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Florida Prostitute Is Sentenced to Death in Serial Murder Case

February 01, 1992|From Associated Press

DELAND, Fla. — Prostitute Aileen Wuornos, saying she was wrongly branded a serial killer, was sentenced Friday to die in the electric chair for one of seven Florida highway slayings.

"Law enforcement has labeled me a serial killer purposefully, for books and movies," Wuornos, 35, told a judge before sentencing. "I'm no serial killer."

Later, as deputies put Wuornos in a vehicle to transport her to Death Row in southern Florida, she yelled to bystanders: "Bust these crooked cops and their conspiracy, please. I'm innocent."

Circuit Judge Uriel Blount, who followed the recommendation of a jury, imposed the death penalty for the 1989 killing of Richard Mallory, 51. The Clearwater, Fla., businessman picked up Wuornos near Tampa and drove to an area north of Daytona Beach.

In a three-hour videotape statement that Wuornos gave investigators in January, 1991, she admitted killing six other men that she said picked her up for sex. She said she killed the men in self-defense after they became abusive.

Wuornos said Friday that she was "coerced into making a confession" so law enforcement officers could make money by selling a book and movie about her life.

"I had no intentions of killing anyone," she told the judge. "I would not do that. I told you I was raped, and that's what happened. These people did a violent attack on me, and I did what I had to do to protect myself."

Police officials testified that Wuornos stole her victims' cars and belongings and dumped their bodies along the road.

State Atty. John Tanner said the death sentence was expected. "She's a chronic liar and she's determined to maintain her posture of innocence," he said.

No date was set for the execution. By law, the death sentence will be appealed automatically.

Wuornos was charged with first-degree murder in four other slayings. A prosecutor handling three of those cases said officials want at least one more murder conviction against her.

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