Dolores; Robert Nolin (1994). On a Killing Day: The Bizarre Story of Convicted Murderer Aileen Lee Wournos [sic]. S.P.I. Books. p. 48. ISBN 1-56171-293-0. 
  18. The legal term is transactional immunity, meanin complete immunity for creeme or creemes committit. This is in contrast tae wha is kent as uise immunity, which prevents prosecutors frae uisin sel-increeminatin testimony afore a Grand Jury.
  19. Dwyer, Kevin; Jure Fiorillo (2007-11-06). True Stories of Law & Order: SVU. Penguin Group/Berkley. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-0-425-21735-1. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Timeline Of Aileen Wuornos' Crimes". Local 6 News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  21. Profile
  22. Dwyer, Kevin; Jure Fiorillo (2007-11-06). True Stories of Law & Order: SVU. Penguin Group/Berkley. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-0-425-21735-1. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 "AILEEN C. WUORNOS v. STATE OF FLORIDA". Florida Supreme Court. 2004-11-19. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  24. Dwyer, Kevin; Jure Fiorillo (2007-11-06). True Stories of Law & Order: SVU. Penguin Group/Berkley. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-425-21735-1. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer". Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  26. Zarrella, John (2002-10-15). "Wuornos' last words: 'I'll be back'". CNN. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  27. "WebCite query result". www.webcitation.org. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  28. Wilson, Catherine (2002-07-13). "Aileen Wuornos says prison guards abusing her". News Chief. Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  29. Broomfield, Nick. "Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (Film Summary)". Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  30. Stewart, Helen. "Monstrous end to tragic story". The Scotsman. 9 May 2004
  31. Cheshire, Godfrey. "Charlize Theron's career-making performance anchors a harrowing tale". Independent Weekly. 14 Jan 2004
  32. Fuchs, Cynthia (2004-02-12). "A Lot of Illegalness Going On". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  33. Hall, K, ed. The Oxford Guide to the Supreme Court of the United States. pages 323–4. Oxford University Press.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Ressler, Robert K. and Tom Schachtman. Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Hunting Serial Killers for the FBI. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992, at p. 83. ISBN 0-312-07883-8.
  35. The Serial Killer Files by Harold Schecter ISBN 978-0-345-46566-5
  36. "Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer". NickBroomfield.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  37. "A&E Biography: Episode Guide". A&E. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  38. "Monster (2003)". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  39. "Welcome to the operatic world of Wuornos!". Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-09-26.