Monsters do exist. They are not the nightmares in our dreams, the ghouls under our beds, or the specters in our closets. Monsters are real people, and they are terrifying. One monster who lived on the earth is none other than Aileen Wuornos. Yes, I know that this monster prologue is based on the fact that there is a movie about her called Monster (and the movie if fantastic!), but the fact still remains that she was a vile, angry woman. As with many murderers and monsters, the argument is there for if they were born evil or created evil by their circumstances. And, if created, how justified were they? I am not going or answer that question. But I hope to at least provide the information for you to create opinions and arguments.
Wuornos never met her father, as he was incarcerated at the time of her birth on February 9, 1956. He was convicted of sex crimes against children and hanged himself in prison in 1969. Aileen Carol Wuornos was abandoned by her mother when she was four years old and left to her maternal grandparents. These were not the type of grandparents who gave candies and money tucked in birthday cards. Her grandfather continually abused her physically and sexually. By the age of 11, Wuornos was engaging in sexual favors at school for cigarettes, had been raped multiple times by her grandfather, and engaged in sex with her brother. By the time she was 14, she became pregnant at the hands of her grandpa’s friend. At age 15, the young girl began to support herself through prostitution.
Wuornos’ life did not get any better as she aged. At 18, in 1974 she was arrested for driving under the influence and firing a gun from a moving vehicle. She did not appear in court. Wuornos hitchhiked to Florida in 1976. This looked like a good move for her as she met, fell in love, and married a 69year old yacht club president named Lewis Gratz Fell. Wuornos couldn’t keep her famous temper in check, however, and not only fought often in local bars, but also struck her husband with his own cane resulting in divorce and a restraining order. She returned to her home state of Michigan and was charged with disturbing the peace after throwing a cue ball at a bar owner’s head.
Her convictions and arrests mounted. Grand theft auto, armed robbery, assault, forged checks, and a litany of other offenses littered her life. She continued to spiral down and out of control while still supporting herself through prostitution.
In 1986, Wuornos met a hotel maid named Tyria Moore. The two entered into a lesbian relationship that was full of both love and fighting. Wuornos supported the couple with her earnings, and they moved around together around the country.
Despite her previous record, it wasn’t until 1989 that Wuornos let the teeth of her true inner monster bare. Another monster named Richard Mallory (51) raped Wuornos and ended up with two bullets in his left lung. She murdered him, hid the body, and stole his car. The car was found abandoned shortly after the murder, but the body remained hidden for two months. In addition to Mallory, Wuornos murdered:
- David Spears (43)
- Peter Siems (65)
- Troy Burress (50)
- Charles “Dick” Humphreys (56)
- Walter Jeno Antonio (62)
All of these murders took place in 1990. That same year, Wuornos and Moore were in an accident while driving Peter Siems’s car. They obviously left the scene, but witnesses gave the description of the two women to the police, and a media campaign was initiated to find them.
Wuornos was arrested on January 9, 1991, due to outstanding warrants. By this time, Wuornos and Moore had separated, but police still located and brought in Moore. Desperate for immunity, Moore accepted to elicit a confession from her former lover. Moore made numerous phone calls to Wuornos, begging for help to clear her name. Eventually, Wuornos confessed to the murders claiming self-defense for the rapes.
The trial for the murder of Richard Mallory began on January 27, 1992. Moore’s testimony was pivotal in the conviction of Aileen Wuornos. Despite a defense based on Wuornos having a personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, she was sentenced to death. Wuornos eventually plead guilty to the other men, and in all, she received six death sentences.
“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… “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.”
Waiting for her execution in prison was not a fun time for Wuornos. She complains of fellow inmates poisoning her food with feces and urine. She complained of mental and sexual abuse and claimed that inmates were trying to push her to commit suicide before her execution.
Up until her execution on October 9, 2002, Wuornos claimed to still be deeply in love with Tyria Moore; however, her last words on camera were filled with malice and hate for the world she lived in.
“You sabotaged my *** Society, and the cops, and the system! A raped woman got executed, and was used for books and movies and ****! Thanks a lot, society, for railroading my ***!
It can be easily said that Wuornos’ childhood shaped – or misshaped – her mind and interactions with society. Regardless of how it is viewed, like many monster stories, the story of Aileen Wuornos is a heartbreaking tragedy.