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Aileen Wuornos was no monster Why do we continue to sensationalise this tormented woman's desperate life?

Aileen Wuornos's life was hell from the day she was born.

Aileen Wuornos's life was hell from the day she was born.


November 12, 2020   7 mins

When I hear that Peter Sutcliffe, the serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper, is expected to die any moment, I think about monsters like him, and how his murderous reign of terror left its stamp not just on the victims and their loved ones, but on women everywhere.

There are monsters, though, and there are misrepresentations. Can we even begin to compare a man who rapes, murders and defiles the bodies of his female victims to Aileen Wuornos, a woman who perfectly fit the profile of a victim of a serial killer such as Sutcliffe —  but who, instead, has been represented as his female counterpart? They even made a film about her: Monster.

The story of Aileen Wuornos, branded America’s first female serial killer, sits on that blurry edge between fact and fiction. Her life reads like the bleakest of horror stories in which there is no reprieve or redemption, but instead a trail of death and destruction culminating in her execution by lethal injection.

At the age of 46, the former prostitute was put to death in Florida, in 2002, having killed seven men — in self defence, she always claimed.

Wuornos’s life was hell from the day she was born. Her mother was barely 14 when she married 16-year-old Leo Dale Pittman. He was already a serial sex offender and, at the time Wuornos was born, in 1956, he was in prison for the rape of a child. He later hanged himself while still inside.

When she was four, Wuornos and her brother were abandoned by their mother and sent to live with their alcoholic and abusive grandparents. The young girl was repeatedly raped by multiple family members, and by the time she was 11, was being sexually abused by boys and men in the neighbourhood in return for cigarettes, booze and what she understood as ‘affection’.

After another rape, Wuornos became pregnant aged 14 and her baby was given up for adoption. She ran away to live in the nearby woods, selling sex to survive. After a miserable lifetime of selling sex to men she found repulsive, being raped and abused and treated like dirt, Wuornos’s tenuous coping strategies wore down to zero. She could no longer cope with the daily hell her life had become.

“Aileen was terrorised by violent johns, and eventually lashed out in crazed defence, just like men do in wars when they are also afraid of getting killed or tortured,” says psychologist Melissa Farley, who was involved in the case.

The news coverage of the Wuornos trial — which can be seen in the documentaries Nick Broomfield made about her — completely omitted any mention of her tormented mental state, though. She was depicted as an avaricious sexual deviant, seducing men and then gleefully murdering them before running off with their money and her lesbian lover. Wuornos, though, had been damaged and traumatised beyond measure by a lifetime of sexual violence. She didn’t have a rational understanding of her rights when she was arrested, and her inconsistent confessions were all the prosecution needed to bring a 12:0 verdict. Three detectives on the case, meanwhile, as well Wournos’s girlfriend, Tyria Moore, sold their story to the media.

A voyeuristic body of work has grown up around her tragic tale. Wournos’s story has been used in a dozen documentaries and films, the most famous of which is 2003’s Monster, starring Charlize Theron. There are books, academic studies, umpteen podcasts, 10 songs and even an opera about Wuornos’s life and crimes. In fact, Broomfield’s first documentary about her, The Selling of a Serial Killer highlights the exploitation of Wuornos by those around her.

The latest addition to this sorry library is a book by US feminist academic and psychologist Phyllis Chesler entitled Requiem for a Female Serial Killer. Chesler was interested in Wuornos right from the get go: after hearing that Wuornos was planning on pleading self-defence, she called her up, thinking she could help.

As Chesler puts it: “I wanted a jury to hear the truth about how dangerous the ‘working life’ really is; how prostitutes are routinely infected with diseases, gang-raped, tortured, and murdered; and that Wuornos had been raped and beaten so many times that, by now, if she was at all human, she’d have to be permanently drunk and out of her mind.”

Chesler describes her book as being: “…about a female serial killer and about the way in which her badass deeds pried the world’s imagination wide open. Here was a ‘nobody’ who became a ‘somebody’, a throwaway child who became the whore who shot down johns. Someone anonymous who became famous, a kickass folk hero like Jesse James or Bonnie and Clyde.”

Requiem is fascinating, flawed and exploitative. Written in a true crime/potboiler style, it is full of vivid descriptions of Wuornos’s crimes and imagined conversations and is dripping with misrepresention. Chesler breathlessly describes Wuornos early on as: “the hitchhiking  lesbian prostitute [who] was no longer prey; she had become a predator”. And she believed Wuornos had “the forbidden feminist longing” to become a “predator”, based on no real evidence whatsoever.

Wuornos’s lawyer, on the other hand, described her as the “most disturbed individual”, and Nick Broomfield, after interviewing her for the final time said: “My conclusion from the interview is today we are executing someone who is mad.”

There are, though, some invaluable insights from Wuornos in Requiem, such as this extract from a letter she wrote to Chesler in February 1992 from her prison cell, following her conviction:

“I am a female who has been raped and the male dominant world is laughing. They’ve succeeded to putting me in the chair to prove that men can and will do as they want to us women of America.”

All Wuornos’s victims were ‘johns’ who crawled the highways looking for women. Wuornos left their bodies in wooded areas off Highway I-75, Florida, over a 12-month period. All had been shot with the same pistol between two and nine times. All were white men between the ages of 40 and 65.

Richard Mallory, 51, was the first victim, shot dead on 30 November 1989. Wuornos claimed the convicted rapist had sodomised, brutally beaten and tortured her. David Spears, Charles Carskaddon, Peter Siems, Troy Burress, Charles Humphreys and Walter Antonio would meet the same fate.

There was nothing extraordinary about any of these men, except Humphreys. He was a retired US Air Force Major, former State Child Abuse Investigator and former Chief of Police. Perhaps that’s why he was the only man Wuornos shot in the head, execution style.

As Chesler recounts from Wuornos’ statement: “Humphreys took his badge out and he said I’m gonna have you arrested for prostitution. I said: Bullshit you are. So he grabbed my hand… my arm, and he said, no, better yet, how would you like to suck my dick and I won’t do anything, but you’re not gettin’ any money for it. If you suck my dick I won’t arrest you and you can go scott free.”

Throughout her book, though, Chesler supports and perpetuates the lazy description of this woman as a ‘monster’; nowhere does she challenge the label of ‘serial killer’. I called Nick Broomfield who is, in my view, the only person who has told Wuornos’s story in an honest and non-exploitative way. Broomfield tells me he is “haunted’ by the case.

“People painted Aileen as a monster,” he says, “which she was not. She was also not a serial killer. Aileen neither planned her crimes, stalked her victims, or took any pleasure from what she did.”

Melissa Farley agrees. “Aileen was exploited and used all her life by men doing monstrous things to her, and I know she hated that being applied to her. This book does nothing to disabuse the reader of the mythology that has been created about Aileen.

“Wuornos was defending herself, not seeking to become the ‘whore who shot down johns’ or some sort of folk hero,” Farley continues. “She killed those men because they raped her and threatened her life, which is common in the type of prostitution Wuornos was involved in.”

