Correlates of Criminal Behavior: Aileen Wuornos

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Week 2 Discussion 1 Correlates of Criminal Behavior Pastella B. Williams Aileen Carol Wuornos was born February 29, 1956 in Rochester, Mi. Her mother was 15 years old when she married her father, Leo Pittman. Her parents divorced two months before she was born. Aileen never met her father, who was in prison for the rape and attempted murder of a seven year-old child. Her father was considered to be a schizophrenic. He was in and out of prison and hanged himself in prison in 1969. Her mother abandoned Aileen and her older brother with her grandparents. Aileen did not have much of a childhood, living isolation, with hardly any friends. At an early age she was sexually active trading sex for cigarettes at age nine. At 14 she became pregnant through being raped allegedly by a friend of her grandfather. She gave birth at a home for unwed mothers. At the age of 15, her grandfather threw her out of the house. It was this point she turned to prostitution to support herself. By the time she turned 18 years old, she claimed that she had been r aped at five times. She was arrested several times for various crimes. Eventually she moved to Florida where she continued to work as a prostitute. She met and started a relationship with another woman. However, when money started getting tight, she decided to start robbing the men she picked up. And to avoid witnesses, she killed them. Between December, 1989 and November, 1990, she killed a total of seven men. She claimed she killed in self-defense, but eventually she admitted this was not true with the exception of the first man. According to Dellisi and Conis in Violent Offenders Theory, Research, Policy and Practice, “one of the strongest correlates is age.” They believe that violent criminals start at an early age peaking at the early twenties and the community makeup where the crimes are being committed.

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