Chilling book, hot summer weekend? Heads up: $1.99 eBook prices on my Aileen Wuornos book Lethal Intent have been popping up everywhere (thanks publishers!) during the sizzling start to summer but those low prices will soon disappear. So, check out Lethal Intent if you are interested in the world’s first modern day female serial killer — as defined by then current FBI guidelines: killing strangers, different locations, cooling off period between murders, etc.
When you see the smiling child Aileen once was, surrounded by her family in their Michigan home, it is hard to believe what lay ahead — for Aileen, and for the six or seven men whose lives she took. It is, and always will be, a controversial case. Despite her brutal actions, many feel sorry for Aileen, empathizing with her in a way that is understandable. Yet it’s rare for male serial killers to get any empathy no matter how much abuse they, too, may have endured as children.
Forensic evidence showed that Aileen shot her first known victim inside his car–where he sat behind the steering wheel fully clothed–firing a .22 caliber bullet into his arm. She shot from the passenger seat. The bullet traveled on through his body. Aileen leapt out of the car and ran around the front, firing again until he was dead. She then turned his pockets inside out, stole his money and possessions and car, covered him in a piece of raggedy old abandoned carpet and drove off into the night.
Killing during a violent rape does not jibe at all with the story Aileen told in her original confession to police and is worlds away from her testimony a year later at trial (I was in court every day). The testimony that she killed all her victims in self-defense and that it was *she* who was the victim didn’t fit the forensic evidence but it *did* come much closer to the scenario made famous by the movie Monster (for which Charlize Theron won an Oscar) in which Aileen murdered men during brutal rapes to save her own life.
I am certain she was raped but by whom and when, that is a tougher call. Aileen was a prostitute working the streets for years. Of course she was raped. She may have been raped when as young as eleven or twelve: that’s’ when she began charging local boys for sex.
Could Hollywood stand the brutal actions of the real life Aileen? I’m not so sure they could, hence the loss of Aileen’s “robber who killed” reality in the film and the focus on Aileen as all victim. Judge the evidence for yourself. As you consider Aileen dropping her appeals and being executed in 2002 after a wretched decade on Death Row, spare a thought for Aileen’s victims’ families too, just as you would for the families and loved ones of any murder victims. And please share your thoughts.