1789: Rachel Wall, female pirate 1923: Susan Newell, the last woman hanged in Scotland

2002: Aileen Wuornos, Monster

October 9th, 2009 Headsman

“Thanks a lot, society, for railroading my ass!”
-Aileen Wuornos

On this date in 2002, the tragically, horrifically iconic serial killer Aileen Wuornos checked out at Florida’s Starke Prison (and into an afterlife as an Academy Award-winning role) with the appropriately bizarre last words,

“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.”

Her sensational FBI-bestowed reputation as America’s “first” female serial killer rests on exaggeration,* but there’s something of the larger-than-life about prostitute/manslayer Aileen Carol Wuornos.

Heck, Aileen herself sold rights to her story within weeks of her arrest. So did investigators who worked the case. A year before our day’s perp faced lethal injection, her surname titled “the world’s first opera about a lesbian prostitute serial killer survivor of child abuse who is now on death row.” (Here’s the opera’s home page.)

That’s not the sort of legacy usual for a seven-time murderer. But there wasn’t much usual about Aileen Wuornos.

Wuornos — “Lee,” to her friends — projects for all her trail of bodies an irrepressibly humanity; Charlize Theron played her in Monster as the most sympathetic serial killer ever put to celluloid, her crime spree a desperate and impossible cry after human love that her life’s many travails had warped but never drained.

Still professing love for the lover who had sold her out and thereby ducked prosecution, Wuornos resigned her appeals and went her own way out this date in 2002.

Books and Films about Aileen Wuornos

* Or, if you like, a precision of definition not likely shared by the majority of her headline-reading public. What made Wuornos distinctive was killing strangers in a pattern over time; the stereotypical female multiple-murderer kills in a single spree, and/or for distinct pecuniary motives, and/or kills family members or other intimates.

Part of the Themed Set: Women Who Kill.

Also on this date

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,21st Century,Arts and Literature,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Diminished Capacity,Execution,Florida,Hanged,Infamous,Lethal Injection,Murder,Popular Culture,Ripped from the Headlines,Serial Killers,Sex,USA,Women

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5 thoughts on “2002: Aileen Wuornos, Monster”

  1. mellie says:

    man, the way you write is ridiculously hard to read.

  2. Colleen S. says:

    I know Aileen’s murder’s were horrible, and of course she should have been punished, I’m not saying that I think she should have been executed, but I’m sorry, this poor woman had a hard, sad life. Ever since she was a child, every single person that she ever counted on turned their backs on her and people just discarded her and her feelings like she was nothing and I think that is so sad. She had nobody, not even a mother to give her just a little love and affection even as a child, and I really hope that the people that turned their backs on her, dream of her all the time and at least pray for her, especially the one true love of Aileen’s life, Tye, who should feel horrible for deserting her and selling her out especially when she spent a lot of the money from the robberies and she knew what was going on, she is a piece of trash and I truly believe that payback is a Bitch!!

  3. zara says:

    Tiriya Moore looks like a centaur. In general, a feeling of disgust. Monster is Tiriya! Uornos, unhappy woman who was pushed to commit these crimes Tiriya-centaur with an insatiable womb. A “justice” poor tortured to madness Eileen, put on a show of her misery and cruel punishment mentally ill person.

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