Aileen Wuornos Killer Profile

A prostitute with a fear of abandonment and a history of sexual abuse, Aileen Wuornos was a disorganized, visionary killer who murdered and robbed her victims. With her ill-gotten gains, she sought to provide for herself and her girlfriend Tyria Moore.

Born: February 29, 1956, Rochester, MI

Died: October 9, 2002, Florida State Prison

M.O.: Shooting with a .22 caliber revolver

Signature: Robbed victims to be the “breadwinner” for herself and her girlfriend

Victim count: Killed 7 men; only convicted of 6 because one man’s body was never found

Best known for: Carrying a “kill bag,” which contained her gun and a bottle of Windex, and pretending to be a hitchhiker or a prostitute looking for clientele

“I killed those men. I robbed them as cold as ice. And I’d do it again too. There is no reason for keeping me alive or anything. I would kill again. There is too much hate crawling up in my system.” - Aileen Wuornos


The instability and abuse in Aileen Wuornos’s early life motivated many of her destructive choices as an adult. Abandoned twice by her mother and physically abused by her grandfather, Aileen had a low self-esteem and was terribly insecure. She and her biological brother Keith had sex multiple times before she turned eleven. She had sex with other kids in exchange for cigarettes, drugs and food, learning young that she could make “good money” from prostitution. When Keith died of of esophageal cancer, and she was yet again “abandoned,” the distraught Aileen attempted to commit suicide. Later in life, when triggered by her fear of abandonment, she murdered seven people.

In her thirties,  Aileen found a semblance of stability in Tyria Moore, who she considered the love of her life. Tyria got closer to Aileen than anyone else had ever bothered to, and Aileen used her prostitution money to support and care for Tyria. It was short lived. Financial instability, jealousy, and fear of abandonment compelled Aileen to rob and murder her first victim. Her next victims were killed months later when a visit from Tyria’s sister shattered Aileen’s illusion of stability and threatened her relationship with Tyria. Desperate, Aileen murdered for her victims’ money and cars to prove to Tyria that she was a good breadwinner.

When caught by the police, she claimed to have killed in self-defense, that the men she murdered hurt her or tried to rape her. However, her possession of a “kill bag” containing Windex for cleaning up crime scenes reveals her intent to murder. It’s been determined that none of her victims were picked out ahead of time and were each opportunity kills. Aileen scored a 32/40 on the Psychopathy Checklist - Revised Test and also suffered from borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.

Aileen’s greatest fears were realized when Tyria turned her in for legal immunity, abandoning her. At her trial, Aileen spoke matter-of-factly about the killings, believing herself justified in her acts of “self-defense” and somewhat enjoying the attention. She was genuinely shocked to hear she’d been given the death penalty six times over and tried to appeal them, but eventually accepted her fate. When talking to a psychologist about it, Aileen admitted her guilt. However, the day before her execution, she returned to her original story in a last ditch attempt to find sympathy and forgiveness. During her execution, Aileen wore a leather jacket with angel wings, either truly believing or desperately hoping that she would go to heaven.