The dialogue is at its most jarring when Chesler “gets inside [Wuornos’s] mind” and imagines what she was thinking about her victims: “But he promised! But he owed her! But she’d worked for it! She’d fucked for it. Fucked for it? Tough shit lady. The state doesn’t enforce verbal contracts between whores and johns.”

The book veers between potboiler and parody, littered with stereotypes and cliches: “Wuornos only wants a ‘piece of the pie’, she surrendered long ago, the way all ‘good girls’ are supposed to. Just let the woman have her Bud, her Marlboros, her girlfriend, her motel room, and when she’s goddam ready to spread ‘em and sell, don’t mess with her. Pay her, fuck her, and be on your way.”

In another section, Chesler writes: “All her life, she’d welcomed men who ‘wanted one thing only’, and if they cursed at her, well, let them, they were paying; it didn’t bother her anyway.”

These are not the sentiments of any of the hundreds of women in prostitution I have met. I believe that Wuornos was so brutalised by men during her life that her actions — however extreme, however hard to condone — were committed in self-defence. They could, therefore, be described as understandable.

Wuornos, it seems, wised up to Chesler, telling her in no uncertain terms to leave her alone, “that [i]t is quite obvious that your interest in my behalfs, are not in the right places. I can diffentately sense a swindle in you. . . So, this will be the final reply back.”

Chesler invitably, wasn’t having any of it: “So: I had Wuornos’ permission to write about the Case, but not about her life. Does she think that her life or what she’s done ‘belongs’ to her and not to the universe-at-large? Does Wuornos think she can sell pieces of her story, or the same piece, over and over again?  Does she think being on trial for murder is an asset she can merchandise?”

Wuornos, though, wasn’t selling herself any more. She knew that there were countless women like her, being raped and beaten and offered no protection or justice by the police. In a letter to her childhood friend Dawn in 1995, she wrote that there should be a “nationwide self-defence law for women”.

These are not the words of an insane person or a sexually fetishistic serial killer; these are the words of someone desperately wanting to protect herself — and others like her. Regardless, Chesler strips her of dignity and turns her into tabloid fodder.

There are books that can help the reader understand human cruelty and how people can turn into real sexual predators, such as Jonathan Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam or Kate Millett’s The Basement. Requiem, though, is a travesty. It fails to explain Wuornos and fails to help the reader understand the cumulative effects of male violence and cruelty on women.

I followed the case avidly at the time and, as Nick Bloomfield also admits, I find that the life and death of this tortured and abused woman still preys on my mind. I desperately wanted Requiem to lay to rest some of the lies about Aileen Wuornos. I wanted it to name her as a victim of both men’s violence and of the man-made law. But Requiem, just like every other attempt at telling this terrible story, has failed.

There are countless other Aileen Wuornos’s, tortured, neglected children that grow into the type of woman that sadistic men prey upon. They are seen as disposable, as scum, and when they die we barely notice. Wuornos flipped the script. She blew wide open the reality of women’s lives in the face of the worst of male violence. But, still, so unjustly, she remains the monster.


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Jeri Flynn
Jeri Flynn
3 years ago

What a bunch of cold, heartless comments here. Fact is, Wournos was abandoned, raped and beaten for sport by family members, and their friends, by age 11. Eleven! Do any of you have daughters, sisters, nieces, grandchildren at home? Would you allow one-tenth of what happened to this child go on without calling the authorities on her abusers? Child services was not there to protect this child, not neighbors, or school, so no surprise psychopathy drove her to murder as an adult. I don’t believe she’s innocent of her crimes, but I find it appalling that she wasn’t found guilty by reason of mental defect, and sentenced to life in a secure setting for the criminally insane. It’s the least the legal system could have done for her smh. 11 years old, already raped repeatedly…shame!

LavenderMeltss
LavenderMeltss
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeri Flynn

I agree, murder should never be excused regardless of the circumstance however you can come to understand it. I feel like most people, when they see a murderer, cant see past that but there’s so much more to it, man or women. Maybe for some people it came naturally, but for others they were driven to that point. Having gone through multiple sexual assaults starting at 8, witnessing and experiencing violence throughout early childhood I understand how dehumanizing and painful it is to live your life that way, and it’s different for every victim. During these times, I couldn’t see myself as anything other than a tool/toy only good for a man’s pleasure. I considered being a sex worker at 12 since it seemed it was all I was good for. When I wanted to escape, to retaliate, I wanted to combat cruelty and violence with more cruelty and violence. If I didn’t have the support and help when I did, I honestly don’t know where I would be. Would I have followed a similar path to Aileen? When I take into account how my experiences made me feel, I can only begin to imagine the hell that was her life and I can understand why she was driven to murder. It truly is a shame how the legal system works.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

Bindell fails to mention that Wuornos’ victims were not exactly in a
position to provide evidence of their own murders at trial. She then
accepts everything Wuornos, or her sympathisers, have said without
equivocation. The jury at trial -who probably heard a lot more about it
than Bindell ever has – clearly did not. Psychopaths, (Wuornos’ pattern
of lifelong behaviours indicates quite strongly she was a psychopath)
have, to put it mildly, a tendency to tell lies -so the question becomes
why Bindell chooses just to believe everything she says.

No doubt there were dreadful circumstances in Wuornos’ life which produced
psychopathy. What I find dumbfounding is Bindell’s blinkered take on
all this – that once again the woman is all saint, and any unsaintly
behaviour is attributable, and excusable, because of experiences of
abuse.

The same moral standard does not seem to apply to any man apparently. Sutcliffe -a paranoid schizophrenic detained under the mental health act -receives no such sympathetic treatment. He’s definitely just a monster. But Wuornos was no monster.

I find this split view of men and women incredibly amateurish, antiquated and more redolent of patriarchy than I suspect Bindell herself can appreciate.

But beyond this it’s staggering what behaviours can become excusable when
one is so resolutely committed to an ideological belief system.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago

It’s not hypocritical. The underlying belief is that men are the problem, and only men are the problem.

It’s the sort of simplification that less intelligent people have to make I’m afraid.

Mind you, someone has to be an advocate for the Devil, or how will we know he’s guilty?

Vóreios Paratiritís
Vóreios Paratiritís
3 years ago

Yes. A million times yes. This is the cost of ideology, the falsification of reality followed by failure and ultimately injustice.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago

You beat me to it…the quote attributed to the Chief of police bloke wasn’t recorded, it was what she said he said…which doesn’t make it untrue, but it doesn’t make it true either, even if he was the only victim she ever murdered.

There’s was to exploit these old cuttings jobs on criminals and *true crime* which is all over the media, book, podcast and TV world these days…and then there’s different ways to exploit them.

Banging on about the tabloids reminds me of how the broadsheets, especially the Telegraph would have goes at the Red Tops for sensationalism then often use the most salacious details in their court reports that the Red Tops wouldn’t actually use.

