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The Life and Death of Aileen Wuornos

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    This research looks at the life and death of Aileen Wuornos, serial killer. A serial killer is someone who murders more than three victims one at a time in a relatively short interval. Serial killers have the ability to behave in a manner that arouses no suspicion. There are, however, a few signs to identify their potential to become a serial killer. People who suffers from psychopathy, involves a huge tendency towards antisocial behavior, are most likely to develop into a serial killer.

    FBI estimated that any given time between 200 and 500 serial killers are at large, and they kill 3,500 people a year. This high average shows that killing becomes a pattern that is difficult to break. The Life and Death of Aileen Wuornos Aileen Wuornos was born February 29, 1956, in Rochester, Michigan. Her parents were Leo Dale Pittman and Diane Wuornos. The Crime and Investigation Network editors refers to Leo Dale Pittman as “a psychopathic child molester” and Diane Wuornos as “a feckless teen mother quite incapable of the responsibilities of motherhood. ” Aileen Wuornos had an older brother named Keith.

    Diane abandoned them in 1960. Her parents Lauri and Britta Wuornos adopted them both and raised them as their own children. Unraveling their secrets, as Wuornos and her brother grew older, Lauri was abusive physically and sexually and Britta, his wife, was an abusive alcoholic. By the time Wuornos turned twelve the environment became more of an unstable domestic situation for her. Both Lauri Wuornos, her grandfather, and Keith, her brother, engaged in sexual contact with Wuornos. At the age of fourteen, she became pregnant by Keith and was sent to a home for unwed mothers.

    She gave birth to a boy on March 23, 1971, who was given up for immediate adoption. Wuornos returned back home, within a few months her grandmother died of liver failure, which was a result of heavy drinking. According to Crime and Investigation Network website it states, ”Wuornos’ biological mother claimed that Wuornos had killed her”. Wuornos ran away from home and this is when she started to hitchhike across the world prostituting. Crime and Investigation Network states, “In May 1974 she was jailed in Jefferson County for disorderly conduct, drunk driving and firing a weapon from a vehicle.

    Two years later, in Michigan, she was arrested for assault and disturbing the peace, after attacking a bartender”. After serving her sentences she continued to hitchhike across America. She arrived in Florida and her she met Lewis Fell, a wealthy 69 year old yacht club president. He fell in love with her and they got married in 1976. Wuornos began fighting in bars and was arrested for assault. As a result Fell divorced her because being in a high society he didn’t want a wife that didn’t have the same morals as him.

    After the divorce Wuornos life continued to go downhill. The same year her brother, Keith, died of throat cancer. She received a $10,000 life insurance check. She spent it on a luxury car and wrecked it soon after. Wuornos streak continued to be destructive and over the next ten years she was back to prostituting and committing a variety of other crimes, from forgery and theft, to armed robbery and assault. In 1986, Wuornos met Tyria Moore, 24 year old lesbian, at Daytona gay bar. They had an intense relationship that lasted for four years.

    According to Abraham Lincoln Biography website Wuornos and Moore barely survived on Aileen’s meager income from prostitution, a vocation that was all too frequently coupled with violence. According to Capital Punishment in Context website it states, “From late 1989 through late 1990, the bodies of seven middle aged white men were discovered in central Florida. The assailant had robbed all of the victims before shooting them to death and stealing their car”. Richard Mallory, 51 year old shop owner, was the first victim in 1989. Six months later, another white male was found shot six times with the same gun as the first victim.

    A third victim was found before they could identify the second body. November 1989 four more men were found dead from being shot. Police received calls describing Wuornos and Moore. In January 1991 detectives arrested both Wuornos and Moore. Wuornos confessed to killing six of the men, allegedly due to self-defense. January 13, 1992 Wuornos’ capital trail for the murder of Richard Mallory began. Capital Punishment in Context website states, “Wuornos was charged with the first-degree murder of Richard Mallory, armed robbery with a firearm or deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

    Prosecutors argued Wuornos qualified for the death penalty based on the charge of murder committed in the course of a robbery”. The case was tried in Volusia County, Florida. Wuornos was represented by Tricia Jenkins, Chief Assistant Public Defender of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Steven Glazer, private attorney, represented Wuornos following the first trial. John Tanner was the District Attorney. According to the Capital in Punishment in Context website it states, “Judge Uriel Blount came out of retirement specifically to try the Wuornos case”.

    The prosecutor case was based mainly on the videotaped confession Aileen Wuornos gave to detectives during the interrogation. Wuornos initial claim that all seven murders were self-defense was dismissed. Every time she told her story, it varied. She also informed law officials that she gave Tyria Moore inconsistent versions of the story as well. In Wuornos initial tape confession focused more on clearing Moore, instead of herself. Wuornos stated, “I took a life…I am willing to give up my life because I killed people…I deserve to die”.

    The defense argued the statement Wuornos gave was obtained involuntarily and in violation of her right to due process. The trial rejected the argument and denied the defense motion to suppress the videotaped confession. The jury found Wuornos guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder and armed robbery, after less than two hours of deliberation. Wuornos shouted, “Sons of bitches! I was raped! I hope you get raped. Scumbags of America. ”. After Wuornos was found guilty, a penalty trial was held before the same jury. The penalty phase began January 28, 1992.

    Dr. Bernard testified that Aileen Wuornos suffered both borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. The jury recommended the death sentence by a vote of 12 to , concluding that five aggravating circumstances and one mitigating factor was present in Wuornos’ case. Marlee Macleod states, “Her execution was carried out amid a hotbed of controversy about capital punishment in the U. S. with Illinois Governor Ryan at the forefront”. October 9, 2002 Aileen Wuornos was executed by lethal injection. She was the tenth woman in Florida to be executed.

    Katie Kustura stated,” she wanted to wear white jeans, a white shirt and a smile at her funeral. What she got was the very opposite. ” Macleod states, “Wanting to die was nothing new for Wuornos, who first voiced her wish to get on with the execution a decade earlier after her first guilty verdict. She wanted to get right with God, she said. Despite some wavering and her lawyers attempts to dissuade her, she stood firm in that resolve over the years. This despite her various appellate lawyers’ best efforts to talk her out of it. Lee fought for and won the right to fire her counsel.

    Several psychiatrists also found she fully understood the ramifications of waiving her rights to all further appeals, so the way was clear for her death warrant”.

    Works Cited

    1. “Abraham Lincoln Biography”. (2011). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://www. biography. com/people/aileen-wuornos-11735792 Crime & Investigation Editors. (2005-2011).
    2. Aileen Wuornos. Crime & Investigation Network website. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://www. crimeandinvestigation. co. uk/crime-files/aileen-wuornos/biography. html CPIC Editors. (2012).
    3. The Case of Aileen Wuornos. Capital Punishment in Context. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://www. capitalpunishmentincontext. org/node/77454 Kustura, K. (October 9, 3012).
    4. Serial Killer Wuornos’ memory lives on 10 years after death. The News Herald website. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://www. newsherald. com/news/crime-public-safety/serial-killer-wuornos-memory-lives-on-10-years-after-death-1. 25882 Macleod, M. (2012).
    5. Killer who preyed on Truck Drivers. Trutv website. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://www. trutv. com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/wuornos/1. html

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