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Aileen Wuornos, portrayed by Charlize Theron in the 2003 film Monster, is based on the real life serial killer with the same name and backstory.
Credited as the first female serial killer in the U.S, Aileen was homeless and made a living as a hooker. Her usual rate varied between $25 & $40 depending on how much her johns want done. Having had a terrible childhood in which her fathers friend raped her regularly for years, a crime of which her father would physically beat her for speaking, and selfishly abandoned by her brothers, Aileen grew up alone, wishing someone would "discover" her. Selling her body since the age of 13, Aileen was determined into her adulthood that life would become better someday. One night, before killing herself, she stopped for one last beer, warning God that she would be gone as soon as her last $5 was. When she met Selby Wall (based on Tyria Moore and played by Christina Ricci, whom she developed an almost instant bond with, Aileen took it as a sign and did not go through with the suicide. Alieen became protective and sympathetic with Selby after learning that she was a victim of homophobia from her narrow-minded family.
The relationship between the two women grew into a romantic affair and the two rented a motel room for several days, eventually having sex and falling in love. After being assaulted, raped and tortured by a john, Alieen kills him in self-defense and decides to quit being a hooker. However, her inability to find another job forces her to return to prostitution and she kills all her clients out of fear the same terrors of the first assaulter would be committed. She took pity on one man who had never had services from hookers before and was visibly shaken when one of her kills turned out to be a police officer. Alieen used the money from her victims to give herself and Selby some decent meals and other accessories. Her final kill was a kind old man who offered her help, money and shelter free of charge. Alieen was very reluctant in this final murder and was visibly horrified and excessively conscience-stricken.
Alieen confessed her actions to Selby, justifying them by claiming she did it for them and that they were all going to assault her. When things started to get out of hand, Alieen sent Selby away on a bus until it all calmed down. Alieen was arrested while drunk when an old couple confirmed a sketch of her that linked her to a car stolen from one of her victims.
While in prison, Alieen and Selby spoke once more over the phone. Alieen discovered, after Selby began saying very incriminating and specific things, that Selby was helping the police monitor the call in an attempt to make Alieen give a slip-up confession. Despite being betrayed again, Alieen took all the blame for the murders. While on trial, Selby testified against Alieen and the latter remained truthful thus keeping Selby safe. Alieen was sentenced to death and dragged out of the courtroom, remaining true to her usually potty-mouthed nature.
Alieen and Selby never spoke again and Alieen was executed October 9, 2002 after being on death-row for 12 years. Alieen Wuornos' final act as a free woman was making sure that the only person she had ever really cared about, who was in turn the only person to ever really care about her (notwithstanding betraying her in the end) was spared jail and given a chance to live a good, proper life like she had always dreamed.
- The real Aileen Wuornos, who presents a slightly different, more elaborate and tragic backstory can be found here: Aileen Wuornos
- Alieen Wuornos was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Many believe that she was also schizophrenic, depressed and bipolar.
- Charlize Theron won seventeen awards for her portrayal, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress. She was nominated for eight other awards, including a BAFTA.
- Charlize Theron also narrated and produced the film.
- Theron also portrayed Queen Ravenna.