I think Boris has a phrase for this….something to do with having cake…

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Interestingly this looks like they’ve taken down Wournos verbatim:
>> So he grabbed my hand”¦ my arm,

She might have slipped here. The Chief of police may have been trying to handcuff her, which doesn’t fit with the story she’s telling. I don’t like to read too much into these things, she may have been correcting a turn of phrase (“grabbed my hand”) but it makes you wonder.

Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
3 years ago

Well said. When I saw this article, my interest was immediately sparked. However, when I saw the author, I almost didn’t bother to read it. Bindel didn’t disappoint: her ‘all women are victims of men’s evil oppression’ agenda shone through.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago

I’m not sure Bindel did simply accept her claims about the circumstances, though she is less skeptical perhaps than she ought to be.

However, it truly doesn’t seem to occur to her that male serial killers may equally come out of terrible circumstances outside their control. Despite there being many examples of just that kind of situation.

William Gladstone
William Gladstone
3 years ago

An abuse victim who turned into a sociopath like many similar men, its horrible, evil, unfair but it doesnt make her innocent. I read your stuff and most of it goes along the line of this person has different genitalia therefore there should be a different set of rules. Try applying that to race or any other dividing line. No a fair legal system should be blind. End of story.

Megan Butler
Megan Butler
1 year ago

She deserved so much better. How can you read this entire thing, and this is the best opinion you could form?

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

This subject and, in my opinion, excellent, fair, balanced and moving article, raises far more controversy than I would have honestly expected.

Seriously.

Yes, Wuornos very obviously wrongly and misguidedly sought vengeance on the wrong people ie shooting dead people who were apparently ‘just’ out to scratch a sexual itch and paying for the privilege rather than targeting those individuals who had abused her throughout what must have been her utterly miserable transformative childhood, but to equate her dreadful actions and motivations with the majority of heterosexual male serial killers, most of whom are undoubtedly driven by their overactive libidos and own warped fantasies of complete domination of their hapless prey, often manifesting itself in hideous, protracted, deliberately degrading torture and disfigurement, to even attempt to begin to draw parallels between the two seems, as some do here in some highly suspect, spurious ‘sauce for the goose type’ narrative, is beyond the realms offensive to me.

*And should you downvote this, please feel free to add a comment to explain why.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Here’s my ‘downvote’ and here’s my comment…

Wournos became a prostitute and then murdered her punters. Seven times. She’s a serial killer. Which part of this is complicated? Perhaps you just don’t like it that a woman could be called a serial killer -as if no such thing should ever be attached to a woman. It’s less common for sure, but it does happen, and quite commonly. We know of about at least 64 in history -and women tend to kill in more ‘discreet’ ways (Beverly Allitt for example) so there could be many more than this.

The nature of the death suffered is an irrelevance in the context of the nomenclature. Harold Shipman is currently the world’s most prolific serial killer -his victims probably died in relative peace compared with Wuornos’ -that doesn’t not make Shipman a serial killer.

You find Wuornos’ behaviour explainable, and I suspect you find it somewhat excusable, because she is in your view, the real victim of the piece -you consider her actions somewhat retributive, if misguided. This is actually is a massive unknown because none of Wuornos’ victims were able to give testimony as to how they died -we only have the account of Wuornos -very likely a psychopath (read her biog) and very likely a liar. How do you know for example that Wuornos did not get a massive (libidinous) kick out of seducing men, letting them imagine they had power over her, before then turning the tables and killing them -a surprisingly common, and perverse, female fantasy. Rather like the Black Widow.

In a completely paradoxical way, you assert that the male psychopath, by contrast, is always completely in control of his actions and therefore must be totally culpable and responsible. In your schema, he understands and knows his perverse drives and impulses but he actively chooses to act in the ways you describe. So he’s ‘more’ guilty. This is hardly plausible. We know this from studies of some very sadistic male serial killers how totally ‘possessed’ they feel by their impulses, and how in their aftermath they are usually afflicted by extremely intense feelings of shame over their acts (often, perversely driving them on to commit further killings because it is part of a vicious cycle). A few stone cold killers claim to feel no remorse at all -but most psychologists suggest this may be the surface appearance – a psychological defence against intensely shameful feelings linked to very low self worth -usually linked to experiences of deprivation and abuse in childhood. The stone cold killer is so cut off though that he cannot access this part of his personality. Additionally there is a genetic component. Some of these traits are hereditary. So how much a male serial killer is really in control is a matter of some nuanced understanding and complex to say the least.

I question why you would even want to argue for increased culpability for one gender over another in the face of people who commit barbaric acts and from whom the public need to be equally protected.

John Jones
John Jones
3 years ago

Excellent comment.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Quest Red had A Californian Nurse ;serial Killer of Women over 65 yesterday evening.Appalling wrecked three families, even her own stepmother said ”She was Without Moral code&cold blooded killer”…

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Not sure where you get the simplistic idea that I’m arguing for the ‘increased culpability of one gender over another’.

We’re talking about a specific case here and in many ways the gender is irrelevant. The extenuating circumstances are not.

A women from from an extremely dysfunctional, deprived background from a very young age subject to many years of systematic sexual and physical abuse by her own family and their friends, who was unprotected by anyone around her let alone anyone in authority who then apparently, in your words, made a simple ‘career’ choice to become a prostitute and then murder her punters.

To equate the prostitute Wuornos’s actions with multiple baby killer, nurse Beverly Allitt or the mass killings of his elderly patients by the doctor, Harold Shipman, both entrusted in professional, privileged, public roles and abusing those positions in order to pursue those murderous aims is utterly bizarre.

I have no problem whatsoever labelling a woman a serial killer by the way and Wuornos is no exception,.

Should you wish to raise the issue of Rose West, for example, who was convicted, along with her husband, for the rape, torture, murder and hidden disposal of ten victims, including her own 8 year old stepdaughter, over a 14 year period then that’s another matter, but gender has got b****r all to do with this hence my abhorrence of some of the blatantly misogynistic comments on here.

Never mind the fact that none of these ‘other’ dreadful individuals were ever faced with the death penalty and the true motivations for their crimes, unlike those of the hapless Wuornos, will likely forever remain a total mystery.

Donn Testa Jr.
Donn Testa Jr.
1 year ago
Reply to  G Harris

Come back to us once you’ve taken it up the bum a thousand times for your very survival with your so articulate assumptions. Thumbs down bro!

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago

Person abused and tormented for much of their life becomes serial killer.
What a monster!
Oh, it was a woman. What a saint!

This is why people hate feminism. Most male serial killers have similar backstories as this woman. Most were raped as children, viciously abused, even tortured.
Either apply your compassion to them, too, or denounce this woman as a murdering sociopath. Or admit you have a hypocritical double standard.

sheena gilby
sheena gilby
3 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Mitchell

“That’s why everyone hates feminism” Bit of a sweeping statement that I think!! I’m not condoning murder at all but I think We have to have compassion for women who become dehumanised by abuse. And I think you’ll find it’s overwhelmingly women who suffer at the hands of men!
I’m quite dismayed at the attitude of some men on this subject.

