In Lethal Intent: The Shocking True Story of One of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers, U.K. born author, Sue Russell, investigates one of the world’s most infamous female serial killers: Aileen Carol Wuornos. Between 1989 and 1990, Aileen Wuornos murdered seven men whilst working as a sex worker along Florida’s lonely highways.
This book is extremely informative and well-written. It swiftly became one of my favourite true crime books. You can see how much work Sue Russell put into bringing us an accurate story. It genuinely makes you look at Aileen Wuornos in a different light. Due to the erroneous version of Aileen’s motivation as portrayed in the Hollywood blockbuster, Monster, many cannot help but feel sorry for Aileen and in a way, feel as though the men deserved what they got. People tend to forget that these men were innocent. They’re often lumped together as “John’s” purely because Aileen was a sex worker. In fact, her modus operandi was to hitch a ride and claim her car had broken down and then offer sex once inside.
This book details the true motivation behind her crimes as seen at trial: greed. From a young age, Aileen believed she could buy love. She started selling sexual favours as a teenager and with this money, she would attempt to buy love and companionship: something she desperately desired but was always denied during her tragic upbringing.
While there is absolutely no denying that Aileen suffered imaginable abuse during her childhood and these events, combined with her fear of abandonment, led her down a dark path, people need to remember that the men she killed were innocent and have been completely demonised. This book is refreshing in that sense as it gives you a better understanding as to who these men were: they had children, they had wives, they had grandchildren, they had lives and people who loved them.
Lethal Intent explores Aileen’s childhood which was plagued with abuse, heartbreak and drug use from a young age. It examines the abandonment she felt throughout her life, the crimes of her father and the combination of events that led her down her self-destructive past which ultimately landed her in Florida’s execution chamber.