At the age of 9 she was giving blow jobs in exchange for cigarettes. She was physically and sexually abused by her Grandfather. She had a incestuous relationship with her brother. At the age of 14 she had a child, the product of a rape committed by a friend of her Grandfather. After the birth of the child she was thrown out of her house and lived rough, whatever the weather. She never knew her Father but he was a paedophile who committed suicide in prison; her mother left her in the care of her abusive Grandfather when she was 4 years old. She had no-one so, to keep herself alive, she turned to prostitution while she was still a child…………This woman died aged 46.
She survived a childhood, if one can call it that, which she left without ever having known real love or affection. The male role models in her life inflicted nothing but pain and suffering on her and her female role models left her – her mother, voluntarily, when she was 4 and her Grandmother, who died, when she was 14.
She seemed to crave affection but her only experience of it was through the act of sex; she ‘dated’ a young man regularly but, because of her promiscuity, he wanted nothing to do with her in public and would throw rocks at her and be verbally abusive if she approached him in front of other people. She was ostracized by her peers and rejected by her family. When she was living rough, it was in some woods close to where she lived, not in a city where she may have had the chance to interact with others and find some sort of help; she was isolated both physically and emotionally for a period of 2 years.
She eventually moved away from her home town, hitchhiking and offering sex in exchange for money; she had no experience of what we would call a normal life but, somehow, she survived.
When she was 21 her brother died of cancer; although their physical relationship was incestuous and we cannot know whether it stemmed from affection or not, this was another loss in her life, someone else who had abandoned her. Her life as a sex worker continued; she was used by men who thought no more of using her than they would a paper tissue – something to fulfill a physical need and then throw away afterwards…
10 years later she seemed to have given up all hope of finding a man to share her life with and so she turned to a woman instead. She claimed to have found her true love and we can only assume that she had finally found a degree of happiness, despite the fact that her lover was content to be supported from her earnings as a prostitute.
At the age of 33, she stumbled into the path of a convicted rapist and, after that her life would change forever………..
Do you feel pity for this woman? For the awful, shitty life that she had? Do you wonder what became of her after she met that rapist?
She killed him.
Her name was Aileen Wuornos and, after she shot this man, she shot another 6 and was branded a serial killer. I watched a documentary about her last night and it strengthened my conviction that the death penalty is fundamentally wrong; there is no doubt that Aileen was a murderer and her terrible experiences in life cannot be used as a defense for her actions. However heinous her crimes, they were probably carried out as a result of the appalling abuse that she had suffered from men throughout her whole life. Her punishment was death, the same ‘punishment’ that, in her eyes, she had inflicted on the men that she killed. We can only imagine the psychological trauma that she suffered both as a child and as an adult but we have to assume that those who pronounced sentence upon her were of sound mind. So, on the one hand we have death in the name of anger and frustration and, on the other, we have death in the name of righteousness. One is premeditated, cold blooded, murder and the other is the death penalty: considered in depth before the act and carried out without any emotional involvement.
What do you think? Did she deserve to die?