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AILEEN WOURNOS
(scroll down for more lady killers below)
Aileen Carol Wuornos, (February 29, 1956 – October 9, 2002) was an American serial killer who was sentenced to death by the state of Florida in 1992. Wuornos admitted to killing seven men, in separate incidents, all of whom she claimed had raped her while she was working as a prostitute. She was executed in 2002.

Wuornos had what was by most accounts a traumatic childhood. Her child molester father committed suicide in prison soon after she was born, and her mother abandoned her and her brother, leaving them in the care of their grandparents. She claimed that her grandfather sexually abused her as a child and that she had sex with multiple partners, including her brother, at a young age. She became pregnant at age fourteen (she gave the baby up for adoption). After her grandmother died that year, Wuornos ran away from home and turned to prostitution, traveling around the country and supporting herself with sex up until her arrest for murder years later. She was arrested multiple times throughout the 1970's and 1980's for crimes such as drunk driving and shoplifiting, as well as prostitution.

A storeowner in Palm Harbor, Florida named Richard Mallory took a ride with Wuornos on November 30, 1989, and became her first victim. Five subsequent victims were found; one other is still missing. Wuornos was eventually identified when she and her girlfriend Tyria Moore had an accident while driving a victim's car. She was apprehended a few months later. Wuornos cited self defense for Mallory's murder, maintaining that he had attempted to rape her. She was convicted for this first murder in January of 1992. In November of the same year, Dateline NBC reporter Michele Gillens uncovered that Mallory had served 10 years for violent rape in another state.

Within weeks of her arrest, Wuornos had engaged agents to sell the rights to her story, and so had three of the law enforcement agents who had been tracking her down. Touted as "the first female serial killer" (which she wasn't), Wuornos's life has been documented in numerous books, and portrayed in several films and television shows. The 2003 movie Monster, starring Charlize Theron, tells Wuornos' story from the moment she met the first person in her life who showed some kindness towards her (based on Wuornos' lover and four-year companion, Tyria Moore) until her first conviction for murder. For her performance as Wuornos, Theron was rewarded with the Academy Award for Best Actress. This award was given on what would have been Wuornos' birthday, a fact not mentioned anywhere in Theron's acceptance speech.

After her first death sentence, Wuornos often said she wanted it all to be over. In 2001 she began fighting to be executed as soon as possible. She petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the right to fire her legal counsel and stop all appeals, wording her request so as to forestall any objection: "I'm one who seriously hates human life and would kill again." Wuornos was executed by lethal injection (which she requested instead of the electric chair) at 9:47 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2002. Her last words: "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 mothership and all. I'll be back."
BOOKS AND MOVIES ABOUT AILEEN WOURNOS
Lethal Intent
By Sue Russell


That rarest of serial killers - a woman - Aileen 'Lee' Wuornos always craved fame. Long before she was hunted and caught by Florida law enforcement, long before she confessed to killing seven men, she told friends that she wanted to do something "no woman has ever done before" and to have a book about her life. After a decade on Florida's Death Row, as that life was scheduled to end by lethal injection on October 9th, here comes Sue Russell's book, Lethal Intent. Packed with exclusive material that sheds a different light on this cold-blooded serial killer, Lethal Intent contains new insights and intimate memories from her family, friends and childhood peers. Lethal Intent reveals Aileen's devastating double abandonment by her mother before she was age two, the crimes of her father, and the myriad events that helped set her path of destruction. It even contests the widespread superficial judgment of Wuornos as a "man-hating lesbian" via new insights from men with whom she shared sexual and romantic relationships. Lethal Intent also explores the dynamics of her fateful relationship with Tyria Moore, the lesbian lover who knew Aileen was killing yet stayed by her side, and how those dynamics moved Aileen closer to a life of murder. And much, much more...
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Monster
DVD


Critics have universally praised Charlize Theron's performance in Monster, and the praise, for once, is astonishingly deserved. The gorgeous star vanishes into the character of Aileen Wuornos, a real-life serial killer and prostitute who murdered at least seven men in Florida. Monster traces her relationship with a young woman named Selby (Christina Ricci), which intertwines with Wuornos's murder spree. This remarkable movie finds compassion for Wuornos but unflinchingly faces her brutal crimes; Theron expresses this woman's horrific life history without softening her terrifying, dead-eyed stare. This is a gripping, devastating performance, a physical and psychological transformation comparable to Robert DeNiro's in Raging Bull. The movie's moral and emotional complexity wouldn't succeed without this searing performance--but succeed it does, and it will stick with you for some time afterward
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Aileen - Life and Death of a Serial Killer
DVD
By Nick Broomfield


