To say that Aileen’s start in life was a poor one, is a great understatement. It was a horrible life right from the start. One of the only good things about her life was that she never got to know her father, a psychopathic child molester, serving a life sentence in a Kansas prison for raping a 7 year old girl, who hanged himself in prison in 1969. (Arrigo & Griffin (2004).
Aileen Wuornos was born Aileen Carol Pittman, on February 29, 1956 in Rochester, Michigan. At the time of her birth, her mother, Diane Wuornos was 17 years old. Her mother married, Leo Dale Pittman, when she was 15 years old, on June 4, 1954. Aileen’s older brother Keith was born in February of 1955. When Aileen was less than 2 years old her mother, Diane, divorced her father. Aileen’s mother was afraid of her father and with good reason. (Arrigo & Griffin (2004).
Unable to cope with the responsibilities of being a single mother, Diane abandoned her two children at a young age. Her mother left one day and never returned. Aileen’s alcoholic grandparents, Lauri and Britta Wuornos adopted Aileen and her brother in 1960. The Wuornoses raised the two children as their own, along with their other two other children. Aileen and her brother were never told that Lauri and Britta were in fact their grandparents and not their parents. Both children were physically abused by their grandparents.
Her grandparents were distant and unaffectionate. Her grandfather was emotionally and physically abusive to her. He called her derogatory names telling her she was worthless and should never have been born. He also beat her on several occasions. He beat her with a strap on her naked buttocks, face down and spread eagle upon a bed. Her grandmother, a passive alcoholic ignored her husband’s abuse and emotionally abused Aileen as well. (Arrigo & Griffin, (2004).
At the age of 6, Aileen was severely burned on her face from starting fires using lighter fluid. Although she recovered from the burns, she bore permanent scars on her face. At the age of 9, Aileen began trading sexual favors with children in school for cigarettes, drugs and food. At the age of 14, Aileen became pregnant and was sent to a home for unwed mothers. Aileen claimed the child belonged to a friend of her grandfather, who had raped her. She gave birth to a son in 1971 and put him up for adoption. It was fortunate for the child that he was never raised by his birth mother. (Harry (2002)
In July of that same year, Aileen’s grandmother, Britta, died of liver failure. Britta was an abusive alcoholic, and on the night of her death was having convulsions. An ambulance was never called because of her grandfather’s inability to pay for this service. Aileen dropped out of school, left home, hitchhiked and began a life of prostitution. Her brother died of throat cancer at the age of 21, and her grandfather committed suicide. At the age of 18 Aileen began her life of crime. (Arrigo & Griffin (2004).
As a teen she began a pattern of drinking and using drugs. She attempted to obtain a job but her employment expectations were unrealistic having no education beyond early high school. Her only means of supporting herself was panhandling, hustling pool and her profession as a prostitute. (Arrigo & Griffin, (2004).
At the age of 20 Aileen met and married Lewis Fell, a man that was more than twice her age. The marriage lasted briefly. Fell left Aileen because she would frequent bars and was constantly being arrested for fighting. While living on her own Aileen was arrested for several crimes, including prostitution, forgery, check fraud and armed robbery. At the age of 22, Aileen attempted suicide by shooting herself in the stomach after being rejected by a lover. She spent two weeks in the hospital. Upon her release she overdosed on tranquilizers. Altogether, Aileen attempted suicide 6 times between the ages of 14 and 22. (Shipley (2001).
Aileen was arrested in three different states for being a...
References: Arrigo, B. A., & Griffin, A. (2004). Serial murder and the case of Aileen Wuornos: Attachment theory, psychopathy, and predatory aggression. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 22(3), 375-393.
Chesler, P. (1993). A woman 's right to self-defense: The case of aileen carol wuornos. Off our backs, 23, 7. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.exproxy.rasmussen.edu/docview/197123102?accountid=40836
Hamilton, A. (1993). Phyllis chesler on aileen wuornos. Off our backs, 23, 8. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/docview/197122480?accountid=40836
Harry, J. L. (2002). Florida executes 10th woman in U.S. since 1977. Corrections compendium, 27(11), 23. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/docview/211793245?accountid=40836
Shipley, S. L. (2001). Attachment, psychopathy, and women who commit predatory homicide: A case study investigation.). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 399-399. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/docview/
Please join StudyMode to read the full document