Quentin Walker
Quentin Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  sheena gilby

Actually women account for a minority of homicides. They get more attention when it happens. Aileen was found to have lied about her victims and as somebody with a very high level of psychopathy as measured by Hare’s test, what she says has to be taken with skepticism. She indeed was a monster.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Mitchell

Mr Pierrepoint would have dealt with her admirably in double quick time.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Kelly Mitchell

Are you mad? Are you insane? The men she killed were rapists. They were sex buyers. They were criminals. They dont deserve an ounce of compassion. And male serial killers at worshipped like Charles Manson and Night Stalker so I don’t get what shit you’re talking about. You are the reason why misogyny still exists.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago

Coming next week, Julie Bindel explains how Rosemary West is actually a saint …

jwsuicides
jwsuicides
3 years ago

Finally, someone breaking the “monster” narrative. I do think that the debate would be better served from the angle of neuropsychology though. Our understanding of the effects of trauma on the brain has increased a lot since Wuornos’ death. The brutality she endured from very young would have physically altered her brain. Perhaps if there had been one person during this period to imprint upon her some love and self-worth it could have been different. Like traumatised war veterans, Wuornos could very easily have really believed her life was in danger at the point of killing. It would be surprising if she didn’t have flashbacks, hallucinations, loss of time and place. And yes….the same can happen to men who have been brutalised throughout childhood. I see some are comparing her life to those brutalised in the UK grooming gang horrors. If a child goes through that they have a better chance of a healthier survival if they have come from a loving home, or at least have some people who care and love them. Access to therapy afterwards can help. Some will be damaged more than others by the same experience – but it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is morally superior to the other. Wuornos’ lawyer during her appeal was a disgrace. Had she had better legal counsel I believe she wouldn’t have received the death penalty. Again, I would apply that to a male murderer. With regard to Sutcliffe: interesting that the author continues the misconception that he targeted prostitutes. Some victims were, some victims weren’t.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  jwsuicides

All fair enough I think – ultimately in the courts it’s also a simple matter of public protection -these people need to be locked up, and there is further an element of punishment for barbaric acts.

With some perpetrators it is a case not just of what happened to them but what they have subsequently made of it. Some are tragically so damaged from birth by adverse experience (or in some cases personality) that they cannot make use of a loving or caring environment. I think what most object to in Bindell’s commentary is the typical, rather silly, feminist skew that men are monsters and women are victims. I don’t think Bindell cares too much about breaking the monster narrative -having read a number of her diatribes it’s clear that in her mind all men are monsters.

jwsuicides
jwsuicides
3 years ago

Thank you for your input. I’m not familiar with Bindel’s work so will keep an eye out in future as to how her commentaries work as a whole.
Sutcliffe is now dead. I know people deeply bereaved by one of his murders. Maybe his death will help them. I don’t know.
These are complex issues.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago

I look forward to Julie Bindel’s next article “Irma Grese – misunderstood victim of the patriarchy”

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Derek M

Or maybe, “Myra Hindley: the REAL victim of Ian Brady”

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

I think that one’s been done already..!

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

Sadly you are correct.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago

So you support rapists not being killed? Lmao you sick man

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Derek M

…after she has finished the one about victim Beverley Allit and how the tyrannical patriarchy forces caring roles onto women…

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Derek M

Lizzie Borden,Misunderstood ”Decorator”
was trying to Chop wood for fire..Shows how low illiberals have fallen,Why Cannot they accept some humans are plain ‘Evil”/?

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Oh, if you’re a white cisgendered heterosexual male, they’ll accept your wickedness readily enough.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek M

You’re actually retarded you didn’t even read the story

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago

If anyone is interested there was a fascinating interview with a survivor of the Rotherham grooming gangs on the Triggernometry YouTube channel in July.
I won’t include a link as UnHerd will often delete comments containing links. Here is the title of the video: “I am a Grooming Gang Survivor: My Story”

You may be surprised to find how dangerous and well-armed these gangs really are but the point to note here is that unlike Wournos the victim’s terrible experiences did not turn her into a vengeful killer. In fact she went on to become a doctor.

malcolm.rose
malcolm.rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Yes, very good YouTube video.

I was shocked by the following from the Wikipedia entry for Kenya: “UNICEF estimated that up to 30% of girls in the coastal areas of Malindi, Mombasa, Kilifi, and Diani were subject to prostitution. Most of the prostitutes in Kenya are aged 9″“18.”

peter lucey
peter lucey
3 years ago

The article may be clickbait – but I have “bit” I suppose. Ms Bindel might consider Charlie Manson. He also had a hideous upbringing: but he was still an evil killer.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  peter lucey

Manson? Evil..yes, devious?…more so. But killer? I’m not sure that it was ever proven that Manson killed anyone. Much like a politician, or dictator, he foisted an ideology upon the useful idiots surrounding him and used them to exact his revenge on society.

He caused killings, but may not have actually been a killer himself.

Joel Birkeland
Joel Birkeland
3 years ago

This is why I read UnHerd.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Joel Birkeland

Yes, thank you for demonstrating the complete moral and intellectual degeneracy of the feminist movement. Providing excuses for a mass murderer is disgusting. Aileen Wuornos could have just gone and gotten a job, like millions of other people in America. Yeah, I know, not fun. It would be boring, and (if your male) it might even be dangerous or life-threatening, but that’s what grown ups do. All of these prostitutes that you meet in the UK — they are not victims. They could all get a real job or collect benefits. They are not victims, they are predators.

Claire Chester
Claire Chester
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I don’t think the article is saying she’s not guilty. The article as I read it, states that she should not be branded a serial killer. She is a victim and her case should be presented in a manner that allows the reader all of the information, instead of turning it into sensationalist tabloid news fodder. The incidence of sexual abuse from a young age will impact on the life choices and mental stability of individuals. If there were no sexual abuse or abuse of women and children I’m sure a lot of individuals outcomes would be very different.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire Chester

But why would being a victim not mean she is a serial killer? She killed them over a period of time, it doesn’t actually look like it was self-defence, there is a strong pattern or type as Bindel herself points out. Words have meaning.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire Chester

I don’t see why she shouldn’t be termed a serial killer, though I think she’s an entirely different type of serial killer to say Peter Sutcliffe.

From the OED, ‘serial’:
‘Of a person: that repeatedly or regularly performs a specified activity; inveterate, persistent; spec. (of a criminal) repeatedly committing the same offence and typically following a similar characteristic behaviour pattern. Of an action or practice: performed by the same person on a regular or sequential basis; habitual, recurrent.’

Which part of that doesn’t apply to Aileen Wuornos?

Claire Chester
Claire Chester
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I agree with what you are saying, the article is seeking/trying to differentiate on the motives for the killings. Usually serial killers plan these crimes and gain some sort of pleasure from these. I don’t think that her killings were premeditated, but who knows?

