“I robbed them, and I killed them as cold as ice, and I would do it again, and I know I would kill another person because I’ve hated humans for a long time.”– Aileen Wuornos
There is abundance of information – both accurate and nonsensical (politicized) about Wuornos. Wikipedia presents an overview of the facts. The current post does not aim to present a narrative of the case, but rather presents some basic data plus some valuable commentaries that critique the politicized distortions and falsehoods that are so commonly found.
Wuornos was a bandit, like many other female serial killers of the past. She was unusual – yet not unique – in working solo. Female serial bandit cases can be studied following the links on the Female Serial Bandits roster.
Wuornos was far from being the first American female serial killer (or even the first highly publicized FSK) as has been claimed Female Serial Killers of the USA offers a long list. Nor was Wuornos any where near being the first American FSK to be executed.
The “Self-Defense” Myth –
“What the letters [of Aileen Wuornos] make apparent it’s not simple to understand “what happened.” Because what Wuornos claimed happened – perhaps even what she believed happened – changed in her own account. She frequently contradicted herself: The killings were done in self-defense – except when her crimes were simple robberies and she killed in cold blood. She sometimes claimed that she recanted her claim of self-defense in order to hasten her execution.” [Aileen Wuornos, Lisa Kester, Daphne Gottlieb, Phyllis Chesler; Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words, Soft Skull Press, 2012, p. 16]
Concerning Motive –
EXCERPT: Aileen’s relationship with Tyria [Moore] could have easily served as the stressor for her murders. Aileen killed her first victim, Richard Mallory, just a few days after Ty brought home for a Thanksgiving meal, Sandy Russell, a pretty 29-year-old blonde. Aileen did not kill again until Tyria’s half-sister, Tracy Moore, came to stay with them during the summer and Ty was focusing all her attention on her. During Tracy’s stay, Alieen murdered David Spears, Charles Carskaddon, and Peter Sims. Just before Lee [Aileen] murdered Dick Humphreys, Ty had lost a job and was talking about leaving Florida and moving back to Ohio. When Aileen murdered Walter Jeno Antonio, Ty had gone off by herself to Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday with her family, having told Lee that she needed a break from her. And as Aileen blurted out in those taped telephone conversations [from jail] with Tyria, “Let me tell you why I did it, alright? . . . Because I’m so . . . so fuckin’ in love with you, that I was so worried about us not havin’ an apartment and shit, I was scared that we were gonna lose our place, believin’ that we wouldn’t be together.” [Peter Vronsky, Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters, Berkley, 2007, p. 177]
7 murder victims (Wikipedia):
1) Richard Mallory, age 51, November 30, 1989 — Electronics store owner in Clearwater, Florida. Wuornos’ first victim was a convicted rapist whom she claimed to have killed in self-defense. Two days later, a Volusia County, Florida, deputy sheriff found Mallory’s abandoned vehicle. On December 13, Mallory’s body was found several miles away in a wooded area; he had been shot several times, two bullets to the left lung were found to have been the cause of death. It was on this murder that Wuornos would initially be condemned.
2) David Spears, age 43 — Construction worker in Winter Garden, Florida. On June 1, 1990, his nude body was found along Highway 19 in Citrus County, Florida. He had been shot six times.
3) Charles Carskaddon, age 40, May 31, 1990 — Part-time rodeo worker. On June 6, 1990, his body was found in Pasco County, Florida. He had been shot nine times with a small-caliber weapon.
4) Peter Siems, age 65 — retired merchant seaman who devoted much of his time to a Christian outreach ministry. In June 1990, Siems left Jupiter, Florida, for Arkansas. On July 4, 1990, his car was found in Orange Springs, Florida. Moore and Wuornos were seen abandoning the car, and Wuornos’ palm print was found on the interior door handle. His body was never found.
5) Troy Burress, age 50 — Sausage salesman from Ocala, Florida. On July 31, 1990, he was reported missing. On August 4, 1990, his body was found in a wooded area along State Road 19 in Marion County, Florida. He had been shot twice.
6) Charles “Dick” Humphreys, age 56, September 11, 1990 — Retired U.S. Air Force Major, former State Child Abuse Investigator, and former Chief of Police. On September 12, 1990, his body was found in Marion County, Florida. He was fully clothed and had been shot six times in the head and torso. His car was found in Suwannee County, Florida.
7) Walter Jeno Antonio, age 62 — Trucker, security guard, and police reservist. On November 19, 1990, Antonio’s nearly nude body was found near a remote logging road in Dixie County, Florida. He had been shot four times. Five days later, his car was found in Brevard County, Florida.
Aileen Wuornos, born Aileen Pittman, Rochester, Michigan, Feb. 29, 1956. Aliases: Sandra Kretsch, Susan Lynn Blahovec, Lee Blahovec, Cammie Marsh Greene, Lori Kristine Grody.
Jul. 14, 1976 – AW arrested in Antrim County, Michigan, and charged with assault and disturbing the peace for throwing a cue ball at a bartender's head.
Aug. 1976 – AW fined $105 for drunk driving.
May 27, 1974 – “at age 18, Wuornos was arrested in Jefferson County, Colorado, for driving under the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, and firing a .22-caliber pistol from a moving vehicle. She was later charged with failure to appear.”
May 20, 1981 – AW arrested in Edgewater, Florida for armed robbery.
May 4, 1982 – conviction for armed robbery.
Jun. 30, 1983 – released.
Jan. 4, 1986 – AW arrested, car theft and other charges; gun, ammo found.
Jun. 2, 1986 – police question AW (alias Laurie Grody) for armed robbery.
Nov. 30, 1989 – 3 shots – Richard Mallory, age 51.
Jun. 1, 1990 – 6 shots – David Spears, age 43.
May 31, 1990 – 9 shots – Charles Carskaddon, age 40.
Jun. – Jul. 4, 1990 – Peter Siems, age 65; no body; exact date unknown.
Jul. 31, 1990 – 2 shots – Troy Burress, age 50.
Sep. 11, 1990 – 6 shots – Charles “Dick” Humphreys, age 56.
Nov. 19, 1990 – 4 shots – Walter Jeno Antonio, age 62.
Jan. 1, 1991 – AW arrested.
Jan. 2, 1991 – police locate Tyria in Pennsylvania; made deal to to cooperate with investigation.
Jan 16, 1991 – AW confesses to 6 murders.
Jan. 14, 1992 – AW goes on trial for the Mallory murder.
Jan. 27, 1992 – AW convicted of the murder of Richard Mallory.
Jan. 31, 1992 – AW receives the death sentence for Mallory murder.
Mar. 31, 1992 – AW pleads no contest to 3 murders: Dick Humphreys, Troy Burress, and David Spears.
May 7, 1992 – convicted of 3 murders: Burress, Humphrey, Sears.
May 7, 1992 – convicted of 3 murders: Burress, Humphrey, Sears.
May 15, 1992 – AW, three more death sentences.
Jun. 1992 – AW pleaded guilty to the murder of Charles Carskaddon.
Nov. 1992 – AW received her fifth death sentence for Carskaddon murder.
Feb. 1993 – AW pleads guilty to the murder of Walter Jeno Antonio; death sentence #6.
Oct. 9, 2002 – AW executed.
More: Lesbian Serial Killers
For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits