Aileen Wuornos: The Victim Behind The Monster

3669 words - 15 pages

Victim Behind the MonsterAileen Wuornos: The Victim Behind the MonsterMichelle L. OsborneCRJ 243: Criminal Profiling (W02)Professor David Cheatle06/29/12Abstract: Female serial killers are a rare presence in our world. Though women have been killing for many years, their motivations differ greatly from those of their male counterparts. One of the most perplexing examples among this small group is the case of Aileen Wuornos. During a twelve month period beginning in 1989 and ending in 1990, Wuornos murdered seven men. She failed to meet the usual characteristics one would expect from a female serial killer. The media frenzy that ensued during this case was immense and as a result, the general public was out for blood. Aileen was quickly labeled a monster, but was she really? Or were the atrocities she suffered as a child so great that she never recovered? Her actions were inexcusable; however, looking over the course of her life, one can't help but wonder if she were always destined to commit some terrible crimes.Aileen Wuornos: The Victim Behind the MonsterFemale serial killers are a rare breed. Throughout history, there have been very few examples of a true "female serial killer". Despite the research, so much remains a mystery as to why these women kill. Unlike men, their motives are not typically sexual in nature. Rather, they tend to murder for material gain, are usually emotionally close to their victims, or generally need to have a relationship with the victim. A notable exception to these characteristics is Aileen Wuornos; one of America's few female serial killers. The location of her killings, her method of killing, and the way she chose her victims went against the typical characteristics associated with female serial killers. This paper will examine Aileen's motivations, methods, victim selection, and the investigation that led to her arrest.Within criminology, it is a known fact that causality is quite difficult to prove. Reasons for committing crimes vary, and sometimes no such reasons exist. Looking over the course of Aileen's life, in many ways, it appears she was doomed from the start. From a very young age, Wuornos was physically, verbally, and sexually abused. Through the DNA of her parents, she received a predisposition for alcoholism, aggression, and a below average IQ. All of these factors, combined with her home environment, made her much more likely to engage in deviant behavior (DellaSanta-Percy, 2003).Aileen Carol Wuornos was born on February 29, 1956 in Troy, Michigan to adolescent parents who divorced around the time of her birth. Her father, Leo Pittman, was a convicted pedophile serving a life sentence for raping a seven-year-old girl. He was also a diagnosed schizophrenic who later committed suicide while serving his sentence. Her mother, Diane Pratt, abandoned Aileen, along with her brother Keith when she was just nine months old. Diane's parents legally adopted the children in March of 1960; however, their home...

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