Ryan Greenland
Ryan Greenland
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire Chester

Alot of serial killers male and female go through abuse as youngsters. It helps to understand them but doesn’t change the fact they are serial killers.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Greenland

This is key…Why must everyone come down on one side or the other? Is it not possible for someone like Wuornos to be a victim and a serial killer? I see no way around it. When I first heard her story, my heart winced with pity for that tortured soul. But she was in fact a serial killer.

I do not believe that people like her ought to get put to death always. There may be much to be learned from keeping them (at least some of them) alive and trying to unravel the mechanisms of the madness.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire Chester

I agree. However, my posting has been deleted. I asked if she had not shot one man who picked her up hitchhiking and offered to let her stay with he and his wife while trying to change her marginalized life. He didn’t realize what she was. She shot him because he accidentally saw her gun. I asked if the story were true.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I don’t think Wuornos could have ‘just gone and gotten a job.’ She seems to have been pretty defective mentally, actually. ‘Does not play well with others,’ to put it mildly.

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
3 years ago
Reply to  Joel Birkeland

It is why I read it as well. (I think Peter Sutcliffe was mentally ill though).

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Joel Birkeland

Why, the black humour? “UnHinged” would be more appropriate for articles this like.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago

“I killed seven people, but it was all their fault”

Surely it was, feminist martyr

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Killing 7 people does not make you a saint.
Would you defend victims of the grooming gangs if they killed their abusers?
Or would you call them racist murderers?
Sounds like more liberal double standards again from nice, decent, liberal people such as yourself

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

“Would you defend victims of the grooming gangs if they killed their abusers?”
Absolutely.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Yes, off course!

jamice6
jamice6
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

of course i would defend them

aelf
aelf
3 years ago

That Wuornos had an extremely difficult life doesn’t change the fact that she chose to murder her victims.

To excuse her behaviour is to willingly endorse murder.

stephen.henderson1
stephen.henderson1
3 years ago
Reply to  aelf

Analysing, suggesting reasons for behaviour, theorising is NOT excusing.

stephen.henderson1
stephen.henderson1
3 years ago
Reply to  aelf

Analysing, suggesting reasons for behaviour, theorising is NOT excusing.

aelf
aelf
3 years ago

The article is an attempt to excuse it & treat Wuornos as if she had no volition.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  aelf

Her victims were all men who buy sex. Criminals so…

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago

I would tend to agree that accounts of Wuornos have often been inaccurate and exploitative, and she was quite possibly not really responsible. I’m not sure, however, that she therefore doesn’t meet the definition of a serial killer.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago

Are you saying ‘and therefore… she was quite possibly not really responsible’? Because that would be very silly indeed. She was responsible, of that there is no question. Extenuating circumstances do not affect responsibility at all, only punishment.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I’m not in a position to determine either her responsibility, or her punishment. The courts and the judge have the responsibility to determine her legal responsibility and status, although we know that is not always done well. I don’t have the information they had access to in making that determination, nor do I inhabit a role where I am required to make such a decision about her.

So far as her fundamental moral responsibility, that’s often somewhat obscure even when we think about our own situation, and I’ve never seen any evidence that it is helpful to speculate on where others stand. It’s something they will have to try to discern for themselves , perhaps with the help of a doctor, priest, or friend. It seems to me that most situations involve a mixture of real choices for which we bear personal responsibility, as well as events and facts which we have no control over at all. Wuornos seems to have been very much shaped by a horrific life which she had little opportunity to escape.

fvnorr2p
fvnorr2p
3 years ago

what nonsense. did some get paid to write this nonsense? unherd i am disappointed you actually printed such silly drivel. i personally know people who have suffered every bit as much as the subject of the article. none of them have murdered anyone!!

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  fvnorr2p

But does this mean that victims don’t have the right to self defence, up to and including killing if that is the force level necessary to defend themselves? I realise your point is about the victims fighting back but on a broader note the idea that the state has a monopoly on violence, including murder, torture and rape is getting a bit old now.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

self-defense to the point of murder seven times? The odds of one being in that spot have to be beyond astronomical. But to further your point about people’s ability to defend themselves, I look forward to a piece on why gun ownership is a good thing.

jwsuicides
jwsuicides
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Extremely traumatised people can believe they’re in a life and death situation when they’re not – and act accordingly. The article does touch on traumatised war veterans…I think someone in that situation would be given punishment on the grounds of mental health.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  jwsuicides

In the situation you describe it’s likely to be pleaded on the grounds of diminished responsibility -so a voluntary manslaughter verdict is available. In terms of sentencing such a person a judge at trial would have to consider public protection -whilst a veteran may kill with diminished responsibility s/he may remain a risk to the public or themselves -detention in Broadmoor or similar I suspect is the outcome.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Self defence reduces the offence of murder to an act of voluntary manslaughter. It’s on the statute.

stephen.henderson1
stephen.henderson1
3 years ago
Reply to  fvnorr2p

Analysing, suggesting reasons for behaviour, theorising is NOT the same as excusing.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago

There is an “official” definition of a serial killer: one who has killed three or more people. They don’t have to have planned a series, or been abuse-free. We like to portray them as “evil” people who just made evil choices, hence the “monster” label. What we have to get our heads around is the fact that monstrous acts can be committed by people who, away from all that, can be anything but monsters.

There used to be a “cycles of abuse” theory of child abusers, ie, that they had been abused themselves and went on to abuse others. This was inaccurately concluded from research without non-sex-offender controls. But the fact is that abuse – sometimes horrendous and sustained abuse – is common in the history of all offenders. In decades of dealing with them I often thought “How could you expect anyone to behave normally when they’d been through all that?” One Australian study actually found that for sex offenders specifically the commonest form of abuse was simple neglect.

There is a genetic element in crime: it’s called being male. The vast majority of detected crime is perpetrated by males. Young males. Wuornos was an exception, but to call her killings self-defence begs an awful lot of questions. Hard to see an “execution-style” killing as self-defence, for example. She was clearly a very angry person, with much to be angry about, but that doesn’t exonerate her morally. Neither does it excuse the anger of commentators who are fired up by what she did, or make money from it by peddling a sort of faux moral outrage. This just perpetuates myths and generates heat, but no light.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago

Ludicrous guff. Everybody who writes articles should be forced to take a basic ethics course.

juliabaytree
juliabaytree
3 years ago

Thank you. The first decent explanation of what this woman was about since Nick Bloomfield’s excellent documentary, where his distinct unease about Wournos’s mental fragility was palpable. I don’t get why so many people here are happy to trash Ms Bindel’s article. Even the film, Monster, shows.how abused she was throughout her life, not just the abhorrent abuse of her childhood. We are quick to explain why young boys who are terribly abused can sometimes grow up to be serial killers, poor things, but Aileen seems to be exempt from any feeling of pity. Perhaps if she’d been prettier?

