Wuornos Takes Stand In Highway Killing Trial, Says She Was Brutalized
Jan. 24, 1992
DELAND, Fla. (AP) _ Prostitute Aileen Wuornos, taking the stand in her own defense, said today she shot and killed a motorist who picked her up because he brutalized, raped and threatened to kill her.
''He was saying he had to have me in pain,'' Wuornos, 35, told a 12-member jury in her murder trial.
She said the victim, Richard Mallory, tied her to the steering wheel of his car and said, ''You're going to do anything I want you to do and if you don't, I'll kill you.''
Wuornos said in a soft voice, ''I thought to myself, I got to fight or die.''
Wuornos, 35, is being tried for first-degree murder in the 1989 killing. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
She has admitted to slaying Mallory and six other men on Florida highways between 1989 and 1990. She has been charged with four of the others, and the remaining two are still being investigated. The case drew widespread attention because female serial killers are rare.
Her testimony came the day after the state rested its case, winding up by playing parts of a videotaped statement made after Wuornos' arrest last year in which she confessed to killing Mallory and said, ''I deserve to die.'' Wuornos wept as she watched the tape.
On cross-examination today, she told State Attorney John Tanner that she hadn't mentioned the rape or threats in a three-hour videotaped statement because she was confused and incoherent.
In the tape, Wuornos tells investigators that she and Mallory argued over sex and struggled in his parked car.
She reached for her purse, and ''when I grabbed the pistol out, I just shot him in the front seat,'' Wuornos recounted.
''I don't care about me. I deserve to die,'' she said in the video.
She described how she grabbed a pistol from her purse and shot Mallory on the front seat, then shot him again after he stumbled out of the car.
''I figured, well, if I help the guy and he lives, he's going to tell on me, and I'm going to get (arrested) for attempted murder, all this jazz,'' she said. ''And I thought, well, the best thing to do is just keep shooting him.''
Mallory's body was found Dec. 13, 1989, northwest of Daytona Beach. He was shot four times.