In 2003, Patty Jenkins’ film “Monster”, co-produced by German and American filmmakers, was released. The film was based on the true biography of the Florida prostitute Eileen Wuornos, who became a serial killer.
The plot of the film
The main roles in the film were played by Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci. According to the plot, street prostitute Eileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron) meets young lesbian Selby Wall (Christina Ricci) in a bar. A romantic relationship develops between them. By chance, Eileen kills one of her customers, who beats and rapes her. She can’t get a proper job, and Selby wants her friend to support her. Eileen then begins to kill her clients and earn a living that way. In the end, Selby betrays her lover by cooperating with the police and she is sentenced to death.
The movie made a lot of noise in its time and in 2004 it won Charlize Theron an Oscar for Best Actress.
What was the real Eileen Wuornos like
Eileen Carol Pittman was born on February 29, 1956, in the town of Rochester, Michigan. Eileen never saw her father, Leo Dale Pittman – two months before she was born, he was imprisoned for sex crimes against children. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia and hanged himself in his cell on January 30, 1969.
At age 4, her mother, Diane Wuornos, abandoned Eileen and her brother Keith to her grandparents and fled to an unknown destination. From the age of 11, the girl began having sex with fellow students at school in exchange for food, cigarettes, and drugs. She also claimed to have had sexual relations with her own grandfather and brother. At 15, Eileen dropped out of school and began to earn her living through prostitution.
The girl was arrested several times for anti-social behavior and drunk driving. In 1976 she married the 69-year-old chairman of the Florida Yacht Club, Lewis Gratz Fell. But the marriage lasted just over two months. During the divorce proceedings, Lewis claimed that his young wife constantly beat him and spent his money without permission.
Eileen was repeatedly tried for theft and fraud. In 1986 she met Tyra Moore, who worked as a hotel maid, at a gay bar in Daytona Beach. They went traveling together. They lived off the money Eileen made from prostitution.
Crimes and Execution
Wuornos committed her first murder on November 30, 1989. The victim was 51-year-old Richard Mallory, owner of an electronics store in Clearwater, who had picked up a girl on the freeway. On Dec. 2, police found Mallory’s Cadillac abandoned near Ormond Beach, and on Dec. 13, the man’s body was also found in the woods a few miles away with several bullet wounds to the lung area.
Over the next few years, Eileen Wuornos killed six more people. They were: construction worker David Spears, 43; rodeo worker Charles Karskadon, 40; retired merchant marine and Christian preacher Peter Sims, 65; sausage truck driver Troy Baress, 50; retired U.S. Army Major and former police chief Charles Humphries, 56; and Walter Geno Antonio, 62, who was a former truck driver, security guard and police officer. All of the victims were single, middle-aged or men, all of whom were car drivers who gave Eileen rides (apparently counting on sexual favors). The murders all followed the same pattern: the victims were shot with a .22-caliber pistol, and the body and car were usually left in the woods or other uninhabited area. In some cases, Wuornos tried to hide evidence. She took everything of value with her.
Eventually, witnesses were found who pointed to Eileen. She was arrested. Under interrogation, the defendant claimed that her actions were self-defense, as all the men she killed had either raped her or tried to do so. In 1996, however, the Supreme Court sentenced Eileen Wuornos to death. On October 9, 2002, she was given a lethal injection. Her last words before her execution were, “I will return.
After the cremation, Eileen’s ashes were picked up by her childhood friend Dawn Botkins. It was scattered in Michigan, Eileen’s hometown.
Eileen Wuornos became the tenth woman to be executed in the United States since capital punishment was introduced in 1976, and the second female maniac in this country after Lavinia Fisher, executed in 1820. Books have been written about her and several films, both fiction and documentary, have been made. One of them was called, “Eileen. The Life and Death of a Serial Killer.”