one who seriously hates human life and would kill again.
So what's the point! Let's move on. I am asking here then
for the Florida Supreme Court to step in and 'Do Something.'"
- Aileen Wuornos (in a letter to the Florida Supreme Court
pleading for execution, June 2001)
Questioning the Story:
Is Aileen Wuornos really considered to be the first female
No. Although the media hyped Aileen Wuornos as the first
female serial killer, in reality women have been murdering
just as long as men. There methods are usually somewhat
different, often preferring poison to a gun. This may be
why Aileen was wrongly touted as 'the first female serial
killer.' She killed her victims by way of a gun instead
of the stereotypical devices that women serial killers have
often used in the past.
example, in 1981 the pediatric department of the Bexar County
Hospital in San Antonio, Texas watched as many as twenty-five
infants die due to cardiac arrest or runaway bleeding. The
hospital soon discovered that most of the deaths occurred
while the infants were in the care of licensed vocational
nurse Genene Jones (right). After as many as forty-two baby
deaths ended up under investigation, the grand jury returned
indictments against Jones. She was charged with murder after
the discovery of excess drugs in one patient's body. A second
trial found her guilty of administering an overdose of the
blood thinning drug heparin to a different child. This 1984
trial decision caused hospitals across Texas to begin shredding
records of her employment. Why did she do it? Possibly to
be seen as the hero when she was able to save some of the
How many murders did Aileen Wuornos really commit?
Aileen admitted to killing seven men, including a missionary.
She was only convicted of killing six men because the missionary's
body was never found. In the film Monster, this missing
seventh man is very similar to the last man that Aileen
(Charlize Theron) murders. -dailystar.com
Why did Aileen Wuornos commit the murders?
by her teenage mother, Aileen was left in the care of her
grandparents when she was just a toddler. Her father, whom
she never met, hanged himself in a Kansas prison. He had
been serving a life sentence for raping a 7-year-old girl.
Aileen claimed to have been sexually abused by her grandfather
and raped when she was 13. She had her first child when
she was 14, a baby boy, which she put up for adoption. Her
grandmother died soon after the baby's birth. Aileen subsequently
dropped out of school, left home, and became a prostitute.
In the years that followed, Aileen's grandfather committed
suicide and her brother Keith died of cancer. By no means
should her childhood be a justification for her actions,
but it definitely could have left her with severe emotional
scars. Murdering, which she claimed with her first victim
was an act of self-defense, was also a way for her to make
money to support herself and her girlfriend/friend Tyria
Moore, who was 24 when they met at a gay bar in Daytona.
-About.com (Lesbian Life)
Was Aileen Wuornos ever married?
Yes. Shortly after arriving in Florida, Aileen married an
elderly man named Lewis Fell, who earned a substantial income
from railroad stocks. Fell took out a restraining order
on Aileen after she was arrested back home in Michigan for
hurling a cue ball at a bartender's head. The marriage was
subsequently annulled after Lewis Fell claimed that Aileen
had squandered his money and would beat him with his cane
whenever she wanted more cash. -CrimeLibrary.com
Is there any evidence that Aileen's first murder was
an act of self-defense?
some time this remained uncertain. With nothing to support
her claims, Aileen was convicted of killing Richard Mallory
(right, click to enlarge) in January of 1992. In November
of that year, Dateline NBC reporter Michele Gillens discovered
that Richard Mallory had served 10 years for violent rape
in another state. Aileen was never given a re-trial.
-About.com (Lesbian Life)
While on death row was Aileen really legally adopted?
Yes. Although it's not shown in the film, while on death
row Aileen was befriended and legally adopted by Arlene
Pralle, who claimed to have received her orders to do so
from God. -CrimeLibrary.com
Did Aileen Wuornos really wish to be put to death?
Yes. Aileen wrote to Florida's seven Supreme Court Justices
on two different occasions requesting that they cancel her
pending appeals. Regarding her guilt and preference for
the setting of an execution date, she stated, "While
I say, fine and dandy, so be it, and if you'd like I'll
be more than happy to take a polygraph, too, just so matters
are that much more justified before proceeding." -news-journalonline.com
What was the meaning behind Aileen's strange last words?
In all of my research, it seems that no one is really sure
of the meaning behind Aileen Wuornos' last worlds where
she said, "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." I don't want to speculate, so I'll leave it
up to you to figure out a meaning.
How was Aileen Wuornos executed?
Aileen Wuornos was executed by lethal injection on October
9, 2002 at Florida State Prison.
How did Monster director Patty Jenkins obtain her
material for the film?