"We have evil in us, all of us do, and my evil just happened to come out because of the circumstances," said serial killer Aileen Wuornos in an interview conducted shortly before her execution in 2002. Director Nick Broomfield, in this sequel to his previous documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, delves further into Wuornos's horrific childhood (including an interview with her biological mother) and follows the appeals process as her case goes through its final efforts. But the movie's core are the fascinating, devastating interviews with Wuornos herself, alternately lucid and delusional as she obsesses about the police, whom she believes allowed her murders to happen to increase the potential for profit from movies and books about the case. Anyone who's seen Monster, based on Wuornos's story, will find the real woman even more compelling and frightening than Charlize Theron's award-winning portrayal.
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Aileen Wuornos
The Selling of a Serial Killer
DVD
By Nick Broomfield


Chilling, disturbing, and maddening, this documentary examines the life of America's first female serial killer after her incarceration. Documentarian Nick Broomfield interviews a rather pathetic Aileen Wuornos, looking wan in her orange prison jumpsuit and sounding none too bright. Those around her, including her eccentric, born-again Christian lawyer, come across as moral criminals, using and abusing the media limelight for personal gain. Known for exposing the creepy and the crass, Broomfield simply turns on his camera and steps back. It does not take long before we are able to discern who is helping Wuornos, and who is trying to cash in on her notoriety.
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The Female Homicide Offender:
Serial Murder and the Case of Aileen Wuornos
By Stacey L. Shipley


Why do some female homicide offenders commit serial murder? The answer to this question has eluded criminal profilers and police officers for decades. Although researchers have offered some tentative explanations based on the limited cases documented, no systematic treatment of this phenomenon has occurred in the popular and academic literature—at least not until now. Shipley and Arrigo turn to the high profile case of Aileen Wuornos, a woman executed in 2002 for the cold blooded and calculated murders of seven men. Challenging conventional wisdom that female killers are victims of abuse, the authors provide a cogent and penetrating analysis, raising many disturbing questions about the nature of predatory and serial murders committed by women. Going well beyond the confines of the Aileen Wuornos case, Shipley and Arrigo also examine the ethical dilemmas inherent in a culture of violence where the systems of criminal justice and mental health seemingly fail to assist persons in profound distress. At issue here is the manner in which society helps to create the female homicide offender, including those women who kill repeatedly.
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MORE BOOKS ABOUT FEMALE KILLERS
Women Behaving Badly: True Tales of Cleveland's Most Ferocious Female Killers: an Anthology
By John Stark Bellamy II


Women who murder... why are they so much more fascinating than their male counterparts? Just take a look at the past 150 years in Cleveland, for example. Measure almost any murder committed by a female during those fifteen decades against any homicide by a mere male and you'll soon discover there is simply no comparison in -cunning, quality, and sheer entertainment value between the shallow, predictable murders of men and the complex, richly nuanced slayings perpetrated by women. For evidence of this tantalizing truth, dip into any of the sixteen strange-but-true tales -collected in this anthology by Cleveland's leading historical crime writer. Here, you'll meet ill-fated Catherine Manz, the "Bad Cinderella" who poisoned her step-sister in revenge for years of mistreatment, then for her getaway donned her victim's most fetching outfit, a red dress with an enormous feathered hat . . . Velma West, the big-city girl who scandalized rural Lake County in the 1920s with her -"unnatural passions"—and ended her -marriage-made-in-hell with a swift hammer's blow to the skull of her dull husband, Eddie . . . Eva Kaber, "Lakewood's Lady Borgia," who, along with her mother and daughter, conspired to dispose of an inconvenient husband with -arsenic and knife-wielding hired killers . . . Martha Wise, Medina's not-so-merry widow, who poisoned a dozen relatives—including her husband, mother, and brother—because she -enjoyed going to funerals . . . And a whole cast of other, equally fascinating women who behaved very, very badly. This is wickedly entertaining reading!
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Are You There Alone?:
The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates
By Suzanne O'Malley