NIGEL PASSMORE
NIGEL PASSMORE
3 years ago

This article is intellectually, morally and legally poor. Ok, the first killing perhaps manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. However, after that, six more on different days! No sorry that is just a pre-meditated response aka intention to committ assult and battery which results in death within a year and a day aka murder. The, fact that this may seem like the actions of a mad person to the sane majority doesn’t automatically mean she was mentaly insane and excuse the other killings. However, if the writer is concerned about semantics I’d be perfectly happy to concede calling her a ‘serial killer’ and substitute ‘mass murderer’ instead; but nothing less.

Just becasue women are far less likely than men to be genuine murderers, it doesn’t mean that some women are not genuine murderers. It’s the same dangerous #Metoo argument that sending many innocent men to prison for completely fabricated rape allegations is a collateral price worth paying for the arguement that any allegation by a woman of rape must be beleived because women never lie ever; obviously.

Regards

NHP

jamice6
jamice6
3 years ago

some of you say that she shouldn’t have murdered those men but i think she was sort of like a guardian angel for women all over. the world isn’t a safe place for women. there are way way wayyyy more creepy men out there than there are creepy women. she made the world a little bit safer by murdering 7 rapists. if she hadn’t killed them then they would still be creating more rape victims, stripping tons of women of their happiness and dignity. this is a mans world ladies and sometimes the law isn’t exactly apposed to women. stay safe out there !!

kecronin1
kecronin1
3 years ago

Dr. Scott Peck wrote, in I believe his book ‘People of the Lie’ and I am paraphrasing from memory, the question isn’t why there are so many evil people. The real question is, ‘why aren’t there more?’ Is a moral compass innate – part of our evolution for survival of our species?

shack63
shack63
3 years ago

This whole story, like all of these storeis, is a tragedy from start to finish. But I’m having a difficult time accepting that the killings were all done in self defense. If this was the case, then wouldn’t she have shot them before she was attacked or while she was being attacked. Shooting them afterwards appears to be an act of vengence, which is understandable in the circumstance, but still not acceptable.

Val Cox
Val Cox
3 years ago

You have written such an important article.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

JB is a fascinating writer. She claims simultaneously and without irony, that men and women are so EQUAL and should have similar social and economic outcomes, and yet also claims that women are in theory (and definitely in practice) always good and always the victim. Even when they’re murdering people.

Question for a proud lesbian like JB: if a man shot another man in the head (or indeed, a lot of men) because he/they solicited him for sex, would that not be, erm… homophobic and unjustifiable? See: gay panic defense.

Aileen Wuorno did have a tragic life story, but then so does nearly EVERY serial killer once their pasts become public knowledge. Does tragedy remove our personal agency?

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

Did she not shoot one man who offered to help her, after picking her up hitchhiking?
Because he saw that she had her gun with her?

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago

There are some bad girls out there, but the great Brandy Clarke makes a good point.
Crazy women are made by crazy men.
https://www.youtube.com/wat

Alanna Lake
Alanna Lake
2 years ago

I just read this and am so thankful for your the author’s journalism. It seems like the abuse of women is a disease that most consider an “inconvenient truth” and will do anything to defend it. Her truth telling in stark difference is like a light in the dark.

I just wanted to say thank you to the author for being that light among all the naysayers that would prefer not to have the truth or the light.

Katie knight
Katie knight
2 years ago
Reply to  Alanna Lake

Yeh wow. I’m super late to actually reading up on this story. Fascinating how easily so many write her off as an equivalent to male serial killers. She has no male counterpart, which should be instructional. I’m not saying women can’t be serial killers, there are definitely female serial killers that correctly fit the bill. But this one? Nope. It’s fair to say that none of her victims would have met her if they hadn’t at LEAST intended to sexually exploit someone on the bottom of the societal food chain. There’s definitely a bit of “Dexter” in her, and I gotta wonder how the world might’ve reacted to her if she was hot?

Clearly, she was no angel, and nobody would ever suggest she should’ve been put back into society. But did she have a hope in hell of growing up “normal”?
She was damaged goods before she met her victims. If the families want a culprit, that grandfather was the real monster here, and whoever else participated in his crimes. (The mother abandoning her no doubt didn’t help, but 15 and raised by the same bloke… hard to lay too much of it on her..) Plenty of clients survived her. So I’d have to guess experiences on the streets finished the formation “grandpa” started.

Ramirez had a lot of egotistical nonsense to say about being created by society. I call bullshit. Wuornos, though? This “monster” wouldn’t have existed without society turning a blind eye to repeated and inexcusable exploitation of the innocent.
Call it capitalism, inequality, globalism…whatever. Poverty and disadvantage sitting atop the worst remnants of patriarchal culture… the whole story is a modern-day tragedy.

Quentin Walker
Quentin Walker
1 year ago

Aileen Wuornos was found to have lied about her victims and that comes from her lover. That you presume bad faith on the victims but not the person with a high level of psychopathy who boasted about her murders with sadistic glee and claimed robbery as another motivation suggests the sexism is on you. It is kind of odious to be so dismissive of the murdered when counter claims suggest they weren’t trying to hurt her

Don Lightband
Don Lightband
3 years ago

NO, Ms Bindel, there are not “countless others like her”. That is your wishful fantasy, and your wishful fantasy alone..

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Don Lightband

I don’t think anybody knew that. Prostitution and abuse has been eradicated in the USA.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

That is satire, isn’t it? Both are against the law in the US, but that hardly means either has been eradicated.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago

> As Chesler recounts from Wuornos’ statement: “Humphreys took his badge
out and he said > I’m gonna have you arrested for prostitution. I said:
Bullshit you are. So he grabbed my

> hand”¦ my arm, and he said, no, better
yet, how would you like to suck my d**k and I won’t > do anything, but
you’re not gettin’ any money for it. If you suck my d**k I won’t arrest
you

> and you can go scott free.”

And Saint’ Aileen said “I couldn’t possibly engage in corruption, but you’ve got me bang to rights, arrest me”.

Oh no, she shot him in the head. So if she is telling the absolute truth, she shot a corrupt cop, rather than face arrest. So, if she’s telling the truth she’s a murderer by her own admission, but not a monster.

However, if she is telling the truth about all the others but not about that one, she was a monster.

Hint: Very, very few sociapathic killers will say “Yes, according to your perception I am a monster, but according to my perception I am not”. They say, “the devil made me do it”, or “I’m a victom too”. Even sociopaths need friends and to be understood.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

how does Wuornos’ upbringing negate that she killed multiple people? This is quite the attempt at rehabilitation.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I don’t think that it negates it as much as it might explain it. At least that is how I see it.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  steve eaton

The author sets out to show that Wuornos isn’t a monster, whereas the Yorkshire Ripper (male) is. That is largely negating it at least, IMO.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The multiple men she all killed were rapists aka sex buyers. So yes they’re criminals and they weren’t innocent regardless of what you think.

