Just a heads-up — reaching the finish line on the chance to grab my True Crime Classic eBook biography Lethal Intent on the life–and death–of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The book biz’s great summer promo prices of $1.99 are meant to vanish July 1. In June, Lethal Intent hit #1 on Amazon Kindle rankings in three categories. Available via BookBub, Kobo, Amazon, and from Barnes & Noble Nook.
Two years work went into going deep into Aileen’s (Lee’s) life, from her childhood to her early run-ins with the law and later to conviction for holding up a liquor store with a gun and then of course the murders which meant covering her court hearings and attending every day of her trial. So for me, at least, it is great to see that the book is still around! I owe many of you out there–and you know who you are–thanks for all your support over the years.
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.
Yowza. (Is that a word?) GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm in British criminal justice parlance) was the last work from the late great British writer Ted Lewis, author of “Get Carter” (eventually a film starring Michael Caine.) Ted Lewis was a major talent who died young, apparently from alcohol-related issues, gone far too soon. His work was not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
In GBH, Lewis colourfully inhabits rather than portrays British gangland brutality in the 1960s. I could feel the locations in my bones and dreamed about the book and about gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray and other notorious figures who stole headlines back then. (It wasn’t all tea and crumpets, that’s for sure.)
The novel is all the more chilling for the torture, not always graphically written (although there is plenty of that) but possibly because of what is not spelled out. Ted Lewis’s compelling writing helps you power through his last work. I really couldn’t bear to put it down.
Now it is behind me, I am still pondering the plot twists and just how he did it? I plan to go back to review a few passages to check out where I now, in retrospect, believe turning points in the plot may have lay in wait. If you are a fan of hard core crime fiction with a strong stomach (you will need it), Lewis was a master. As one reviewer suggested, Lewis’s viewpoint suggested that surely he must have been dangerously close at times to the world he painted on paper: too close to have made it all up. On that I won’t comment. Gangland brutality was a cloud shrouding areas of England: you only had to read the newspapers. But Ted took it to new levels.
His brief chapters–few exceeded three pages–accentuated the speed of the ride.