Aileen Wuornos

By Cynthia Maldonado

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Early Years

Aileen Wuornos was born on February 29, 1956 in Rochester, Michigan. Her mother abandoned Aileen and her older brother Keith, leaving them to be raised by their grandparents. She was the type to do whatever she wanted without thinking about the consequences. Unfortunately, this lead to an unhealthy relationship with her grandparents, to them Aileen was just a troublemaker.


Aileen's grandmother died when she was 14 years old. One year later, Aileen was kicked out by her grandfather. He must have been tired of Aileen's rowdy behavior. In the end, she was left to travel the road by hitch hiking at the age of 16 years old.

No Love

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As a child, it was very clear that Aileen Wuornos had little love that was given to her. I mean she never met her father, her mother abandoned both her and her older brother Kieth. It was obvious she was neglected, depressed, abused and many more.

Wanderer

Force to leave her home,

Never once did she look back

At the place where she was disliked.

She roamed the highways

Without any thoughts,

Without any money.

She traveled to

car to car,

city to city,

bar to bar.

Made money any means necessary.

Force to leave her home,

Never once did she look back.

Murders Committed By Aileen Wuornos

Richard Mallory

The first victim was shop-owner Richard Mallory in 1989, a 51 year-old white man who picked up a Aileen Wuornos along Interstate 75 in Florida. A Volusia County deputy discovered his body several miles away from his abandoned car. Mallory had been shot multiple times in the chest.

David Spears

The nude body of David Spears, a 43-year-old construction worker, was found June 1, 1990, in Citrus County. He had been shot six times in the torso.

Charles Carskaddon

A few days after Spears’ body was discovered, the body of Charles Carskaddon, 40, was discovered in Pasco County. The part-time rodeo worker had been shot nine times in the chest and stomach.

Troy Burress

Marion County law enforcement found the body of Troy Burress, a 50-year-old salesman, on August 4, 1990, less than a week after he was reported missing. Though the body was fairly decomposed, the medical examiner was able to determine that the cause of death was two gunshots to the torso.

Charles "Dick" Humphreys

Charles "Dick" Humphreys, 56, retired Air Force major, former police chief and Florida state child abuse investigator, body found in Marion County on September 12, 1990. The body was fully clothed, and had been shot six times in the head and torso. Humphreys' car was found in Suwannee County.

Peter Siems

Peter Siems, 65. In June 1990, Peter Siems left Jupiter, Florida, heading for New Jersey. Law officers later found Siems' car in Orange Springs on July 4, 1990. Witnesses identified Tyria Moore and Aileen Wuornos as the two persons seen leaving the car where it ultimately was found. A palm print on the interior door handle matched that of Wuornos. Siems' body has never been found.

Walter Antonio

Walter Jeno Antonio, 62, body found on November 19, 1990 near a remote logging road in Dixie County. His body was nearly nude, and had been shot four times in the back and head. Law officers found Antonio's car five days later in Brevard County.

Aileen's Love and Hate

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The Left Graph Bar

This bar represents the amount of love that Aileen has received in her whole life. Clearly, it's not enough for her or anyone. Aileen hungered for love as an adult since she barely experience any as a child.


The Right Graph Bar

This bar represent the hatred she had in her life. She was neglected, abused, and lost the majority of her life. "...In keeping me alive or anything cause I'd kill again. I have hate crawling through my system..."

The Trial and Execution of Aileen Wuornos


The Prosecution’s Case


Prosecutors based their case mainly on the videotaped confession Aileen Wuornos gave to detectives during interrogation.


Prosecutors dismissed Wuornos' initial claims that all 7 murders were in self-defense by pointing out that Wuornos’ story varied with each subsequent telling. In the earliest confession to officers Wuornos said Mallory picked her up while she was hitchhiking and they later went into a secluded wooded area to engage in an act of prostitution. She and Mallory then began arguing. Wuornos said she felt Mallory was going to "roll her" (take her money) and rape her. She grabbed a bag in which she kept a gun, and the two began struggling over the bag. Wuornos prevailed, pointed the gun at Mallory, and said: "You son of a bitch, I knew you were going to rape me," to which Mallory responded: "No, I wasn't. No, I wasn't."


At this point Wuornos shot Mallory at least once while he still was sitting behind the steering wheel. Mallory crawled out of the driver's side and shut the car door. Wuornos said she ran around to the front of the car and shot Mallory again, causing him to fall to the ground. While he was lying there, Wuornos shot him twice more, went through his pockets, concealed the body beneath a piece of rug, and drove off in his car.


In her initial taped confession, Wuornos never mentioned that Richard Mallory had raped her. Many believed Wuornos appeared confident and not at all upset during her confession. She made easy conversation with her interrogators and repeatedly told her public defender to be quiet. She said, “I took a life…I am willing to give up my life because I killed people…I deserve to die.”


The Defense Case

The defense argued Wuornos' statements in the videotaped confession were obtained involuntarily and in violation of her right to due process. Despite the fact she was advised of her Miranda rights and provided with a public defender who advised her not to make any lengthy statements, law enforcement’s exploitation of her relationship with Moore in obtaining the confession so impaired her mental state and level of functioning that she did not have a rational understanding of her rights and the advice of counsel. The trial court rejected this argument and denied the defense motion to suppress the videotaped confession. Moreover, the videotaped confession had already been leaked to the media, further influencing the public’s perception of Wuornos.


Against her attorneys’ wishes, Wuornos testified at trial. A defendant has a constitutional right not to testify, and the prosecution could not call her to the stand. However, once the defendant testifies, any refusal to answer questions can be held against her by the court and jury.


During her testimony she repeated her claim of self-defense. During cross-examination she became agitated and angry. Her attorneys repeatedly advised her not to answer questions, and she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination twenty-five times. She was the only defense witness.


The Verdict

The jury found Wuornos guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder and armed robbery, after less than two hours of deliberation. An angry Wuornos shouted, “Sons of bitches! I was raped! I hope you get raped. Scumbags of America!” This outburst likely was fresh in the juror's minds as they began the sentencing phase the next day.


The Execution

On October 9, 2002, Aileen Wuornos was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison. In her last statement, Wuornos said, "I'd 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." She was pronounced dead at 9:47 a.m. Aileen Wuornos was the tenth woman to be executed in the United States since 1976 and the second woman ever executed in Florida.

Aftermath

Dawn Botkins, who had known Aileen since they were teenagers, remained her closest friend. Aileen wrote her constantly sometimes 4 letters a day in the prison. After Aileen's execution, she was cremated. Dawn took the ashes and poured them around a tree she planted for Aileen. She said that Aileen needed to be with the people that loved her in her hometown.