M J
M J
3 years ago

Great article Julie.

Dan Poynton
Dan Poynton
3 years ago

I want to thank you for this article. I am ashamed to say that, although (because) I’ve only read about her case cursorily, I bought into the same pigeon-holing of psychopathic serial killer – such a comfortable thing to do from your armchair. I was enlightened in two ways: 1) feeling an abused woman’s point of view and 2) once more realising the atrocious power the media has to influence you, unless you watch every move they make.

Lorrainr Mansfield
Lorrainr Mansfield
3 years ago

Given that she could read and write and armed herself with a gun and was able to have the sense that she had chosen to put herself into a trade that she was getting paid cash for services i think she thought she could rely on a blame culture the intellectuals in society would be so appauled by she would be dealt with leniently. The constitution is there to protect every American and traditional justice i think was right to be metred out otherwise what’s the point of having it.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

She sounds like a counter-terrorist to me.

christopherowens1986
christopherowens1986
3 years ago

Wot, no mention of this? I am disappointed Julie:

https://www.ozy.com/true-an

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
3 years ago

The society as a whole is responsible for shaping all of us, the beautiful and the hideous. Both are two sides of the same coin. If we create monsters, it’s a reflection on us. Clearly the system failed her profoundly. It appears perversely that it made the men who threatened her fell better about themselves as they took comfort in her feeling worse than them.
Also, I have yet to hear of a society in which women have had systemic sadistic abusive tendency over men since civilisation began. If there are, they are few. I don’t know but there doesn’t seem to be such an abuse in animals either.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago

Where is the part that we play in shaping our own lives? You may feel yourself to be lint in the wind, but I have at least some say in my own destiny and full responsibility for my own behavior.

Gerry Fruin
Gerry Fruin
3 years ago

Note to author; exploited by everyone who can string two words together, and journalists vilified for salivating the gory details and so on. Sensational stuff about this now dead lady. I understand the gist of the piece …. but whining about other odious characters is odd because your shock, horror drivel is just the same as the perverts you disabuse.

Paul Booth
Paul Booth
3 years ago

In England in the Middle Ages, female crimes were often minimised, unrecorded and justified.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Booth

Yep Going back to nihilistic Liberalism..

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Booth

In the middle ages? It has never stopped.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Is this ”Feminazi” for Real? Aileen Wuornos tortured &killed at least 7 males..

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Are you retarded? She killed 7 men who buy sex. They are criminals and rapists. They got what they deserved.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago

No mention of ‘The Boy Called It’ or the fact that most abused children are abused by a female and most of those victims are male. Perhaps when you open your heart to men in the same way you open it to women there can be some resolution. Till then the feminist stereotyping of males are bad and
guilty and females are good and innocent can only continue to damage our families, children and communities.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

Utter nonsense. The vast majority of abused children are abused by men. Most of these children are female, though many are male. There are indeed some women who abuse children, but they are very much in the minority.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

Wasn’t “Boy called It” widely debunked as largely fictional?
Speaking of which, what’s the source of your information that most abusers are female and abused are male? I don’t believe it.

D Davis
D Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

That is crap, I was abused by men and middle aged men, your delusional if you think there are more women predators than men I can personally attest to that is not true. I was not touched by one female!

Last edited 1 year ago by D Davis
polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago

There are some bad women out there, but the great Brandy Clark has a point
“Crazy women were made by crazy men. We keep our crazy hidden, until we are pushed off the deep end. We weren’t born like that”
Youtube: Brandy Clark “Crazy women” and “Stripes”

Jackie Mac
Jackie Mac
3 years ago

Don’t agree at all with the sentiment here. It’s like well, if you’re victimised enough, you’re just right to kill or strike the group you are aggreived by. This is how all murderers justify their actions, and not only that but genocides are justified as fair by those that perpetrate them.
By this logic the likes of Roger Elliotts actions were also fair enough.
It’s this disturbing pseudo element of feminisim that trumpets violence, selfishness, greed, abandonment and mutilation as “empowering” that are doing the wider movement much discredit and I assume are actually misdirected BDSM impulses.
Not great article. Mature up please and less teenage revenge fantasy masquerading as justice.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Jackie Mac

She killed rapists end of the story.

Donn Testa Jr.
Donn Testa Jr.
1 year ago

I think it’s an absolute tragedy that this woman was put to death. I believe her. Not because I’m some bleeding heart liberal, but the exact opposite, I am conservative. It’s sad that books and movies have created millions at this woman’s expense, at her very life. I think that gal that turned her in was a full and complete narcissistic accomplice, a Spoiled little shite, that profitted from her story and demise. I believe this creature had a great heart, and it kept her silent even to protect her venomous lovers innocence. In a perfect world this woman shown an ounce of compassion could have fully rehabilitated. But no, there was not one ounce of compassion to be offered this fair creature a moment of her life. She suffered atrocities that no dumbarse responding here could even imagine with out snapping their peanut sized brains. Sad, my heart weeps for this sweet injusticed angel.

Last edited 1 year ago by Donn Testa Jr.
Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago

Unbelievable how there’s people in comments actually think Aileen was a monster. How was she a monster when the men she killed weren’t innocent people? They were criminals. They actively sought out women to pay to rape. How can anyone be compassionate to men like this? You are sick in the head if you think she’s the worst female serial killer. You have no reason to fear her unless if you’re a male who is out to buy prostitutes to rape.

Last edited 1 year ago by Amy Clark
sara agan
sara agan
1 year ago

I think her life was the worse anyone could be born into. Add that on top of being forced into having noone no self esteem and nothing of a chance but to hook. I know over the years starting back to the way boys in school mistreated her, being out there hooking she’d been beaten and raped multiple times, I’m sure men tricked her a lot, I know there were cops who’d make her fk them or go to jail .and one day she’d met someone who she knew would b the love she searched all herr miserable life for and thus guy was going to keep her from it. I believe he tried to kill or hurt her she feared her life. After that she allowed her anger to surface and each time one pulled something she went crazy.her anger at men particularly men that tricked out on the streets and it really really got worse and I imagine she probably looked for people that would give her a hard time to give her the excuse because it’s much easier to Rob one and take what you want and after me and taken from and mistreated so long it’s human nature to want to get even and take back what’s theirs and that’s exactly what I see I’m not saying she was right but I’m not going to sit here and say that she was a monster she wasn’t monster at all
Sara E Agan

sara agan
sara agan
1 year ago

I think her life was the worse anyone could be born into. Add that on top of being forced into having noone no self esteem and nothing of a chance but to hook. I know over the years starting back to the way boys in school mistreated her, being out there hooking she’d been beaten and raped multiple times, I’m sure men tricked her a lot, I know there were cops who’d make her fk them or go to jail .and one day she’d met someone who she knew would b the love she searched all herr miserable life for and thus guy was going to keep her from it. I believe he tried to kill or hurt her she feared her life. After that she allowed her anger to surface and each time one pulled something she went crazy.her anger at men particularly men that tricked out on the streets and it really really got worse and I imagine she probably looked for people that would give her a hard time to give her the excuse because it’s much easier to Rob one and take what you want and after me and taken from and mistreated so long it’s human nature to want to get even and take back what’s theirs and that’s exactly what I see I’m not saying she was right but I’m not going to sit here and say that she was a monster she wasn’t monster at all
Sara E Agan

sara agan
sara agan
1 year ago

That was one more thing I wanted to say was that you know most people are really and truly become murderers and and do violent crimes because they’ve been perpetrated and abused all their lives but here’s what I want to say shame on society for allowing her for it to come to that for her that’s how I feel about it and having been someone in her shoes not as a murderer but having been in that situation society shame on so while people want to point their fingers at her they could be asking themselves how do we allow this person to go through all that and slip through the cracks and keep from getting her help when she was a child it just makes me sick

