Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killer Movies


Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron won numerous film awards, including an Oscar, for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos, the female serial killer in Florida who shot seven men to death. While the film portrays Wuornos as a victim acting out against a lifetime of abuse (Wuornos's defense), as well as a woman who needed money to take care of her girlfriend, in actuality, her girlfriend had a job and could easily fend for herself. Just before her execution, Wuornos said that if released, she'd do it again. She felt no remorse.

The case began late in 1989 when the police came across the body of Richard Mallory. He'd been shot four times in the chest with a .22 caliber gun. In May 1990, a truck was found on the side of a Florida highway, registered to David Spears. His naked corpse was discovered sixty miles away, also shot with a .22. Five days later, another male corpse was found, and then a witness spotted two women removing the license plates from a silver Sunbird, stolen from a missing missionary. Composite sketches were distributed, and more male corpses were found, including the missionary's. Finally, several people identified a pair of lesbians, Tyria Moore and "Lee," A.K.A., Aileen Wuornos, who was soon arrested in a biker bar. Police pressured Moore to tell what she knew, and used a key found in Wuornos's possession to enter a storage space, where they located items missing from victims.

Aileen Wuornos
Aileen Wuornos

Moore agreed to get Wuornos to talk on a taped phone conversation. On January 16, 1991, Wuornos went to the police and confessed that she had killed seven men. She said that she had wrestled with an abusive Mallory before she shot him in self-defense.

Nevertheless, Wuornos was convicted of murder and given the death penalty six times. She was executed in 2002.

It's likely that the success of this film while inspire other filmmakers to dedicate scripts to specific real-life killers. Let's look at a collection of them from the past.


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