Aileen Wuornos, dubbed in some quarters “America’s first serial killer,” murdered seven men in Florida over approximately a year in 1989 and 1990. She had been working Florida’s highways as a prostitute when the killings occurred. She claimed that she had shot the men in self-defense after they had attempted to assault her sexually.
Wuornos shot with a .22 caliber firearm Richard Mallory, Dick Humphreys, Troy Burress, David Spears, Walter Gino Antonio, Peter Siems, and Charles Carskaddon. She had been hitchhiking all across Florida as a prostitute. After she killed the men, she also robbed them.
It was after Wuornos pawned items belonging to Mallery on Antonio near Daytona Beach that police were able to trace her fingerprints and track her down. She was arrested in January 1991 and, after a week, confessed to the murders.
At her trial, Wuornos pleaded no contest to six of the murders but was adamant that the Mallory killing was self-defense, and that she was violently raped. She stated: “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.”
After the trial, it was discovered that Mallory had previously served time for Attempted Rape. However, Wuornos convicted of all seven murders and was sentenced to death by lethal injection. She was executed in October 2002.
Her last words, according to Murderpedia, were, “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.”
Wuornos had suffered a difficult life, she had been beaten and sexually abused as a child. She was thrown out of her home at 15 years old and left to fend for herself.
The case has had a lot of media attention with numerous books, documentaries, and even a musical produced to tell Wuornos’s story. A movie called Monster was released in 2003 with Charlize Theron playing Wuornos.
Find out about this killer on Aileen Wuornos: Mind of a Monster at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.