Aileen Wuornos Research Paper

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Throughout time, women who kill have been reflected as possessing a unique breed of criminality (Weatherby, 2008). It is evident that the media and society views/ holds these women to extremely different standards. Based on the societal norms surrounding women, the view of women has become branded as nurturing and feminine figures (Estep, 1982). Subsequently, women who kill are not common, but they become the glamorous images that attracted the attention of TV shows and films (Estep, 1982). The majority of time women who kill are depicted in TV shows and films as having more stereotypical male characteristics or being highly sexualized, therefore keeping women in a feminine role despite the violence they engage in (Talvi, 166). Furthermore,…show more content…
Her crimes and trial gathered national attention and resulted into a film called Monster. The title of this film was no mere occurrence, but a historical term that associated female criminals as “living monsters” (Talvi, 173). Aileen, a prostitute admitted to killing seven male “Johns” from 1989 to 1990, during her prostitution on the Florida Highways (Macleod, 2005). Not only had Wuornos killed seven men, but she did so in a very masculine way. A majority of victims were found stripped naked and were killed by multiple close-range gunshot wounds (Macleod, 2005). Additionally, Wuornos stole many of her ‘John’s’ cars and took whatever valuable possessions they had (Macleod, 2005). The killings that Wuornos committed were masculine and violent. She was arrested and charged with six counts of murder. The media branded Wuornos as a prostitute and violent bisexual. The media was able to manipulation Wuornos character by capturing images of violent aggression in the courtroom, exploiting her lesbian relationship, use of filthily language and her masculine appearance (Perri, 2010). Wuornos having no apologies or remorse for the murders she committed became very hard for our patriarchal society to fully grasp (Weatherby, 2008). Rather than trying to understand her predicament, the criminal justice system, media and public, concluded that Wuornos was an inhuman, unfeminine monster…show more content…
However, Gray killed to obtain money her victims had, for her own personal use. Descriptions of Dana Sue Gray’s account read, “A former surgical nurse with a need for money and obsession for shopping sprees became a serial killer” (Bovsun, 2014). The murders that Gray committed were violent acts of aggression, which included strangulation and stabbings. In one instance, she left two knives in the body and the neck wounds were so deep that they nearly decapitated the elderly woman’s head (Bovsun, 2014). However, unlike Wuornos, Gray was able to avoid the death penalty. She entered a plea of insanity, but then changed her plea to guilty to the murders and attempt of murder (Bovsun, 2014). As part of her plea deal, the judge agreed to not charge Gray for the third murder. Gray’s media portrayal fell under the feminine category of insanity; Headlines regarding Gray read, “The Pampered Killer Addicted to Luxury, Californian Lady-Killing Lady Serial Killer” and etc (Bovsun, 2014). Dana Sue Gray, depiction in the media was preserved as feminine; she killed for greed to do the common womanly activity, known as shopping (Perri, 2010). "I got desperate to buy things," she told detectives. "Shopping puts me at rest” (Bovsun,

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