Making her major motion picture filmmaking debut, director
Patty Jenkins obtained a lot of her research material for
the film by exchanging letters with the real Aileen Wuornos
before Wuornos' 2002 execution. In a CNN interview Jenkins
said that she also used, "Court documents ... lots
of footage of her interviews, all of the transcripts and
depositions from those trials. There have been a ton of
books written about them. And talking to [Aileen]."
Is it true that actress and star Charlize Theron was
the producer of the film Monster?
Yes. Charlize Theron was in fact the producer of the film
Monster. In the CNN interview, director Patty Jenkins
said the following about Theron's additional role on the
set, "It was great. She really signed on as producer
because I think that she knew, as did I, that there is a
long hard road for a movie like this. And [the movie] can
get pushed and pulled in all kinds of different directions.
So instead of being this ... overlord as producer ... she
really just put herself in a position where she could really
defend what it was we wanted to do. And fight for it."
How concerned were the filmmakers with realistically
depicting the true story?
Speaking about the realistic details of the film, director
Patty Jenkins said, "All
those details in the film were meticulously worked on. I
am really obsessive about those details and so is Charlize.
I can't stand characters with contradictory information.
And that's the reason why, hopefully, there's the level
of reality there -- because we made that reality."
Is it true that the filmmakers actually shot in the same
bar that the real Aileen Wuornos used to visit?
Wanting to pay particular attention to the level of detail
in the film, the filmmakers went to Port Orange, Florida
to film at The Last Resort (right), a local bar there that
the real Aileen Wuornos used to frequent regularly. The
bar's owner, Al Bulling, said of Charlize Theron, "Every
minute she was in this bar she was in character. Everything
she did - from lighting cigarettes to laughing - was on
target ...and how she acted, it was beyond excellent."
Bulling wasted no time in marketing the bar's notorious
visitor, selling T-shirts that declare The Last Resort as
the "world famous home of ice cold beer and killer
women." You can also buy bottles of Wuornos' favorite
hot sauce that Bulling renamed "Crazed Killer Hot Sauce."
The real Al Bulling is seen briefly in the film as a bartender
who tells a drunk Theron-as-Wuornos that she can't run a
tab for more beer. She begs "Al will give me credit,"
and he gives her another beer. On a side note, Bulling said
that he can remember Wuornos asking for a ride home at times,
but that she never propositioned anyone in the bar. After
Aileen Wuornos' 1991 arrest made the news, three women showed
up at the bar with photos to find out if their missing husbands
had ever been seen in the bar with Aileen. -dailystar.com
Have any other movies been made about Aileen Wuornos?
In addition to Monster, there have been several films
and television programs about Aileen Wuornos. Nick Broomfield
directed two documentaries, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling
of a Serial Killer (1992) and Aileen: Life and Death
of a Serial Killer (2003). In 1992, the made-for-television
movie Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story aired, starring
Jean Smart (Bringing Down the House, 2003). Actress
Jean Smart is pictured at right. Aileen Wuornos has also been
featured on 60 Minutes, A&E, and Court TV.
With Aileen Wuornos so accurately portrayed by Charlize
Theron, just how accurate was Christina Ricci's depiction
of Wuornos' friend/lover?
Not very accurate, at least physically. To begin with, Wuornos'
companion did not go by the name Selby. Her name was Tyria
Moore and she was a strawberry-redhead. This lack of resemblance
was likely intentional for legal reasons. Tyria Moore is
still alive and could sue the filmmakers. -girlswithguns.org
How did Charlize Theron physically transform herself
for the role of Aileen Wuornos?
Actress Charlize Theron underwent quite a drastic transformation
to play the part of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Theron -
who began her career as a model in her native South Africa
before coming to the U.S. as a ballerina with the Joffrey
Ballet - packed on between twenty-five and thirty pounds for
the role. Makeup artist Tony G put on her makeup. This included
two pairs of teeth, sculpted by Art Sakamoto, which she had
to learn to speak with. Gelatin weighted down her eyelids,
which caused them to sag, making her look tired. Other than
her teeth, no prosthetics were used, just layers of paints.
Letters and other Documents:
you can read two letters written by Aileen Wuornos, both to
the Florida Supreme Court requesting for the dismissal of
her appeals. They express her wish that an execution date
be set. Her cursive is a little hard to read here at times,
but it's still legible. The third document is the death warrant
issued by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, which accommodates Wuornos'
preference for execution.
to the Court (Filed 4-26-2001) [pdf]
to the Court (Filed 6-11-2001) [pdf]
Warrant (Filed 9-05-2002) [pdf]
to Learn More:
Wuornos at CrimeLibrary.com
Briefs and Documents from Aileen Wuornos' Case
the Monster Movie Trailer:
Message Board (Discuss the Film):