By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com October 10 2002 12:00 AM ET
Lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos was executed Wednesday, more than a decade after she murdered six men along central Florida highways while working as a prostitute. Wuornos, 46, became the 10th woman executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. She was pronounced dead from lethal injection at 9:47 a.m. in Florida State Prison near Starke. "I'd just like to say, I'm sailing with the Rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mother ship and all. I'll be back," Wuornos said from the execution chamber. The Rock is a biblical reference to Jesus. Wuornos had fired her attorneys and dropped her appeals despite lingering questions regarding her sanity.
Wuornos was sentenced to death six times for killing middle-aged men in 1989 and 1990 and spent a decade on Florida's death row. The death warrant was based on her first murder victim, Richard Mallory, a Clearwater electronics shop owner whose body was found in 1989 in Volusia County. During her 1992 murder trial, Wuornos testified that Mallory raped, beat, and sodomized her and that she killed him in self-defense. After standing trial for Mallory's death, Wuornos pleaded guilty to five other murders in Marion, Pasco, and Dixie counties. For years Wuornos claimed that she shot the men in self-defense while being raped and sodomized. Later she recanted her claims, saying she wanted to make peace with God. "I'm one who seriously hates human life and would kill again," she told the state supreme court. Wuornos also claimed to have killed a seventh man.
Wuornos's life story spawned two movies, several books, and the opera Wournos, by Carla Lucero, which debuted last year.