Number of victims: 7+
Date of murders: 1989 - 1990
Method of murder: Shooting
Contrary to popular belief Aileen Wuornos was not America's first female serial killer. She was, however, the most infamous. Abandoned by both parents at an early age, Aileen was raised by her grandparents and basically left to do as she pleased. She was pregnant at 14 and delivered a healthy baby who was put up for adoption. Shortly thereafter she dropped out of school and became a teenaged prostitute, drifting across the country and building up a lengthy rap sheet, for theft, assault, public intoxication and various other offenses. Eventually she graduated to more serious crimes and served 13 months for an attempted bank robbery.
In June 1986, Wuornos met a hotel chamber maid named Tyria Moore and the two became involved in a relationship, with Wuornos paying the bills by continuing to work as a prostitute. Wuornos and Moore were arrested in 1989 for assaulting a man with a beer bottle. Not long afterwards, Wournos obtained the .22 pistol that she would use to murder her clients.
The first to die was 51-year-old Richard Mallory, gunned down in Volusia County on November 30, 1989. Over the next year, six more men were lured to isolated spots with the promise of sex, then shot dead and robbed by Wuornos.
A major police investigation was launched, but it was going nowhere until July 4, 1990, when Wuornos and Moore were involved in an accident while driving one of her victims' cars. They fled the scene, but not before eyewitnesses spotted then and gave the police a description.
Fingerprints lifted from the vehicle identified Wuornos as the driver. She was eventually apprehended at a biker bar in January 1991. Tyria Moore was also arrested but she was offered immunity in exchange for coaxing a confession out of Wuornos. On January 16, 1991, Wuornos confessed to the murders.
Tried and found guilty, Wuornos was sentenced to die by lethal injection. She refused all efforts to appeal her sentence and was put to death on October 9, 2002.