9 October 2002 – Aileen Wuornos
The trail started on 1 December 1989 when a policeman found Richard Mallory’s abandoned vehicle. Just 12 days later the shop-owner’s bullet-ridden body was found in the undergrowth in a secluded wood.
All was quiet until mid-1990, when 43-year-old construction worker David Spears’ naked body turned up on 1 June along Highway 19.
Just five days later on 6 June, the corpse of Charles Carskaddon (40) a part-time rodeo worker was found.
A month later 50-year-old sausage seller Troy Burress’ badly decomposed body was discovered on 4 August. Ex-police chief and child abuse investigator Charles ‘Dick’ Humphreys’s (56) was Wuornos next victim to be found on 12 September followed by a nearly naked 62-year-old Walter Jeno Antonio a couple of months later on 19 November in Dixie County.
Each man had been shot at least twice. The trail ended with 65-year-old Peter Siems. He disappeared in June 1990, but Wuornos was seen by witnesses dumping the car and her palm print on the interior door handle put her at the scene of the crime. Ironically Siems’ body has never been found.
Born to a dysfunctional family, she never knew her father, Leo Dale Pittman, who was a sociopath, who was done for child abuse. He was strangled (or hanged himself) in prison in 1969. Her mother abandoned the little girl and her older brother, so her grandparents adopted then.
Her grandfather started abusing Wuornos while her alcoholic grandmother abused her physically. It then emerged that her grandfather actually turned out to be her father. So it was hardly surprising that at by the age of 15, she’d had a baby, which was given up for adoption and been turfed out of home.
The soon-to-be serial killer then turned to prostitution as a means of supporting herself and her girlfriend and this threw her in the path of her victims.
But the death toll couldn’t remain a secret forever and the law finally caught up with her. Wuornos was found guilty and had five death sentences to her name by mid-1992. She was finally executed in Florida by lethal injection in 2002, aged 44.