Aileen Wuornos Murders
Wuornos’ first known victim was an electronics shop owner, 51-year-old Richard Mallory from Clearwater, Florida, who picked up Wuornos on 30th November 1989. She claims that he tried to rape her, and that she killed him in self-defence (he was later discovered to have a criminal record for rape, although it was not raised at her trial.) She shot him three times with a .22 pistol, dumped his body in a wood beside Interstate 95 in Volusia County, Florida and stole his Cadillac. His car was discovered abandoned outside Daytona a few days later, and two young men discovered his naked body on 13th December 1989. During the investigation of Mallory’s life and death, police discovered a pattern of alcohol and sex binges, extending back over a number of years, and made little headway in the search for his killer.
It was six months before the next victim was discovered, 43-year old David Spears, a heavy machinery operator from Sarasota. His naked body was found on 1st June 1990 in Citrus County, 40 miles north of Tampa, Florida, and he had been shot six times with a .22 pistol. It took police another week to effect identification, via dental records, and they discovered that he had been missing since 19th May, and that his truck had been found some days later, abandoned on Interstate 75. By the time Spears had been identified, another naked victim had been found, this time thirty miles south of Pasco County, near the Interstate 75, on 6th June 1990. The body was so badly decomposed that police were unable to progress their identification immediately, but the fact that the corpse was naked, and riddled with nine .22 calibre bullets, led to it being tentatively linked to the two previous victims. The victim was later identified as 40-year old rodeo worker, Charles Carskaddon.
Wuornos’ next victim was 50-year old delivery driver Eugene Burress, whose employer raised the alarm when he failed to complete his delivery route on 30th July 1990. His delivery truck was found abandoned the next day, and a picnicking family discovered his body, on 4th August 1990, in the Ocala National Forest. He had been shot twice with a .22-calibre pistol.
A month later, 56-year-old Dick Humphreys, a former police chief and Department of Health employee from Sumterville, was reported missing by his wife, on 11th September 1990. His body was found the next evening in Marion County. He had been shot seven times with a .22 pistol.
Another two months passed before the discovery of Wuornos’ seventh victim, a 60-year-old truck driver from Merrit Island called Walter Antonio, whose naked body was discovered in Dixie County on 19th November 1990. He had been dead less than 24 hours, shot three times in the back and once in the head, also with a .22 firearm.
It didn’t take long for the leads to start pouring in, and by mid-December, police had several tips involving the same two women, which led to the identification of Tyria Moore, as well as three other names: Lee Blahovec, Lori Grody and Cammie Marsh Green, which all matched the description of the second woman. The Greene ID was the one that paid off best. Volusia County officers checked area pawnshops and found that in Daytona, Cammie Marsh Greene had pawned a camera and a radar detector, and had left the requisite thumbprint on the receipt. An analysis of these fingerprints linked Greene to Grody, and also matched the prints lifted from Siem’s stolen car. The information was passed to the National Crime Information Center, and the three aliases were linked to Aileen Wuornos. By 5 January 1991 the police finally had a focus for their investigative efforts.
A mammoth manhunt was initiated, and Wuornos was tracked down to Port Orange, Florida, where local forces had to be called off from arresting her immediately, so that the task force could track her movements and see whether she made contact with Moore, their other suspect. The next afternoon, 9th January 1991, Wuornos was arrested at the Last Resort bar. The following day Tyria Moore was traced to her sister’s home in Pittston, Pennsylvania, where she revealed to the police that Wuornos had admitted the murder of Mallory to her, on the day it had happened, but Moore had deliberately avoided discussing any other suspicious incidents with her, fearing for her own safety. Moore made a deal to help the police build a case against Wuornos, and the two conducted a series of recorded telephone conversations over the next few days, during which Moore pleaded with Wuornos to confess, to spare Moore from prosecution as an accomplice. Wuornos was initially cautious on the phone, but faced with the prospect that Moore would also be prosecuted, she confessed to six of the murders on 16th January 1991, claiming that they had all been acts of self-defence, and that Moore had had no involvement in any of them.