As a child, Aileen Wuornos was subjected to repeated sexual, physical, and mental abuse. This was at the hands of her grandfather who raised her as his own, after her birth mother rejected her.
As an adult, Aileen Wuornos became a sex worker, and she made a living from it, moving to Florida when she was in her 30s. The effect of this lifestyle may have begun to to take its toll on her.
Between 1989 and 1990 she shot dead seven men who had picked her up as a hitchhiker. She would then end up drinking alcohol with them. After killing them, she would take their vehicle and steal cash and other valuables.
There is a theory that she killed these particular men because they either expected sex in return for the lift, or they attempted to rape her. She shot them because they were taking liberties, just like her grandfather had during her childhood.
She was executed for her crimes by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.
Here is what Patrick Tobin wrote about the Aileen Wuornos story.
I've always enjoyed playing about with words, like writing lyrics or short stories at school. The first one I really finished was titled The Ballad of Aileen Wuornos. I learnt about Aileen Wuornos in 2002 after watching a documentary about her impending execution. I stayed up for nights just thinking about the circumstances of her life. I saw in her a story of an injustice which exploded down the barrel of a gun. She shot seven men dead whilst working as a prostitute on the highways of America. I connected with her. The way she was mistreated as a child, how she found herself on the outside of society at such a young age. I can't condone what she did, but I can understand why she did it. What worries me is she only came to prominence through her crimes. Before she murdered those men she was just another hooker on the highway looking for a trick to buy her next fix. A cliché, but true. Her mental health issues were never really recognized until it was too late and she was out of control. She wasn't born to kill these men. It was the circumstances of her childhood which developed her rage. Her childhood consumed her as a young woman into adulthood, and would lead her to murder. The injustice lies in the way she was treated by a system that should have recognised her vulnerability as an abused child, rather than exploiting her notoriety as a convicted murderer. America's first so called female serial killer. The consequences of Aileen Wuornos’ life may be the death of those men and her execution, but what happened prior to her killing spree went a long way to outline the reasons for her actions. The ballad I wrote was directed by the need to express the injustice I saw in her life. The criminal case against her became a media circus. It was also a way for me to express myself through her story.
Read more of Patrick Tobin’s thoughts in his memoirs about a life with schizophrenia.
Homesake is available on Amazon Kindle via this link