Take your worst nightmares, and put my face to them.

— Tommy Lynn Sells
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Aileen Wuornos Trial


Wuornos’s attorneys engineered a plea bargain, to which Wuornos agreed, in which she would plead to six charges (all but Peter Siems, whose body was never recovered and whose murder she continued to deny, despite the evidence which conclusively linked her with his stolen car) and receive six consecutive life terms. One state attorney, however, thought she should receive the death penalty, so on January 14, 1992, Wuornos went to trial for the murder of Richard Mallory. The evidence and witnesses against her were severely damaging. Dr. Arthur Botting, the medical examiner who had autopsied Mallory’s body, stated that Mallory had taken between ten and 20 agonizing minutes to die. Tyria Moore testified that Wuornos had not seemed overly upset, nervous or drunk when she told her of killing Mallory.

On 27th January 1992 the jury took less than two hours to find her guilty of first-degree murder, and as they filed out of the courtroom she exploded with rage, shouting, “I’m innocent! I was raped! I hope you get raped! Scumbags of America!” Her outburst was still fresh in the minds of jurors as the penalty phase of her trial began the next day. Expert witnesses for the defense testified that Wuornos was mentally ill, that she suffered from borderline personality disorder, and that her tumultuous upbringing had stunted and ruined her. Jenkins referred to her client as “a damaged, primitive child” as she pleaded with the jury to spare Wuornos’s life. But jurors neither forgot nor forgave the woman they’d come to know during the trial. With a unanimous verdict, they recommended that Judge Blount sentence her to the electric chair. He did so on January 31.

Two months later, on 31st March 1992, Wuornos pleaded guilty to the murders of Troy Burress, Dick Humphreys and David Spears, and received three further death sentences on 15th May 1992.

In June 1992, Wuornos also pleaded guilty to the murder of Charles Carskaddon, and added another death sentence to her total in November 1992.

In February 1993 she admitted the murder of Walter Antonio and added her sixth, and final, death sentences. She was never tried for the murder of Peter Siems.