Suzanne O'Malley exposes the human mystery of the most horrifying crime in recent history and the legal drama surrounding it. As a journalist, Suzanne O'Malley began covering the murders of Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary Yates hours after their mother, Andrea Yates, drowned them in their suburban Houston home in June 2001. Over twenty-four months, O'Malley interviewed or witnessed the sworn testimony of more than a hundred participants in this drama, including Yates herself; her husband, Rusty Yates; their families; attorneys; the personnel of the Harris County district attorney's and sheriff's offices; medical staff; friends; acquaintances; and expert witnesses. O'Malley argues persuasively that under less extraordinary circumstances, a mentally ill woman would have been quietly offered a plea bargain and sent to an institution under court supervision. But on March 12, 2002, Andrea Yates was found guilty of the murders of three of her five children. She is currently serving a life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until 2041. O'Malley's exclusive personal communications with Andrea Yates and her interviews with Rusty Yates allow her to offer fully realized portrayals of people at the center of this horrifying case. In "Are You There Alone?" O'Malley makes a critical contribution to our understanding of mental health issues within the criminal justice system.
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Bad Girls Do It!
Encyclopedia of Female Murderers
By Michael Newton


Jack the Ripper may be more notorious, but while he was busy killing five prostitutes in the alleyways of Victorian London, another Victorian murderer, Jane Toppan, was brought in on charges of having killed close to 100 people in Connecticut. Toppan said in court, "That is my ambition, to have killed more people--more helpless people--than any man or woman who has ever lived." Bad Girls Do It! has a jocular title and cover illustration, and Michael Newton occasionally indulges in macabre humor. Nonetheless, these 182 case histories of female multiple murderers are packed with well-researched details. You will read about "angels of death" (nurses who kill), "black widows," lethal landladies, and murderous moms. Many of them are little known, such as Rachal David, a religious fanatic who tossed her seven children off an 11th-story hotel balcony in Salt Lake City in 1978, while a screaming crowd watched from below.
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The New Predator: Women Who Kill
Profiles of Female Serial Killers
By Deborah Schurman-Kauflin


Studies of multiple murderers have until now focused mainly on male perpetrators. Schurman-Kauflin, founder of the Violent Crimes Institute and a profiler, tries to remedy the imbalance by offering a disturbing look, based on personal interviews, at seven women who have committed multiple murders. Addressing her colleagues in the fields of forensic pathology and law enforcement, Schurman-Kauflin establishes a sense of urgency, noting that while females represent a small percentage of all multiple murderers in the U.S., their numbers have increased in the second half of the 20th century, to an estimated 26 over the past 30 years. Clinical, painstakingly detailed and heartwrenchingly ugly, the book points out such commonalities among these women as early parental abandonment or abuse and financial instability. Murderous women tend to gravitate toward typically female roles or occupations like nursing and babysitting, and also to stripping and prostitution. They are older than their male counterparts and seem the least likely villain in any given situation (enabling them to kill over a longer period of time), target victims who are available and defenseless (e.g., small children and the elderly), prefer to use "hands-off" methods of killing (poisoning, smothering) and are meticulous about leaving the crime scene free of material evidence.
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Fatal:
The Poisonous Life of a Female Serial Killer
By Harold Schechter


In an era that produced some of the most vicious female sociopaths in American history, Jane Toppan would become the most notorious of them all. AN ANGEL OF MERCY: In 1891, Jane Toppan, a proper New England matron, embarked on a profession as a private-duty nurse. Selfless and good-natured, she beguiled Boston's most prominent families. They had no idea what they were welcoming into their homes.... A DEVIL IN DISGUISE: No one knew of Jane's past: of her mother's tragic death, of her brutal upbringing in an adoptive home, of her father's insanity, or of her own suicide attempts. No one could have guessed that during her tenure at a Massachusetts hospital the amiable "Jolly Jane" was morbidly obsessed with autopsies, or that she conducted her own after-hours experiments on patients, deriving sexual satisfaction in their slow, agonizing deaths from poison. Self-schooled in the art of murder, Jane Toppan was just beginning her career -- and she would indulge in her true calling victim by victim to become the most prolific domestic fiend of the nineteenth century.
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Women Who Kill:
Profiles of Female Serial Killers
By Carol Anne Davis

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Small Sacrifices:
A True Story of Passion and Murder
By Ann Rule

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Hush Little Babies:
The True Story Of A Mother Who Murdered Her Own Children
By Donald A. Davis

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Death Sentence:
The True Story of Velma Barfield's Life, Crimes, and Punishment
By Jerry Bledsoe

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Women Who Kill
By Ann Jones

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Soliah:
The Sara Jane Olson Story

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No Angels:
Women Who Commit Violence
By Alice Myers

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No Angels:
Women Who Commit Violence
By Alice Myers

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The Bone Garden
By William P. Wood

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