- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2002

STARKE, Fla. (AP) Serial killer Aileen Wuornos was executed yesterday, more than a decade after she murdered six men along central Florida highways while working as a prostitute.
Wuornos, 46, became the 10th woman executed in the United States since the death penalty resumed in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
She was pronounced dead from lethal injection at 9:47 a.m. in Florida State Prison near Starke.
"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock and I'll be back like Independence Day with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mothership and all. I'll be back," Wuornos said from the execution chamber. The Rock is a biblical reference to Jesus.
Wuornos had fired her attorneys and dropped her appeals despite lingering questions over her sanity.
She was sentenced to death six times for killing middle-age men in 1989 and 1990 and spent a decade on Florida's death row.
The death warrant was based on her first murder victim, Richard Mallory, a Clearwater electronics shop owner whose body was found in 1989 in Volusia County.
During her 1992 murder trial, Wuornos testified that Mr. Mallory raped, beat and sodomized her, and that she killed him in self-defense. After standing trial for Mr. Mallory's death, Wuornos pleaded guilty to five other murders in Marion, Pasco and Dixie counties.
For years, Wuornos said she shot the men out of self-defense while being raped and sodomized. Later, she recanted her assertions, saying she wanted to make peace with God.
"I'm one who seriously hates human life and would kill again," she told the state Supreme Court.
Wuornos also said she had to have killed a seventh man. Her life story spawned two movies, several books and the opera "Wournos," by Carla Lucero, which debuted last year.
Wuornos gave her last media interview Tuesday to British producer Nick Broomfield, who did a documentary on her in 1993, but she stormed out after about 35 minutes, Mr. Broomfield said.
"My conclusion from the interview is, today we are executing someone who is mad. Here is someone who has totally lost her mind," Mr. Broomfield said yesterday outside the prison.
Fort Lauderdale lawyer Raag Singhal wrote a letter to the state Supreme Court last month expressing "grave doubts" about Wuornos' mental condition. Gov. Jeb Bush issued a stay and ordered a mental exam, but he lifted the stay last week after three psychiatrists who interviewed her concluded that she understood why she was being executed.
State Attorney John Tanner, who watched psychiatrists interview her for 30 minutes last week, said she was cognizant and lucid. "She knew exactly what she was doing," Mr. Tanner said.
Wuornos joined Judy Buenoano as the only women Florida has executed since resuming the death penalty in 1976. Fifty-one men have been executed by Florida during that span.


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