D Davis
D Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  sara agan

I have to say being a victim of this type of abuse from the age of 6, continually by 10 different men( the middle age men are the worst predators) raped at 12 , by a middle aged white man, to prostitution, thinking that was my only value. Though I never resorted to killing them, I imagined it over and over, and have suffered a lot of mental health issues due to this. Finally in my current life my life is good , ( I don’t get involved in relationships anymore) my former husband loved prostitutes which I didn’t find out til later, there is a certain pattern women like me have followed through drug abuse to alcoholism! Though I have turned my life around it is hard for me not to look at her as a victim, she did what so many of us abused women imagine doing to these pigs, it’s too bad they didn’t go into details about her suffering, she deserved d to be charged with guilty by temp insanity and sent to a place for the criminally insane and at least gotten the help she needed. Instead they leave the door open for men to keep doing this to children and women.

J D
J D
3 years ago

Bindel is hilarious. As soon as I saw the title I knew it would be a feminist hypocrite defending a vile murderer because she is a woman.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  J D

Male serial killers kill innocent women. Aileen killed guilty men who were criminals. If you can’t see the difference you’re the imbecile.

Micheal Lucken
Micheal Lucken
3 years ago

Bit of a common theme this, a backstory absolving responsibility in some way, the cause frequently male. It doesn’t have to be murder. Child abuse theft or even just failure to achieve. Its seems strength intelligence confidence and independence turn to vulnerability and victimhood when called to account, a few tears can go a long way.

Paul pmr
Paul pmr
3 years ago

There is no excuse for her crimes.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul pmr

Aww what’s the matter? You got your undies in a bundle because a woman killed men who were rapists? Who buy sex?

Miss Fit
Miss Fit
3 years ago

Why are some saying that because the case of Aileen Wuornos should be looked at through the particular context of her life, it means that every woman killer should be considered a victim? One does not lead to the other. It feels like some people get on the defensive because a woman killer is not given the same treatment as the worst male serial killer. Well no, sorry, Wuornos is not Peter Sutcliffe, who was raised in a middle-class family, married, owning a house, working. Wuornos’ crimes are not motivated by sexual sadism like many male serial killers. Why should Wuornos be considered through male standards? Understanding is not excusing.

I found this quote really intersting: “Aileen was terrorised by violent johns, and eventually lashed out in crazed defence, just like men do in wars when they are also afraid of getting killed or tortured”.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago

The men who are sobbing about how Aileen was actually a monster. She’s only a monster to monsters. She didn’t kill innocent men. She killed disgusting men. She didn’t deserve to die. You should only be afraid of Ailen if you’re a man who’s a rapist and buy sex. Other than that she wasn’t a threat to anyone else.

Bette Steele
Bette Steele
3 years ago

Women are never sexually motivated murderers, Wurnos is just a murderer.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Bette Steele

Rosemary West?

fvnorr2p
fvnorr2p
3 years ago
Reply to  Bette Steele

elizibeth bathory killed only virgins and no one knows how many. karla homolka sexed and killed her own sister. about 40 per cent of female killers do it for money. i can find many more examples to refute your belief that women are NEVER motivated sexually.

John Jones
John Jones
3 years ago

Once again, Bindel doesn’t fail to disappoint, her entire article an attempt to rewrite Warnock sorry story to suit Bindell’s sexist, misandrist narrative.

Was Wanos herself a victim? Certainly. Does that somehow mean that she isn’t responsible for what she did? Of course not. Many men are abused as children- some studies have shown that a huge proportion of the men convicted of rape were sexually abused by women when they were young.

But no one would dare argue that they were somehow justified in their later behaviour. Because the standard we use is that regardless of how much abuse someone has endured, it doesn’t justify their abuse of other people. Unless people are mentally ill, they are responsible for their behaviour.

Unless, of course, they are female. Then for feminists like Bindel, another standard applies.

The facts are clear: Warnos deliberately set out to kill innocent men. No one forced her to carry a gun while hitchhiking. She could have avoided her encounters by the simple expedient of choosing not to get in cars with strangers. But she chose instead to kill six men. She was, by definition, a serial killer.

And Bindell’s sorry attempt to excuse her behaviour is yet another reminder of why feminism has earned such a bad reputation. It has become nothing more than a tedious exercise in anti-male sexism.

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  John Jones

So you’re okay with the fact that the men she killed were rapists and sex buyers? Sex buyers are rapists…they weren’t innocent. Her actions made total sense.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 years ago

I find it puzzling that a person who kills through insanity is considered less dangerous than one who kills through malice. While ‘an eye for an eye’ makes no sense outside a tribal society, if at all, the bottom line is preventing the gratuitous taking of innocent life. Sometimes one reads in a court report that ‘the accused showed no remorse’. Who cares? Remorse costs nothing. I don’t know what the answer is. Death penalty, incarceration, or some form of brain reconstruction all seem equally harmful or wasteful. A lot of people have bad childhoods, but that does not exclude their having innate bad tendencies. To get in the same lethal situation seven times seems more than coincidence or carelessness. The UK and the US have the highest imprisoned proportions of population in the western world. Knife-carrying inner-city youth gang-members seem to have no concept of the consequences of their actions. That can’t be coincidence, it must be something to do with the way Anglo-Saxon-based societies are structured.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago

I don’t think it says anywhere an insane person is less dangerous than a malicious one. The point is that we should make some attempt to ‘fix’ or empathise with the person suffering mental illness, rather than just punishing or executing them. But how does your description of people with ‘innate bad tendencies’ differ from mental illness? Personally I don’t think it does. Take a look at Robert Sapolsky’s stuff on the neuroscience of evil. Charles Whitman (the Texas tower sniper) is an interesting example.

Ian Wray
Ian Wray
3 years ago

Bindel also has a piece in The Spectator about Peter Sutcliffe, who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. She excuses Wuornos, who was not under the influence of psychotic delusions, but castigates Sutcliffe.

The double standard she displays is appalling. Unherd should not publish articles such as this one, which appears to legitimise female extreme violence. I strongly request that Unherd stops publishing articles by Bindel.