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Episode 176: Aileen Wuornos Trial

In January 1992, Aileen Wuornos, a sex worker, stood trial for the murder of 52-year-old Richard Mallory, who’d picked her up when she was hitch-hiking. When she was intially interviewed by police, Wuornos said she shot Mallory because he threatened to rape her. However, at trial, her testimony about the incident was much more graphic and disturbing. At this time, she’d confessed to murdering six men in addition to Mallory, all in self-defense (in fact, Mallory had a prior conviction for sexual abuse, but this fact was not allowed into evidence). To law enforcement and the state’s attorney, Wuornos gave a number of inconsistent versions of events; her attorneys discouraged her from testifying in court, but she insisted on taking the stand. Her account fell apart under close questioning, especially after her longtime girlfriend, Tyria Moore, took a deal and testified against her.

On Jan. 27, 1992, she was found guilty of first-degree murder. Four days later, she was sentenced to death. Wuornos was executed in October 2002.

Forensic Transmissions
Episode 176: Aileen Wuornos Trial