Aileen Wuornos. A Life Without Love
Do you know who she is?
The name, "Aileen Wuornos"
Born into a world of Lack
On June 3rd 1954, in Rochester, Michigan, 14 year-old Diane Wuornos married Leo Dale Pittman. Leo and his teenaged bride welcomed their first child, a son whom they named, "Keith" in March,1955. Less then two years later, Diane filed for divorce while seven months pregnant with their second child.
That baby, "Aileen Carol Pittman," was born on February 29,1956 to a single teenaged mother struggling to survive with her children, no job and little help from family. Aileen would never meet her father who not only estranged from her mother, was incarcerated at the time of her birth. Leo had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and later convicted of sex crimes against children. In 1969, Pittman hanged himself in prison. A tragic end to a father Aileen never knew.
Before Aileen was four years old, in January of 1960, she and her brother Keith were abandoned by their mother when she left them with their maternal grandparents Lauri and Britta Wuornos. These grandparents legally adopted the children on March 18, 1960
Chance for a better life?
The logical or at least hopeful outlook of being raised by one's grandparents would be that finally these children would be safe, well-cared for and feel loved. Not so for Keith and Aileen Wuornos. Grandpa Lauri Wuornos, known for being an alcoholic and quick-tempered man was alleged to have molested Aileen, as well as beaten her on numerous occasions. He was never charged formally and as it happened, Aileen became pregnant at age 13, claiming to having been raped by a friend of her grandfather's.
Aileen gave birth to a male child at a home for unwed mothers where the baby was swiftly taken out of the room, away from his mother and placed for adoption. It seems this child's paternity will never be known. By Aileen's own admission, she had been engaged in sexual activities for a period of time in exchange for cigarettes and favors from the local boys. Sadly, Aileen had also alleged to have had an incestuous relationship with her brother, Keith.
A sociopath in the making, Aileen had learned to survive by sheer instinct, using her body and becoming an accomplished liar. Just months after the birth of her baby, followed closely by the death of her grandmother, Aileen dropped out of school. At 15, her grandfather kicked her out of the house, which left Aileen to support herself through prostitution and to live in a nearby woods.
What does this lead you to think about?
Learning of the first 15 years of Aileen's life....
Going forward...but not UP.
Aileen drifted about aimlessly, living hand to mouth and finding herself in occasional trouble with the law due to her drinking, public fighting and vagrancy. Nothing good came Aileen's way and no one, including Aileen seemed to care. Life for this young woman was not much more than a huge empty and dark abyss.
At some point in 1976, Aileen decided on a change of scenery and using her only means of travel, she hitchhiked to Florida.
If ever luck or fate would smile at Aileen, she may have had a brief encounter with this when a much older, well-established gentleman of means, Lewis Gratz Fell, became infatuated with Aileen and proposed marriage. She agreed to become Mrs. Fell, but it was soon apparent to all that it was only the name that changed for Aileen. Despite the peaceful and comfortable life this man could provide, Aileen was unable to recognize goodness nor could she appreciate any semblance to a decent and proper existence. She continued to frequent the local bars, drinking heavily and managed to be charged with assault, spending some time behind bars.
After assaulting her kind husband, using his own cane to hit him several times, he was forced to request a restraining order against his violent new bride and proceeded on to have their nine-week old marriage annulled.
It was during this period of time that Aileen's brother Keith died from esophageal cancer. To her surprise, Aileen learned she was the beneficiary to a $10,000 life insurance policy on Keith.
It is both interesting and disappointing to note that Aileen was unable to grasp the benefits of two distinct opportunities to change her destructive lifestyle to that of one with some pride and decency. Her marriage over quickly and $10,000 squandered foolishly on nothing of benefit in any way... Aileen's wild spin downward was in full force.
The serious crime spree underway....
In 1981, Aileen was sentenced to 14 months in prison for armed robbery of a convenience store, where she stole $35 and 2 packs of cigarettes. Less than one year later, she was arrested for attempting to pass forged checks and was suspected of theft of a gun and ammunition.
