- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 21, 2001

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Sobbing that “there’s no sense in keeping me alive,” one of the nation’s first known female serial killers won a court victory yesterday in her bid to fire her attorneys and hasten her execution.
“I am a serial killer. I would kill again,” Aileen Wuornos said during 1-1/2 hours on the witness stand.
She said she wanted to fire her state-appointed attorneys and end her appeals because she wants to come clean and make her peace with God.
“I wanted to clear all the lies and let the truth come out,” she said. “I have hate crawling through my system.”
Circuit Judge Michael Hutcheson said he would recommend to the Florida Supreme Court that Wuornos is competent to make such a decision. He told Wuornos it would put her on the “fast track” to be executed.
“I’m not scared by it,” Wuornos said. “I know what the heck I’m doing.”
Wuornos, 45, was sentenced to death six times for killing middle-age men when she worked as a prostitute along the highways of central Florida in 1989 and 1990. She has been on death row for nearly a decade.
Wuornos, the subject of a television movie, “Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story” and an opera that recently opened in San Francisco, testified during her 1992 trial that she killed men who assaulted her and made her fear for her life.
But yesterday, she said she had lied in an attempt to beat the system: “I killed those men in the first degree, robbed and killed them.”
She apologized to her victims’ families and said there was no point in spending more taxpayers’ money on her defense.
“There’s no sense in keeping me alive,” she said. “This world doesn’t mean anything to me.”
One of her attorneys, Richard Kiley, said Wuornos didn’t understand the ramifications of what she was doing, and her behavior raised questions about her mental health.
Lawyers from the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel (CCRC), the state agency that handles post-conviction death-sentence appeals, will try to have Wuornos declared incompetent.
Letha Prater, whose 50-year-old brother, Troy Burress, was killed by Wuornos in 1989, said she was glad the decision would end the appeals.
“I don’t hate her. I hate what she did,” Miss Prater said. “Hatred is lost on her.”
Mr. Burress’ daughter, Wanda Pouncey, added: “It’s time for all this to be done instead of dragging this on.”

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