Year after year, Aileen racked up charges and stints behind bars for crimes such as car theft, resisting arrest, armed robbery, obstruction of justice, as well as several other petty crimes.
One night while drinking at a gay bar in Daytona, Florida, Aileen met Tyria Moore, a sometime hotel maid and sometime bar maid, but self-admitted all time lesbian. These women seemed to click and quickly became friends and lovers, moving in together where ever they could find a room to rest their heads for a week, a month or for as long as the money held out.
Aileen believed that for the first time in her life, she had found "love." She truly felt loved by Tyria and became obsessed with the young Moore, vowing to keep them together no matter what she had to do. Aileen provided the cash for them to survive, the only way she had ever known. She gave herself a promotion and became a full time highway hooker, focusing on businessmen and truckers, pulling in and out of truck stop parking lots. Business was good, but the money wasn't enough to make up for the long hours and huge toll the job was taking on Aileen.
As most ladies of the night do, Aileen carried a gun in her purse at all times while working her shift. On the night of November 30th,1989, Aileen was picked up by 51 year old Richard Mallory, a business owner from Clearwater, Florida and for the record, Mr. Mallory was also a convicted rapist.
On December 13th, when Richard Mallory's bullet-riddled body was found, Aileen Wuornos was the sole person who knew the truth of what had happened. To this day, the actual truth of this murder or the other six murders to follow within a one year period, will never be known.
According to Aileen, each and every one of her male victims/customers, had raped, assaulted and/or beaten her and she feared for her life each and every time and shot to defend her life.
She also cleaned them out of all cash they had on their person or in their vehicle, made feeble attempts to cover up the murders and usually drove away in the victim's car, abandoning it elsewhere after getting herself back home to Tyria, the "love of her life."
Ironically,Tyria's testimony for the Prosecution became the hugest strike against Aileen. After extensive and ongoing investigation, law enforcement finally homed in on Aileen Wuornos as the perpetrator of these cold-blooded highway murders, arrested, charged, tried and convicted her. She was given the death penalty and ultimately had her request for a "single cup of black coffee," as her last meal, prior to lethal injection on October 9th, 2002.
October 9th, 2002, was the final day in the life of Aileen Carol Pittman Wuornos, a life without a chance, void of hope, lacking love, from the moment she entered this world that fateful day, February 29th 1956 in Rochester, Michigan.
Want to know more?
All of the research done for this Hubpages article was taken from numerous sources of the hundreds available on Aileen, her family history, childhood to adult years, legal troubles and ever-constant battle with survival and search to belong somewhere. Her silent pleas to be loved and eventual spin into the depths of hell on earth, remained until her death by lethal injection...alone, strapped to a gurney in the state of Florida.
Lisa Kester and Daphne Gottlieb edited and published a collection of letters written by Wuornos over the span of a decade to a childhood friend, Dawn Botkins. The book is titled: Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words.
The Hollywood movie, "Monster," starring Charlize Theron as Aileen, is a superbly realistic portrayal of the events in Aileen's life from childhood to her conviction. Theron received a well-earned Academy Award for Best Actress for her outstanding performance in 2003.
In 1992, a TV movie was aired starring Jean Smart as Aileen: Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story.
Wuornos was the subject of numerous TV documentary episodes: "Death Row Prostitute: Aileen Wuornos" American Justice Program. There was an episode on TV series Biography, focused on Aileen's life. She was also featured in the Deadly Women episode on "Predators."
All of this attention and focus on one woman.. So much written about her. Songs and poems have been written in memory of Aileen or to feature her life and/or crimes.
During her lifetime, no one ever sang her a song, no one ever wrote her a poem. No one protected her, taught her, guided her through the trials of growing up, no one hugged her and told her she was beautiful.....I wonder....what would Aileen think of all this frenzy over her? Could she ever imagine that one of the world's most beautiful women portrayed her in a Hollywood movie? Not a chance. She would never believe this. She simply couldn't.